Hispanic American Heritage Month each September and October offers a valuable opportunity to evaluate the kinds of reading materials we are sharing with young people throughout the year, and to consider how the experiences of Latinx people can have a greater presence in classrooms. We know that it can be challenging to sift through the large body of reading material, pinpoint texts written at an appropriate reading level, and that speak to key themes in ways that are relatable to adolescent readers so we have curated some rich new titles for educators seeking to expand their pool of resources.
Below are five young adult (YA) books capturing Latinx experiences that educators can consider sharing with their students. These books with young Latinx narrators cover significant thematic ground including the true story of how a Mexican American student sparked the first legal battle led by immigrants to the U.S.; a young gay Latinx man’s pursuit of deeper belonging in his new community; being on the front lines of contentious immigration debates as a young Guatemalan American immigrant; the concept and concrete realities of borders and border crossing as understood by Mexican American youth; and navigating toxic masculinity and gentrification in addition to Latinx identity.
Below, the publisher of each title offers a glimpse of what is contained in each book: