Hispanic Books I Love // Hispanic Heritage Month

Image by Taisiia Shestopal

Hispanic Heritage Month is coming up soon. This year it's being celebrated from September 15th to October 15th. I thought I'd write about some books that I love, that you might love too that feature some amazing Hispanic characters.

Mexican Whiteboy was the first book I've read that I felt like I saw myself. What would I have in common with a baseball player you may ask? It's the quietness of Danny and the fact like me he doesn't speak Spanish even though he looks like he should. He feels this divide between two cultures. He's too white for his Mexican family and he is too Mexican for the private school kids he goes to school with. It's such a fantastic book and one of my favorites. It also set up my love for sports books which I am forever grateful for. Danny is the sweetest character. I think you'll love his story.

This Train is Being Held's writing has a poetic dance sort of feel to it which makes sense since Isa, one-half of the two main characters, is a dancer. When she first meets Alex and is beginning to get to know him... ooh it's such a beautiful romance. Isa comes from an affluent family but they are having financial trouble. Meanwhile, her brother is having mental health issues. This combined with her mother who is prejudiced against Latino men she hides her relationship with Alex. Alex isn't from an affluent family. His father wants him to be the best baseball player he can be while his father snubs the affection of his younger brother. Meanwhile, he writes poetry about love and Isa even though he feels like because he's brown and Isa's white that makes this relationship something that might just not be possible. This book has so much drama! The beginning is so sweet and romantic and then my heart is racing at the end. It brings up a discussion about how you are treated if you are a white looking Hispanic versus a brown looking Hispanic. I live in a place where this isn't an issue so it was eye-opening to see a perspective from a Spanish looking guy in another part of the U.S. I know, another book staring a baseball player but you get more of the romance and family issues than anything else. This one is worth a try!

Before We Were Free is the immigrant story I never knew I needed. Its story, like the author noted, could correspond with anyone living in a dictatorship. I definitely had thoughts of my own grandparents back in Cuba and thought about all they had to face. Anita de la Torre is coming of age in the Dominican Republic. Her father is secretly trying to overthrow Trujillo while the secret police watch her family's every move. Being told from a twelve year olds point of view made me enjoy this even more because I can imagine myself or my father living this out. I can put myself in the shoes of my family members which inevitably makes me feel closer to them. It helped me understand even more some of what they might have gone through in Cuba.

You probably all know by now how much I love Tigers, Not Daughters. It's truly such a brilliant story on sisterhood and taking back the power that the men in the Torres sister's lives have taken from them. It's such a beautifully written story too. There were so many great scenes that blew me away and I felt such a connection too. You want to root for these sisters to come together and fight for each other.

Quince has such a great concept executed so well. Lupe is your average teen who doesn't feel seen. Her quinceaƱera brings out this power in her she didn't know she had. She only gets to be a superhero for the year that she is fifteen so her grandmother whips her up in shape to defeat the bad guys. Being a superhero makes her a lot sorer than she thought but the nice thing is a guy starts liking her - well Quince but she finally feels seen. Then, a villain arrives which changes her perspective n what it means to be a hero. This is such a wholesome book. Some great training sessions, family moments, and being a hero in unexpected ways. I love that Lupe only has her powers for a year because it teaches her something about herself that makes you feel all good inside. 

What are some Hispanic characters that you've loved reading about?


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