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Hispanic Heritage for Teens

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Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Celebrate by reading one of these great books! Learn more at hispanicheritagemonth.org.

The Poet X
Acevedo, Elizabeth
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers--especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami's determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she doesn't know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can't stop thinking about performing her poems.
Iron River
Acosta, Daniel
When twelve-year-old Manny Maldonado and his friends find a hobo's body near the train tracks that run through their tight-knit San Gabriel valley community, a police officer tries to pin the murder on them.
Bless Me, Ultima
Anaya, Rudolfo A.
Ultima, a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic, comes to Antonio Marez's New Mexico family when he is six years old, and she helps him discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past.
The House On Mango Street
Cisneros, Sandra
The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes-sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous-Sandra Cisneros' masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery.
Bruja Born
Córdova, Zoraida
Still feeling broken after her family's battle in Los Lagos, Lula invokes a dark spell to bring her boyfriend and others back after a fatal bus crash, but unwittingly raises an army of hungry, half-dead casimuertos, instead.
We Were Here
de la Peña, Matt
Haunted by the event that sentences him to time in a group home, Miguel breaks out with two unlikely companions and together they begin their journey down the California coast hoping to get to Mexico and a new life.
Enchanted Air : Two Cultures, Two Wings, A Memoir
Engle, Margarita
Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.
Jazz Owls : A Novel Of The Zoot Suit Riots
Engle, Margarita
In early 1940s Los Angeles, Mexican Americans Marisela and Lorena work in canneries all day then jitterbug with sailors all night with their zoot suit wearing younger brother, Ray, as escort until the night racial violence leads to murder. Includes historical note.
American Road Trip
Flores-Scott, Patrick
Brothers Teodoro and Manny Avila take a road trip to address Manny's PTSD following his tour in Iraq, and to help T. change his life and win the heart of Wendy Martinez. Includes information and resources about PTSD.
Bridge
Jones, Patrick
Eighteen-year-old José serves as the bridge between his non-English speaking family and the rest of the world, and because his parents are illegal immigrants and extended family lives with them, money is tight so José works nights and arrives at school so tired that teachers at his alternative high school step in to help.
The Revolution Of Evelyn Serrano
Manzano, Sonia
It is 1969 in Spanish Harlem, and fourteen-year-old Evelyn Serrano is trying hard to break free from her conservative Puerto Rican surroundings, but when her activist grandmother comes to stay and the neighborhood protests start, things get a lot more complicated--and dangerous.
All The Stars Denied
McCall, Guadalupe García
When resentment surges during the Great Depression in a Texas border town, Estrella, fifteen, organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos and soon finds herself witih her mother and baby brother in Mexico.
Blanca & Roja
McLemore, Anna-Marie
The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they're also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan. But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans' spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them.
Shadowshaper
Older, Daniel José
When the murals painted on the walls of her Brooklyn neighborhood start to change and fade in front of her, Sierra Santiago realizes that something strange is going on--then she discovers her Puerto Rican family are shadowshapers and finds herself in a battle with an evil anthropologist for the lives of her family and friends.
The First Rule Of Punk
Pérez, Celia C.
Twelve-year-old María Luisa O'Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang--violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school's most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.
Show And Prove
Quintero, Sofia
Friends Smiles and Nike spend the summer of 1983 in the South Bronx working a job at a summer camp, chasing girls, and breakdancing.
Miles Morales, Spider-man
Reynolds, Jason
Brooklyn Visions Academy student Miles Morales may not always want to be a superhero, but he must come to terms with his identity--and deal with a villainous teacher--as the new Spider Man.
The Education Of Margot Sanchez
Rivera, Lilliam
Margot Sanchez is paying off her debts by working in her family's South Bronx grocery store, but she must make the right choices about her friends, her family, and Moises, the good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood.
Esperanza Rising
Ryan, Pam Muñoz
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Sánchez, Erika L.
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
More Happy Than Not
Silvera, Adam
After enduring his father's suicide, his own suicide attempt, broken friendships, and more in the Bronx projects, Aaron Soto, sixteen, is already considering the Leteo Institute's memory-alteration procedure when his new friendship with Thomas turns to unrequited love.