Inside: 10 books written by Latinx authors to read this summer. A Spanish teacher summer reading list in both Spanish and English.
When do you read?
So, here are 10 books written by Latinx authors that I highly recommend to read this summer.
On a completely different path, this historical fiction novel is set during the Spanish conquest of present day Mexico. It is told from the perspective of an indigenous women who endures atrocities at the hand of the conquerers. She tells the stories of being raped, tortured, having her children stolen from her and more. It is an important ingenuous perfective that is not shared enough.
Back in the land of Young Adult Fiction, Pride is a modern day, diverse take on Pride & Prejudice. The main character is Dominican & Haitian and the author Ibi Zoboi is Hatian-American. It is set in present day New York City. It shares the struggles of growing up afro-latinx in the US, holding on to Caribbean roots, while trying to assimilate with American culture. I listened to the audiobook, which is beautifully read by Elizabeth Acevedo.
This historical fiction novel is set in 1960s New York City and the Dominican Republic. It follows a 15 year old who is married off by her family to live in the US. I enjoyed reading about the little written about historical Latinx immigrant experience. It is based on the author’s abuela and her story. The story is real, heartbreaking, and shows the power of a strong women (who is actually just a child). I would highly recommend it.
I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
I read this book in English, but would actually love to read it in Spanish as well. It follows a Mexican-American young women living in Chicago dealing with the unexpected death of her (seemingly) perfect sister. It is dramatic and funny all at the same time, while the main character digs into her sister’s past. This book has gotten a lot of positive press, and I have heard that many latinx readers really related to the family dynamics.
With the Fire on High
This was the my first Elizabeth Acevedo read, and I actually listened to it as an audiobook. The main character is an Afro-Latinx, Puertorican/African American teen living in the US. She is a positive representation of a teen mom, who is trying to pursue her dreams in high school, as well as care for both her child and grandma. Cooking and cultural foods pay a big part in the book and you will leave reading hungry.
The Poet X
This book written by Elizabeth Acevedo is in poetry and prose style. Honestly, I have never considered myself a fan of poetry, but that is probably because I was forced to read old, dead white man poetry. This flowing and modern style reads effortlessly. I read the version in English, which actually has a lot of Spanish, written from the perspective of an Afro-Dominican teen. There is also LGBTQ representation as well. I just found that there is now a version in Spanish, and I plan to read it as well.
I do sprinkle in quite a bit of non-fiction for fun. Memoirs are one of my new favorite genres.
In the Country We Love
This book is written by the Colombian-American actress Diane Guerrero of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgen. It is a very interesting memoir of her life, including how her parents were deported when she was fourteen. It is an eye opening look into the life of undocumented immigrants living in the US. While serious issues are included, Diane is naturally funny and has entertaining stories. I read the Spanish version, but I am sure it is great in English as well.
The Line Becomes a River
This memoir follows a Mexican-American border patrol agent. It is an interesting and eye opening perspective on what happens at the border. It helped me better understand what is happening from a unique perspective. I listened to the audio in English, but I just saw it is also available to read in Spanish as well.
Bonus! If you want to get more into reading, but just can’t sit down to read, Audible might be the thing for you. Listen to most of the above books while you work out, drive or work around the house. Give the Audible Gift Memberships to yourself this summer.
Or if you want less commitment, try the free trial.
Or, if you want to listen for free, check out what apps your public library has available. Mine has Libby and Hoopla.
In full disclosure, the links above are affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase I will get a small commission.