I’ve loved seeing the growth of children and YA lit available from LatinX and Hispanic authors across every possible genre over the last several years. This increase in offerings is largely due to the persistent efforts of groups like Las Musas, Hispanic Heritage Literature Organization, LatinXs in Kid Lit, and We Need Diverse Books to expand opportunities for underrepresented authors and readers.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, here are 11 of my favorite books for young readers of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. It includes a mix of fantasy, realistic fiction, adventure, humor, sad books, and poetry—something for every type of reader to savor and enjoy. These have all been highly rated and reviewed by young readers on Bookopolis.com, an online community where young readers can share book reviews and swap book recommendations with friends.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra
This simple and extraordinarily sweet book is a running list of all the things a young biracial (Mexican/Caucasian) boy is grateful for like thick chocolate syrup and ocean waves. This is a great read-aloud for any age.
Buy it: Gracias/Thanks at Amazon
Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez
A story about how the deep love of family endures even when there’s a language barrier. When Mia’s abuela (grandmother) moves in with her family, Mia tries to understand Abuela’s stories told in Spanish as she helps Abuela learn some English. The language barrier makes it hard until Mia finds a creative way to connect more deeply with her abuela. Best for ages 4 and up.
Buy it: Mango, Abuela, and Me at Amazon
Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
Nobody can stop Niño, the self-proclaimed world champion lucha libre competitor. A laugh-out-loud book that will have young readers rolling on the floor. It’s a great read-aloud for ages 4 and up.
Buy it: Niño Wrestles the World at Amazon
Freddie Ramos Takes Off by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Miguel Benítez
When young Freddie gets an unexpected gift of shoes with super speed, he must figure out how to use his new super powers to help his fellow elementary school classmates. This adventure and humor-filled chapter book series is perfect for newly independent readers. Best for ages 6 and up.
Buy it: Freddie Ramos Takes Off at Amazon
The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
Thirteen-year-old Zane is used to feeling ostracized due to his physical disabilities. His life is changed when he finds himself at the center of an ancient battle based on Mayan mythology. This page-turner fantasy is filled with lovable characters, great action scenes, and is perfect for fans of stories like Percy Jackson. Best for readers ages 9 and up.
Buy it: The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
Stef wants no part of her family’s taco truck, but when the city proposes new rules that will ruin her family’s business, she becomes the truck’s biggest champion. A tender and funny story about growing up in a multicultural community and the beauty of fierce family love. Best for readers ages 10 and up.
Buy it: Stef Soto, Taco Queen at Amazon
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
Thirteen-year-old Arturo was looking forward to a relaxing summer in his hometown of Miami, but he finds himself called to action to help his community and his family as real estate developers threaten to make unwanted changes. This book is full of adventures, laughs, family love, strong friendships, and even a bit of romance.
Buy it: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora at Amazon
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Navigating a new school is hard for anyone, especially 12-year-old Malú who wants to please her parents and fit in at school, all while staying true to herself. Told through a mix of text and highly creative Zine illustrations, this book is funny, poignant, and very relatable. Best for readers ages 10 and up.
Buy it: The First Rule of Punk at Amazon
Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
Based on the author’s real childhood, this is a very engaging and relatable coming-of-age story set in the 1960s about Ruthie Mizrahi, a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl who is excited to be living the American Dream in New York City. A tragic car accident causes her severe injuries and ruins her original dreams but leads to a beautiful story of hope, resilience, and shared humanity. Best for readers ages 12 and up.
Buy it: Lucky Broken Girl at Amazon
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
This fast-paced urban fantasy inspired by the supernatural elements of Caribbean folklore mixes art, magic, and adventure. Sierra Santiago expected a summer of working on graffiti murals in her Brooklyn neighborhood but finds herself literally immersed in her art as she discovers the secrets of the Shadowshapers that her family has held for generations. This YA series is best for readers ages 13 and up.
Buy it: Shadowshaper at Amazon
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
This novel-in-verse by the 2022 Young People’s Poet Laureate has won multiple awards for good reason. It’s a powerful story about identity and finding your voice told from the perspective of a fierce and passionate Afro-Latina teenager who finds slam poetry as a way to express her truest self. This YA book is best for readers ages 14 and up.
Buy it: The Poet X at Amazon
If you like these Hispanic Heritage Month books, check out these Hispanic Heritage Month activities.
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