As a person of Hispanic descent, Hispanic Heritage Month is such an important time for me and so many others to celebrate the many cultures of Hispanic countries. From September 15 to October 15, I’ll be reaching for books that represent my Latin culture. These are must-reads written by Hispanic authors, featuring Hispanic characters, perfect for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Books You Should Read for Hispanic Heritage Month
1. A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
When Lila’s life seems to be falling apart, her parents have the perfect idea: spend the summer in England to reset and relax. Yet, the sunless skies, the grumpy inn cook, and the small town lacks the Miami flavor Lila loves. This dream vacation feels more like a nightmare…until she meets Orion Maxwell.
2. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love With the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible. Check out Raquel Vaquez Gilliland’s previous novel, Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything.
3. Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon
Liliana Cruz’s life is not easy: her father’s left (again) and she’s been accepted into a very suburban (and white) school, a place where she has to change who she is to belong. But then light is shed on some hard truths: It isn’t that her father doesn’t want to come home—he can’t…and her whole family is in jeopardy. And when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable.
4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
5. Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle
The people of Cuba are living in el período especial en tiempos de paz—the special period in times of peace. That’s what the government insists that this era must be called, but the reality behind these words is starvation. Liana is struggling to find enough to eat. Amado also refuses to comply, so he wanders alone, trying to discover rare sources of food. A chance encounter with an enigmatic dog brings Liana and Amado together.
6. Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez
Juan has plans. He’s going to get out of El Paso on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself. His best friend JD has plans too: he wants to be a filmmaker one day, like Guillermo del Toro. Soon Juan and JD are embarking on a Thelma and Louise—like road trip to visit Mando. Juan will finally meet his dad, JD has a perfect subject for his documentary, and Fabi is desperate to stop them.
7. Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes
Ever since her mom died three years ago, Analee Echevarria has had trouble saying out loud the weird thoughts that sit in her head. She spends most of her time avoiding reality and role-playing as Kiri, the night elf hunter at the center of her favorite online game. So when high school heartthrob Seb Matias asks Analee to pose as his girlfriend in an attempt to make his ex jealous, Analee agrees. Can she use this opportunity to win her real love?
8. The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot Sanchez finds herself grounded. Her punishment: working in her family’s grocery store to pay off her debts. With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment.
Check out Lilliam Rivera’s previous novel, Dealing in Dreams.
9. The Universal Laws of Marco by Carmen Rodrigues
In the summer before eighth grade, Marco Suarez kissed his best friend Sally Blake. That was his first spark. But at the end of the year, she left without every saying why. Now it’s his senior year, and Sally unexpectedly returns, leaving Marco feeling shaken. But as Marco navigates the final days of high school, he learns that leaving home is never easy and a first spark is hard to ignore.