Latinx is a gender-neutral term that is generally used to refer to peoples living in the United States that either hail or are descended from regions such as Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Central and South America. The following books feature characters and/or creators from the Latinx community, and we hope you’ll share these stories with your family. We believe that knowledge and affirmation of cultural diversity is paramount to any thriving democracy, and we encourage and empower every person’s story, their identity, and their heritage.

If you’d like to check any of these books out, just click the pic to follow the link!

Picture Books

Told in moving poetic language and featuring vibrant, impressionistic art, Yuyi Morales takes her readers through the experience of a young mother coming to America with her infant child. Surrounded by a strange new world, the mother and her child find solace and refuge at the library, a place where they can grow and learn and trust.

 

 

 

 

Follows a young boy as he gives thanks for all of the wonderful things in his life, from the ocean waves to his friends to his Abuelita. The book is also multilingual, featuring a side-by-side Spanish version of the text, perfect for reading in a more familiar language or learning a new one.

Señor Calavera, a skeleton, is on his way to Grandma Beetle’s birthday party, only he has forgotten one very important thing — a present! Aided by Zelmiro the Ghost, Calavera considers an alphabets-worth of gifts. Rendered with evocative, surreal paintings, readers can follow along with the alphabet and improve their Spanish vocabulary as Señor Calavera rushes to arrive at the party on time.

Lucha libre wrestling is a rich cultural tradition in Mexico, and Lucía loves the masks. That is, until her sister, Gemma, rips it. In an effort to mend the rift between the siblings, Lucía’s Abu takes them both to the mercado to find a new mask. Along the way they have a variety of adventures, and Lucía learns that her little sister’s “quixotic” personality isn’t so bad after all.

Encouraging diversity can lead to meaningful and sincere cultural exchange, which is what Mia learns from her “far-away” grandmother. Together, the two of them share each other’s culture, helping the other to learn more their respective languages. Integrated throughout with Spanish text, readers can themselves tackle new words and share in Mia and her abuela’s experience.

With vibrant colors depicting the sweeping movement of a parade, readers are treated to a vividly realized portrait of a celebración. Embedded in the text are bolded Spanish words, allowing you and your child to engage with another language while enjoying the rhymed lyrics. A glossary is provided in the back.

Join Niño the luchador as he faces off against “out-of-this-world contenders,” defeating each one with comic-book-style action. Shrugging off alien and zombie opponents, conquering ancient gods and ghosts, Niño inventively dispatches each new foe, only to be ultimately thwarted by his greatest challenge — his little sisters, las hermanitas.

Pura Belpré was the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City, and in this biography picture book children encounter her inspiring true story to teach the children of her day about her culture and tell her homeland’s stories. From the author’s note: Belpré’s “life and work as a librarian, storyteller, author, and advocate for the Latinx community is a testament to the power of our own stories to build bridges — not just to literacy, but to social change.”

A paleta is an icy treat familiar to many Latino families, and in What Can You Do with a Paleta? Carmen Tafolla revisits her childhood memories with vivid imagination to discover all of the opportunities these treats provide. With lush paintings packed with inviting details, kids can get drawn in and begin to think about what they might do with a paleta.

General Fiction

Review from Kirkus:

“With a loving and financially secure family and a close group of friends, 11-year-old Celeste’s life in Valparaíso, Chile, is relatively carefree—until the coup that unseats the president and establishes a dictatorship.

People begin to be disappeared. Her parents, both doctors running a clinic for the poor, are now subversives who must go into hiding in order to keep themselves and Celeste safe. As the situation worsens, Celeste herself must leave her homeland to stay with her aunt in faraway Maine. She spends three years in this cold and solitary land. As she finally begins to fit in, the time comes to return home. She finds her country different, filled with the fog of sadness. But she also finds opportunities: to reconnect, rebuild and forgive. Though the size and scope of this novel may appear daunting, the beautiful language, compelling characters and short chapters make it a captivating read. For some, the extensive denouement may go on a touch too long, but most will be pleased to have a little extra time with Celeste as she and her community rebuild their lives in a new Chile.

Award-winning Chilean author and poet Agosín’s debut for young people is a lyrically ambitious tale of exile and reunification.”

From the Newbery citation:

“Using humor and grace, Merci, a charming and plucky protagonist, cycles through life’s challenges with the support of her intergenerational family. This richly nuanced novel tackles the complexity of navigating a multicultural identity amidst changing family dynamics.

‘Meg Medina’s warm and honest novel masterfully depicts one Cuban-American family’s life with authenticity and empathy,’ said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Ellen M. Riordan.”

From the dust jacket copy:

“For María Isabel Salazar López, the hardest thing about being the new girl in school is that the teacher doesn’t call her by her real name. ‘We already have two Marías in this class,’ says her teacher. ‘Why don’t we call you Mary instead?’

But María Isabel has been named for her Papá’s mother and for Chabela, her beloved Puerto Rican grandmother. Can she find a way to make her teacher see that if she loses her name, she’s lost the most important part of herself?”

Graphic Novels

Pablo and Jane are bored, so they decide to explore the spooky house on the hill. After working their way through a creepy lab, they find themselves in another world: the monster dimension! As Pablo and Jane float along in their “hot air contraption,” readers are treated to birds-eye views of hyper-detailed landscapes of the various monster-ized countries — Terrifying Transylvania, Monstrous Moscow, Ageless Athens, etc. The detail-packed pages are reminiscent of the I Spy books, and Domingo provides a scavenger hunt list at the end of the book for readers to go back and find the various items.

From the back copy:

“How would a kitchen maid fare against a seven-headed dragon? What happens when a woman marries a mouse? And what can a young man learn from a thousand leaf cutter ants? Famed Love and Rockets creator Jaime Hernandez asks these questions and more as he transforms beloved myths into bold, stunning, and utterly contemporary comics. Guided by the classic works of F. Isabel Campy and Alma Flor Ada, Hernandez’s first book for young readers brings the sights and stories of Latin America to a new generation of graphic novel fans around the world.”

Matt Holder is a seasonal Library Associate in the Youth Services department. When he's not working here he's at work on his PhD in English at Saint Louis University. He enjoys all things science fiction and horror, and he'd be happy to talk with anyone that will listen about comic books and film. His favorite authors include Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, Cormac McCarthy, and Victor LaValle.