The YA literary world has seen an impressive rise in the number of Latinx authors. This is great news for Latinx tweens who yearn to see positive stories about themselves. It’s also great news for educators who can introduce these great works in classrooms.
1) Matt De La Peña knows children and young adults. And every YA book he writes is more popular than the last. We Were Here is no exception as it tells a powerful story about a young boy who learns lessons about forgiveness.
2) Rebecca Balcárcel’s The Other Half of Happy is another book that has gotten nothing but the best reviews as it looks at the challenges of navigating between cultures. The characters are unforgettable. This is a book that will remain in print for a very long time.
3) In Lety Out Loud: A Wish Novel, Angela Cervantes provides an intriguing perspective of what life is like for ELL students. Such a timely book.
4) Celia C. Pérez’ First Rule of Punk is about more than music. It has the spunk of punk with a flavor of great characters!
5) Let’s face it, anything by Elizabeth Acevedo is powerful. We love her Afro-Latinx characters and her writing style. Fire on High is indeed reminiscent of Like Water for Chocolate, but with an urban twist that sets the words on fire.
6) The Sal and Gaby series is an entertaining ride for any tween. Carlos Hernandez is just getting started with these magical roller coasters.
7) The two sisters in Malin Alegria’s Border Town books show us how life is unique along border towns, especially for young girls who are going through changes while trying to support each other and thrive.
8) Pam Muñoz Ryan is probably best know for Esperanza Rising, but she has shown her skills through other books for tweens as well. The fact is, tweens can’t go wrong reading any of her books.
9) In Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Sáenz provides a touching look at the friendship between two boys. The way that this novel approaches LGBTQ themes is impressive in so many ways.
10) They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems, by David Bowles, is brilliant. Not only is the poetry accessible for young adults, it provides great storytelling as it looks at how our skin tone and physical features can play a role in influencing the way we define ourselves and each other.