Sunday, January 16, 2011

YA Fiction Latino Booklist 2000-

My first ever booklist! It will continually expand as you give me recommendations and more and more books are published in YA/MG with Latino main characters. I didn't go further back than 2000. Let me know if I incorrectly listed a book (i.e. the author is Latino but the book does not feature a main character who is Latino). Also when possible, I tried to include the cultural background of the main character.


You Don't Have a Clue: Latino Mysteries for Teens, edited by Sarah Cortez
SkateFate by Juan Felipe Herrera

I AM J by Cris Beam

Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia (Cuban)

Luminous by Dawn Metcalf (Mexican-American)

If I Could Fly by Judith Ortiz Cofer (Puerto Rican)

Illegal by Bettina Restrepo (Mexican)

Playing for Keeps (Amigas #4) by Veronica Chambers (mix: Mexican, Argentinean, Puerto Rican and Dominican

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Perez (Mexican)

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry #3) by Simone Elkeles (Mexican)


When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer (Cuban)

The Good Long Way by Rene Saldana Jr.

Tell Us We're Home by Marina Budhos (Mexican)

Efrain's Secret by Sofia Quintero

Fifteen Candles (Amigas #1) by Veronica Chambers (same as 4th book)

Lights, Camera, Quince! (Amigas #2) by Veronica Chambers

She's Got Game (Amigas #3) by Veronica Chambers

Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2) by Simone Elkeles (Mexican)

Fabulous by Simone Bryant (Dominican)

The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba by Margarita Engle (Cuban)

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes (Mexican)

Secret Saturdays by Torrey Maldonado (Puerto Rican)

The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped by Yxta Maya Murray (Mexican)

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sis (Chilean)

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco Stork

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Cuban)


We Were Here by Matt De La Pena (Mexican)

Milagros: Girl From Away by Meg Medina

Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Chilean)

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (Mexican)

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill (Mexican)

Jumped by Rita Williams Garcia

Muchacho by LouAnne Johnson

Border Crossing by Jessica Lee Anderson (Mexican)


Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry #1) by Simone Elkeles (same as 3rd)

Love & Lies: Marisol's Story by Ellen Wittlinger (Puerto Rican/Cuban)

Fat Hoochie Prom Queen by Nico Medina

Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole (Cuban)

Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sally Rideout (Mexican)

Roberto & Me by Dan Gutman (Dominican)

The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Puerto Rican)

A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott (Panamanian)

Rogelia's House of Magic by Jamie Martinez Wood (Mexican)

How to Salsa in a Sari by Dona Sarkur (Cuban)

The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees

That's What's Up by Paula Chase Hyman

Invisible Touch by Kelly Parra

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (Mexican)

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggles for Freedom by Margarita Engle (Cuban)

Voices in First Person: Reflections on Latino Identity, edited by Lori Marie Carlson

Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt De La Pena (Mexican)


!Scandalosa! by Michele M. Serros (Mexican)

It's Not About the Accent by Caridad Ferrer (Cuban)

Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa by Micol Ostow (Puerto Rican)

The God Box by Alex Sanchez

Graffiti Girl by Kelly Parra

Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico by Malin Alegria (Mexican)

Don't Get it Twisted by Paula Chase Hyman

So Not the Drama by Paula Chase Hyman

Red Glass by Laura Resau (Mexican, Guatemalan)

Earrings of Ixtumea by Kim Baccellia

Useful Fools by C. A. Schmidt (Peruvian)

The Whole Sky Full of Stars by Rene Saldana Jr.

Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs (Mexican)


Gamma Glamma by Kim Flores

Behind the Eyes by Francisco X. Stork

The Sista Hood: On the Mic by E-Fierce

Estrella's Quinceaneara by Malin Alegria (Mexican)

Getting It by Alex Sanchez

La Linea by Ann Jaramillo (Mexican)

Adios to My Old Life by Caridad Ferrer (Cuban)

Haters by Alisa Valdes Rodriguez

Honey Blonde Chica by Michele M. Serros (Mexican)

Call Me Maria by Judith Ortiz Cofer (Puerto Rican)

Red Palms by Carla Haycak (Ecuadorian)

Accidental Love by Gary Soto (Mexican)

Cubanita by Gaby Triana (Cuban, duh ;)

Arana Vol 1: Heart of a Spider by Fiona Avery, Mark Brooks

The Throwaway Piece by Jo Ann Hernandez (Mexican)

Chasing the Jaguar (Martika Galvez Mystery) by Michele Dominguez Greene

Sister Chicas by Lisa Alvarado, Ann Hagman Cardinal and Jane Albderston (Mexican)


The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales (Mexican)

Cinammon Girl: Letters found inside a cereal box by Juan Felipe Herrera (Puerto Rican)

Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa (Cuban)

Surprising Cecilia by Denise Gonzales Abraham, Susan Gonzles Abraham (Mexican)

Downtown Boy by Juan Felipe Herrera

Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan

The Afterlife by Gary Soto


Sammy & Julianna in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Mexican)

Who's Your Daddy? by Lynda Sandoval

Cecilia's Year by Susan Gonzales Abraham, Denise Gonzales Abraham (Mexican)


Drift by Manuel Luis Martinez (Mexican)


Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (Mexican)

Flight to Freedom: First Person Fiction by Ana Veciana Suarez (Cuban)

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (Mexican)


Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger (Puerto Rican/Cuban)

Lorenzo's Secret Mission by Lila Guzman

Quincean~era Means Sweet Fifteen by Veronica Chambers


*Please note that I have not read all these books so this is not an endorsement of all the books on the list. I'm just trying to provide info. But if you ask, I will certainly share some of my favorites :)

And for those of you who asked for booklists based on ethnicity, was this what you had in mind? Or would you prefer recommendations?


  1. This is a great resource - thanks!

  2. Wow! What a great list! This is awesome.

  3. Whoa- this is huge! I'm certainly generally more interested in reviews, but I think your list is an extremely helpful jumping off point. Thanks!

  4. Great list - What about:
    How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay - by Julia Alvarez. I think it was 2001? But it's probably more middle grades than YA.

    There are also some excellent short stories in First Crossing: Stories about Teen Immigrants, many are not Latino, but some are.

  5. Thank you so much for this awesome list! I am going to put the ones we don't already have onto my "books to order for the library". You rock!

  6. Thanks for adding my book EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA to this list!

  7. Thanks for providing this Ari! Some of these I didn't even know were latino. So it's good to know especially for the POC challenge.

  8. Thanks for putting together this fabulous list! Any favorites among the ones you listed?

  9. Ari - You rock! This list is fabulous. May I share it at the Texas Librarian Conference (of course giving credit to you and your blog). I'm speaking on a panel with Pam Munoz Ryan, Will Hobbs, Laura Resau , and Simone Elkes on "border crossings".

  10. oh yes, Add in 2007 "Crossing the Wire" by Will Hobbs. More middle grade-ish, but still a good choice.

    Once again, great list!

  11. Thank you for putting "Lorenzo's Secret Mission" on the list!

  12. Thanks for this list. I own a few, read a few, and have some of the upcoming titles on pre-order. I'd love to read more, though.

  13. Thank you for creating this incredible list (and including LUMINOUS on it)! FYI, my main character, Consuela Chavez, is Mexican-American.

    Very truly yours,

    Dawn Metcalf

  14. OMG this is so awesome, I was just looking for more books with Latino MCs!!! *adds a whole bunch to the ever-expanding to-read list* :D

  15. When you were younger, did you read the two "Marisol & Magdalena" books by Veronica Chambers? Intended for a middle-school audience, these are the ONLY YA books I have ever seen with Blatina characters. "Marisol & Magdalena" was published in 1998 so it doesn't technically qualify for your list, but its sequel, "Quinceanera Means Sweet Fifteen," was published in 2001:

  16. As a school librarian with a diverse population, I am always on the lookout for books with characters our students can relate to. Thank you Laurie Halse Anderson for mentioning your site in her recent blog post. Just a couple of searching tips: How to Salsa in a Sari by Dona Sarkur is actually spelled SarkAr (not ur), and Paula Chase Hyman sometimes is just Paula Chase. Thank you for featuring these authors & their works.

  17. Hey there! There's nothing wrong with middle schoolers!!! I think that's where I can make the biggest difference. My students (I'm an ELD teacher) LOVED Trino's Choice (1999)and Trino's Time (2002) by Diane Gonzales Bertrand

    I'm looking for a book with Latino characters during the American Civil War and Colonial America. Anybody have a suggestion? Or any other historical fiction with latinos.


I love to hear from you!! Thank you for sharing :) And don't be Anon, I try to always reply back and I like to know who I'm replying to ;)