All Ages

Children’s & YA Books by
Latinx Authors

by Sarah Mangiola

latinx books

Each year, we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month — also referred to as Hispanic Heritage Month — between September 15 and October 15. These children’s & YA books written by Latinx authors provide the perfect way to mark the month.

Featuring a wide variety of titles for kids of all ages, including picture books, middle grade & chapter books, and young adult reads, these stories recognize Latinx contributions to the world of children’s literature and are great for reading at any time of year. Share these books with little and big kids alike.

  • Picture Books

  • Across the Bay

    by Carlos Aponte

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    Embark on a journey through Old San Juan with this picture book following Carlitos, who lives in Puerto Rico with his mother, abuela, and Coco the cat. As Carlitos travels across the bay in search of his father, he'll learn the true meaning of family and home in this beautiful story.
    (Ages 3 - 7)

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  • Lord Help Me

    by Emme Muñiz, illustrated by Brenda Figueroa

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    Twelve-year-old budding singer Emme Muñiz shares her experience with prayer in this lovely picture book. The author guides us through her own daily prayers — from the little things like getting along with siblings to the bigger things like saving the sloths — and provides families with ways to embrace their faith in everyday life.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Dios Ayúdame
    (Ages 3 - 7)

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  • Not a Bean

    by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez, illustrated by Laura González

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    Kids can learn all about Mexican jumping beans (which aren't beans at all!) in this picture book featuring Spanish vocabulary. This jumping insect is actually a seedpod, which a caterpillar buries into until it's ready to break out as a moth. A book that's both educational and fun!
    (Ages 3 - 7)

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  • My Papi Has a Motorcycle

    by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña

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    This story about the love between a father and daughter centers on Daisy Ramona as she zooms around her ever-changing neighborhood on the back of her papi's motorcycle. Though her community is constantly changing, she knows that one thing will never change: the love between Daisy and her papi. Zeke Peña provides brilliant images to complement this story.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Mi papi tiene una moto
    (Ages 4 - 8)

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  • Love

    by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long

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    The Newbery Medal-winning author's celebration of love explores all the ways we are brought together by this universal bond. A wonderful bedtime read-aloud, this story reminds little ones just how much they are cherished.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Amor
    (Ages 4 - 8)

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  • A New Home

    by Tania de Regil

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    Two children learn that the urban spaces they each inhabit are more alike than they appear in this heartwarming story about fear of the unknown. The picture book follows a young boy moving from New York City to Mexico City and a young girl moving from Mexico City to New York City. Each are concerned about their new cities: Will they make friends? Where will they play? The story reminds young readers that home is wherever you and your loved ones are.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Un nuevo hogar
    (Ages 4 - 8)

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  • Turning Pages

    by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Lulu Delacre

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    This picture book-autobiography tells the story of Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. Her story delves into her own inspiration, which she found in books. Books helped her cope, dream, and believe that anything is possible.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Pasando páginas
    (Ages 4 - 8)

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  • Islandborn

    by Junot Díaz, illustrated by Leo Espinosa

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    All of the kids at Lola's school are from some place else, so when their teacher asks them to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, everyone is very excited. Everyone, that is, besides Lola. Lola's family came from The Island, but she can't remember it. With the help of her family and friends, Lola comes to realize that just because you don't remember something doesn't mean it isn't apart of you.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Lola
    (Ages 5 - 8)

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  • Imagine

    by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

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    Poet Juan Felipe Herrera encourages little ones to imagine what they can be — citing that if he taught himself to read and write and ended up as the United States Poet Laureate, anything is possible. This uplifting — and at times, magical — poem is accompanied by stunning illustrations from Caldecott Honoree Lauren Castillo.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Imagina
    (Ages 5 - 9)

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  • Chapter Books and Middle Grade

  • Juana and Lucas

    by Juana Medina

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    Growing readers are sure to fall in love with Juana, the spunky heroine of the Juana and Lucas series. This first book introduces us to Juana, who loves her dog Lucas (of course!), living in Colombia, and drawing. What she hates includes wearing school uniforms and learning English. This hilarious series is continued in Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas.
    (Ages 5 - 8)

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  • Merci Suárez Changes Gears

    by Meg Medina

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    This 2019 Newbery Medal winner is a middle grade must-read. Everything changes when Merci Suárez enters sixth grade. As scholarship kids at their private school In Florida, Merci and her brother don't have the same privileges as some of their classmates. When a new boy at school is assigned to be Merci's Sunshine Buddy, she becomes the target of fellow student Edna Santos' jealousy. And with things getting worse at home as her grandfather's health deteriorates, Merci is left to figure out things on her own in this compelling coming-of-age story.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Merci Suárez se pone las pilas
    (Ages 8 - 12)

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  • My Year in the Middle

    by Lila Quintero Weaver

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    Set in the 1970s, this historical novel tackles the heavy topics of race and segregation. Things are changing for sixth-grader Lu. Her friends have been acting more boy crazy than ever and have also been making not-so-nice comments about her newfound success running track. She secretly hopes to befriend fellow runner Belinda Gresham, but during this time in Alabama their different races make this almost impossible. Will Lu find the courage to stand up for what's right? This story provides a powerful look at the historical racial divide that's still relevant today.
    (Ages 8 - 12)

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  • The First Rule of Punk

    by Celia C. Pérez

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    The first rule of punk is being yourself, but that's hard to do when it seems to alienate those around you — including the queen bee of your new school and your own mother. Twelve-year-old Malú loves rocking out, and when she assembles a band that feels right, she'll do anything to preserve it — including fight against the school administration. Readers will love hearing about how Malú finds her place while growing up.

    This title is also available in Spanish: La primera regla del punk
    (Ages 8 - 12)

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  • Tight

    by Torrey Maldonado

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    Torrey Maldonado's insightful middle grade read tackles right and wrong as readers get to know Bryan. Bryan feels tight in different ways — mostly the good kind: like how he feels about friends with no drama and reading comic books. But lately, he's been hanging out with his new friend Mike, who is causing him to become wound tight with his spree of rule breaking. As things get pushed further and further, Bryan will have to rely on one of his favorite comic superheroes for help to remind him that he has the power to do the right thing.
    (Ages 10+)

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  • Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish

    by Pablo Cartaya

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    Eighth-grader Marcus Vega is big for his age — we're talking six feet tall, 180 pounds big. And when a fight at school leaves him facing suspension, his mom decides it's time he and his younger brother spend some time with their relatives in Puerto Rico. But Marcus knows his dad, who left 10 years ago, is somewhere on the island, and he's determined to find him in this moving middle grade read.
    (Ages 10+)

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  • Young Adult

  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

    by Erika L. Sánchez

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    Julia is not a perfect Mexican daughter. That was her sister Olga's role, until she tragically died. But then Julia begins to discover that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought she was, and as she investigates alongside her best friend Lorena and first love Connor, Julia discovers more about this seemingly impossible standard she's expected to live up to. A heartbreaking and thought-provoking novel, Sánchez refreshingly writes Julia like a real, angst-filled teen.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Yo no soy tu perfecta hija mexicana
    (Young Adult)

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  • Juliet Takes a Breath

    by Gabby Rivera

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    The night before she leaves for a once in a lifetime opportunity to intern with her idol, feminist author Harlowe Brisbane, Juliet comes out to her Puerto Rican family. They don't take it super well. Portland is definitely not like her home in the Bronx, and as she spends the summer there looking for answers and exploring her own identity, she comes to realize that the only person who can define her is herself.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Juliet respira profundo
    (Young Adult)

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  • Sanctuary

    by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher

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    This YA novel set in the near future highlights immigration and xenophobia. In the year 2032, citizens are microchipped and tracked by the government — making it nearly impossible to live in America as an undocumented immigrant. Vali's family are undocumented, and when her mother's counterfeit microchip starts malfunctioning, they have to flee Vermont for California, which is a sanctuary state. But with danger at every turn, getting there won't be easy. This haunting novel may be set in the future, but its message is eerily familiar.
    (Young Adult)

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  • Before We Were Free

    by Julia Alvarez

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    Heavily influenced by Julia Alvarez’s own life experiences, Before We Were Free tells the story of Anita de la Torre, a young girl growing up in the Dominican Republic during Trujillo’s dictatorship. It's 1960, and most of Anita's family has fled to America in search of a better life. Her family that is left is terrorized by secret police due to their suspected opposition to Trujillo’s rule. And in order to survive, Anita must gather all her strength and courage to flee.

    This title is also available in Spanish: Antes de ser libres
    (Young Adult)

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