Books you should read for Latine/Hispanic Heritage Month
From Sep. 15 to Oct. 15, Latine/Hispanic heritage gets its time to shine. This month is a time for celebration and reflection for many Latin American countries that received their independence from colonial rule, as well as just honoring the diversity and unique experiences of the culture. From whimsical metaphors and magical realism to touching historical fiction, we've rounded up some books to add to your TBR list that celebrate Latine/ Hispanic narratives.
Summer of the Mariposas
Shoutout to our fantasy lovers! This book is the perf mix of ghosts, warlocks and the power of sisterhood. In Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe McCall puts a twist on the typical hero's journey trope in a Mexican-American re-telling of the classic epic the Odyssey.
The main character, Odilla, and her four sisters are tasked to return the body of a man they find in the Río Grande. As they embark on their journey, they meet characters from traditional Latin American legends like La Llorana and Chupacabras. McCall explores Latin American folkore and delivers an action-packed, coming-of-age story!
Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed
What's better than one amazing story? 15 mini stories all in one, ofc! Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed is a collection of 15 personal essays written in short verse and poetic style. The book spotlights perspectives from authors who aren't just Latine but also identify as Afro-Latinx, Caribbean and Central American!
This diverse anthology really digs deep into the effects of racism, colorism and the feelings of not being "Latin" enough when it comes to not being able to speak the language of your culture.
Two words. Graphic novel (yep, running to get this book rn). Claribel Ortega writes Frizzy from the POV of Marlene—a spunky and sweet Dominican girlie who has thick, curly hair. Every week, Marlene's mom takes her to the salon to get it straightened, but Marlene absolutely *hates* it. No matter what, Marlene can't seem to fight her mom on it and feels utterly confused as to why she can't rock her curly hair.
This book is perf for the girlies that want to add some simple reading time into their schedules. Ortega writes lightheartedly and makes this adorable protagonist so easy to fall in love with (and Rose Bousamra's graphics? Literally amazing). Don't be fooled, this book still hits home when addressing anti-blackness, generational expectations and how even adults can perpetuate beauty standards on kids.
The Poet X
Grab a pencil and highlighter, because this book will have you annotating allll those heart-wrenching quotes. The Poet X features Xiomara, a curvy girl growing up in Harlem, who has to navigate wanting to experience her Dominican culture in a different way than her parents. In a series of short verses and slam poetry style writing, Xiomara expresses her struggles with being objectified and her experiences with growing up as a girl.
Elizabeth Acevedo writes powerfully and makes Xiomara's voice feel like she's sitting in a room talking with you. Tbh, if you weren't already sold, this book gets extra brownie points for winning the Printz Award for best teen fiction and the Pura Belpré award for a story for young people that affirms and celebrates the LatinX experience.
Which book are you picking up for Latine/Hispanic Heritage Month? Let us know on Insta @glbestiebookclub!