Celebrating Latinx & Hispanic heritage with teens (ages 13 and up)

We’re celebrating Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month at Albany High School, and I’d love to share some of the books that the teens at our school are excited about. Check out the wide range of books below — these are all ones that our students are checking out, sharing with each other and recommending. Definitely teen tested!

Realistic fiction

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Furia, by Yamile Saied Méndez
Here the Whole Time, by Vitor Martins
Juliet Takes a Breath, by Gabby Rivera
Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Cemetery Boys, by Aidan Thomas
Dealing in Dreams, by Lilliam Rivera
Lobizona, by Romina Garber
Nonfiction
Citizen Illegal: Poems, by José Olivarez
My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor
My Corner of the Ring, by Jesselyn Silva
Graphic Novels
Juliet Takes a Breath, written by Gabby Rivera; illustrated & adapted for comics by Celia Moscote 
La Voz de M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo, by Henry Barajas
Suncatcher, by Jose Pimienta

I especially appreciate the wide range of experiences represented in these books. As David Bowles explains in his essay “Latinx Primer for Non-Latinx Folks,” the terms Latinx and Hispanic are umbrella terms that include a broad range of experiences. Some students are specifically drawn to stories that represent experiences similar to their own — one student was very excited to read Henry Barajas‘ graphic novel about his grandfather, an activist who co-founded the Mexican, American, Yaqui, and Others (M.A.Y.O.) organization in Arizona. Another student was particularly drawn to Here the Whole Time, a coming of age LGBTQ story set in Brazil.

Other students love the fantasy and sci-fi recommendations that draw on heritage from Latin America, but take us into our imaginations. I’m reading Lobizona right now, a werewolf story that draws on Argentinian folklore and is also questioning gender roles, and I’m loving it. 

Enjoy sharing these recommendations with your teens. All of the review copies are from the Albany High School library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support. 

©2021 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books