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Latino/Latina Suggestions?

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J-Lynn Van Pelt | 19 comments Any recommendations for great reads that are either written by or about Latinos?

My personal collection is sorely lacking.

I have read Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan and Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida by Victor Matinez and loved them both.

Any suggestions? Favorites?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Some of my favorites that haven't been mentioned are:

HATERS Valdes-Rodriguez, Alisa

Teen/ Teen Contemporary Life/ Teen Romance

0-316-01307-2 2006

Paski moves from Taos, New Mexico to Orange County California after her cartoonist father is hired to turn his comic book, Squegeeman, into a movie. Suddenly they have money but Paski must leave her friends behind to start attending a snobby school where everyone is beautiful and the popular kids, called “Haters” try to make life miserable for others.





Teen/ Issues /Multicultural
RED GLASS
Resau, Laura
Delacorte Books for Young Readers 0-385-73466-2 2007



Sophie’s life has been ruled by fear and insecurity. She lives in Tucson with her English mother, Mexican step-father, Bosnian refugee great-aunt Dika, and Pedro, a six-year old foster brother who came into their lives when his parents and the party they crossed the border with all died in the desert. After eight months of living with the family Pedro has finally begun talking and they find his relatives in a small Oaxaca town. With her parents unable to make a trip to Mexico, Sophie is to take Pedro to visit his grandparents and extended family accompanied by Dika, Dika’s boyfriend Mr. Lorenzo, and his teen son Angel. During the week-long drive to Pedro’s village and the week they spend visiting the entire party forms bond with each other and with Pedro’s family but then Mr. Lorenzo and Angel head off to Guatemala to retrieve Angel’s mother’s jewels. When they don’t return Sophie starts on a perilous journey that will prove who she really is to herself. The details of life in a Mexican village and Sophie’s journey from Tucson to Guatemala are vivid and memorable. Great characterization, good plot, and a unique setting spiced with love make this a winner.

Teen/ Issues
Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico
Alegria, Malin
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 9780689878114 2007



Sofi decides to defy her overly protective parents and go to Mexico for a house party just before prom and graduation in the hopes of snaring her crush. When he turns out to be a jerk she and her two friends head back for San Innocente, California but at the border she is turned back for having a fake green card. Sofi has lived in California since she was four. Now her parents are going to find out that she didn’t go where she was supposed to be. Fortunately she has an aunt she has never met who lives in Tijuana along with her family that consists of a disabled husband, two young sons, and a daughter Sofi’s age. As Sofi waits for resolution and a way home she learns to live with no internet access, no telephone, and an outdoor bathroom. Two young men she met while partying in the tourist area with her friends are encountered again. On is a good looking vato loco with a hot car who provides her with free tickets to a concert. The other is a rather pudgy cabana boy who threw her and her friends off a private hotel beach but who helps her immensely. As Sofi tries to figure out if she is Mexican, American, or just what she discovers her own ties to her family roots and finds love. Without one iota of preachiness, Alegria conveys the gist of the illegal immigration issue and the tragedy it causes. I would love to see this book along with Will Hobbs’ Crossing the Wire in every public library and high school library in America.




message 3: by G. (new)

G. | 2 comments Here's a few YAs I've read recently:
Graffitti Girl by Kelly Perra
La Linea by Ann Jarmillo
Cholos and Surfers
or In the Break by Jack Lopez


J-Lynn Van Pelt | 19 comments Thanks, keep them coming.

I have another question, the first author people usually recommend is Gary Soto (he is in Carter's textbook). I know he is an icon in children's lit and super prolific, but I haven't been able to get into any of his books.

Anyone have a suggestion on a really strong Soto read that is relevant for today's teens?


message 5: by Maya (new)

Maya (numerounochewylover) | 8 comments Some of my favorites are:
House of the Spirits, Eva Luna, and Forest of the Pygmies; Isabel Allende and Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude; Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


J-Lynn Van Pelt | 19 comments The silence about Gary Soto is what I always get when I ask about him. People are quick to recommend him because they have seen his name and he is prolific. But, they often can't provide details. Interesting...


message 7: by elissa (last edited Dec 30, 2007 08:17AM) (new)

elissa (librarianbodyworkerelissa) | 11 comments Have you tried THE AFTERLIFE by Gary Soto? I haven't read it, but it got good reviews when it came out a few years ago. It's one in the "dead narrator" sub-genre of novels.


message 8: by Layne (new)

Layne Yes, The Afterlife is a really good one by Gary Soto. It has a male protagonist who is not in a gang, an unfortunately rare depiction of young latino men in YA lit.

This one does involve gangs, but I really loved it (as did some of the teens in my book discussion group): Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Last but not least, Justina Chen Headley's new book Girl Overboard has a good multicultural cast including a latino male love interest (another one not in a gang!!).


message 9: by r. (new)

r. (bananagirl19) | 1 comments Cubanita by Gaby Triana. It's a really good one about a teen who is embarrassed by her mother's embracing of their Cuban heritage.


message 10: by J-Lynn Van Pelt (new)

J-Lynn Van Pelt | 19 comments I just finished Estrella's Quinceanera by Malin Alegria and it was fantastic! I highly recommend it.


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