National Hispanic Heritage Month was created to recognize the positive impact that Hispanic Americans have left on the country. “Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America,” according to the official government website. Celebrate the culture of Latino, Hispanic, and Latinx Americans with these stories for kids of all ages!
Juliet Takes a Breath, by Gabby Rivera (for ages 14 and up)
Gabby Rivera writes strong Latina characters, from the queer Marvel superhero America Chavez to the Puerto Rican protagonist in her new novel, Juliet Takes a Breath. It’s the coming-of-age story of a college kid from the Bronx trying to figure out who she is—a feminist, a lesbian, dying to get out of the Bronx.
Kutu: The Tiny Inca Princess, by Mariana Llanos and Uldarico Sarmiento (for ages 7 and up)
Kutu tells the story of a princess the size of a cob of corn, who embarks on a dangerous journey to save her family and people from a terrible drought. Elements of the Inca culture are weaved in the story, transporting the readers to the amazing Inca Empire. Phrases in Quechua (the native language of the Andes region) are sprinkled throughout the story.
Lupe Wong Won’t Dance, by Donna Barba Higuera (for ages 8 to 12)
Lupe Wong is determined to be the first female pitcher in the Major Leagues. She’s also championed causes her whole young life. Some worthy…like expanding the options for race on school tests beyond just a few bubbles. And some not so much…like complaining to the BBC about the length between Doctor Who seasons. Lupe needs an A in all her classes in order to meet her favorite pitcher, Fu Li Hernandez, who’s Chinacan/Mexinese just like her. So, when the horror that is square dancing rears its head in gym? Obviously, she’s not gonna let that slide.
Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring, by Angela Cervantes (for ages 8 to 12)
Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She’s hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together. While in Mexico, Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who present her with an irresistible challenge: The siblings want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
My Papi Has a Motorcycle, by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña (for ages 4 to 8)
When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.
Never Look Back, by Lilliam Rivera (for ages 13 to 17)
An ancient story of love and loss finds new life amongst Afro-Latinx teens in Lilliam Rivera’s new young adult novel, Never Look Back. Pheus — short for Orpheus — has spent his whole life in the Bronx, charming everyone in the neighborhood with his charisma and his beautiful voice. He plans to spend an easy summer singing bachata and playing his guitar on the beach. But all of that changes when he meets Eury.
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, by Pablo Cartaya (for ages 10 to 13)
Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL? For Arturo, summertime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer.
The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo (for ages 13 to 17)
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.
Where Are You From?, by Yamile Saied Méndez (for ages 3 to 8)
This resonant and award-winning picture book tells the story of one girl who constantly gets asked a simple question that doesn’t have a simple answer. When a girl is asked where she’s from—where she’s really from—none of her answers seems to be the right one. Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn’t give her the response she expects. She gets an even better answer.