Book List

10 Books You Should Read for Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2022
Saleena Nival

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.

10 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. Once you’ve read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe continue Ari and Dante’s story with Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World


5. 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.


6. 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?


7. 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.


8. 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.


9. Rima’s Rebellion by Margarita Engle

Rima loves to ride horses alongside her abuela and Las Mambisas, the fierce women veterans who fought during Cuba’s wars for independence. Feminists from many backgrounds have gathered in voting clubs to demand suffrage and equality for women, but not everybody wants equality for all—especially not for someone like Rima. In 1920s Cuba, illegitimate children like her are bullied and shunned.

Rima dreams of a day when she is free from fear and shame, the way she feels when she’s riding with Las Mambisas. As she seeks her way, Rima forges unexpected friendships with others who long for freedom, especially a handsome young artist named Maceo. Through turbulent times, hope soars, and with it…love.

Margarita Engle has so many great novels featuring Hispanic culture. Check out Your Heart, My Sky, Soaring Earth, With a Star in my Hand, Jazz Hands, and Enchanted Air for more of her work.


10. A Path to the World edited by Lori Marie Carlson-Hijuelos

What does it mean to be yourself? To be born here or somewhere else? To be from one family instead of another? What does it mean to be human? Collected by Lori Carlson-Hijuelos, A Path to the World showcases essays by a vast variety of luminaries—from Gary Soto to Nawal Nasrallah to Ying Ying Yu, from chefs to artists to teens to philosophers to politicians (keep your eyes peeled for a surprise appearance by George Washington)—all of which speak to the common thread of humanity, the desire to be your truest self, and to belong.


Want to read more? Check out these Latinx Authors You Need to Read ASAP!

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