While Latine and Hispanic Heritage Month highlights an opportunity to dive into a rich tapestry of literature that celebrates diverse voices and experiences, it doesn’t stop there. After all, books by Hispanic and Latinx authors are available all year round. From timeless classics to contemporary masterpieces, these works offer a window into the complex, multifaceted world of Hispanic and Latine culture. They also show an array of universal themes that connects us all as humans.
Whether you’re seeking romance, captivating thrills, or stories about family, these books by Latine and Hispanic authors are some of the most anticipated and talked about this year. Their themes range from tales of identity to dystopian experiences, and there’s a little something for everyone. Choose a book — or a few — for yourself or someone you love. Either way, it’s sure to be a treat!
Even better, to honor Latine and Hispanic Heritage Month, Bookshop.org is having a sale on select titles through October 16. Use the code HHM2023 for 20% off books by Latine and Hispanic authors. Happy reading!
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo | Genre: Magical Realism | Release date: August 1, 2023
Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So when she decides she wants a living wake — a party to celebrate the long life she’s led — her sisters are surprised. Has Flor foreseen her own death, or someone else’s? Does she have other motives? She refuses to tell her sisters, Matilde, Pastora, and Camila. But Flor isn’t the only person with secrets…
Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City. (Source)
My Name Is Iris
Author: Brando Skyhorse | Genre: Dystopian | Release date: August 1, 2023
Iris Prince is starting over. It feels like her life is finally exactly what she wants it to be. Then, one beautiful morning, she looks outside her kitchen window — and sees that a wall has appeared in her front yard overnight. Where did it come from? What does it mean? And why does it seem to keep growing?
Meanwhile, a Silicon Valley startup has launched a high-tech wrist wearable called “the Band.” Pitched as a convenient, eco-friendly tool to help track local utilities and replace driver’s licenses and IDs, the Band is available only to those who can prove parental citizenship. Suddenly, Iris, a proud second-generation Mexican-American, is now of “unverifiable origin.” Amid a climate of fear and hate-fueled violence, Iris must confront how far she’ll go to protect what matters to her most. (Source)
The Witch and the Vampire
Author: Francesca Flores | Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Folklore, LGBTQ+ | Release date: March 21, 2023
Ava and Kaye used to be best friends. Until one night two years ago, vampires broke through the magical barrier protecting their town, and in the ensuing attack, Kaye’s mother was killed, and Ava was turned into a vampire. Since then, Ava has been trapped in her house. Her mother Eugenia needs her: Ava still has her witch powers, and Eugenia must take them in order to hide that she’s a vampire as well.
Desperate to escape her confinement and stop her mother’s plans to destroy the town, Ava must break out, flee to the forest, and seek help from the vampires who live there. When there is another attack, she sees her opportunity and escapes. Kaye, now at the end of her training as a Flame witch, is ready to fulfill her duty of killing any vampires that threaten the town, including Ava. The two are each other’s greatest threat–and also their only hope, if they want to make it through the forest unscathed. (Source)
Author: Melissa Lozada-Oliva | Genre: Horror | Release date: September 19, 2023
Your granddaughters are lost, Candelaria. Bianca, the brainy archaeologist, had to forfeit her life’s work in Guatemala after her advisor seduced and deserted her. Paola, missing for over a decade, resurfaces in Boston as a brainwashed wellness cultist named Zoe. And Candy, the youngest, is a recovering addict who finds herself pregnant by a man she’s not even sure ever existed. None of this concerns you of course, until a cataclysmic earthquake hits Boston. Now you must traverse the crumbling city to reach the Watertown Mall Old Country Buffet — for a reason you still cannot disclose — battling strange entities and your own strange past to save your granddaughters and possibly the world.
Author of Dreaming of You Melissa Lozada-Oliva delivers an unsettling, raucous debut novel written with tongue-in-cheek humor and sharp cultural criticism that unearths one troubled family’s legacy, feasting on diasporic identity politics and examining the limits of bodily autonomy and the dangers of wanting to belong at any cost. (Source)
The Fall of Whit Rivera
Author: Crystal Maldonado | Genre: Coming of Age, Romance | Release date: October 10, 2023
Frenemies Whit and Zay have been at odds for years (ever since he broke up with her in, like, the most embarrassing way imaginable), so when they’re forced to organize the fall formal together, it’s a literal disaster. Sparks fly as Whitney — type-A, passionate, a perfectionist, and a certified sweater-weather fanatic — butts heads with Zay, a dry, relaxed skater boy who takes everything in stride. But not all of those sparks are bad… Has their feud been a big misunderstanding all along? (Source)
¡Ay, Mija!: My Bilingual Summer in Mexico
Author: Christine Suggs | Genre: Coming of Age, Graphic Novel, LGBTQ+ | Release date: April 4, 2023
Sixteen-year-old Christine takes their first solo trip to Mexico to spend a few weeks with their grandparents and tía. At first, Christine struggles to connect with family they don’t yet share a language with. Seeing the places their mom grew up, Christine becomes more and more aware of the generational differences in their family. Soon Christine settles into life in Mexico, eating pan dulce, drawing what they see, and growing more comfortable with Spanish.
But when Mom joins their trip, Christine’s two worlds collide. They feel homesick for Texas, struggle against traditions, and miss being able to speak to their mom without translating. Eventually, through exploring the impacts of colonialism in both Mexico and themselves, they find their place in their family and start to feel comfortable with their mixed identity. (Source)
Author: Ivelisse Housman | Genre: Fantasy | Release date: January 3, 2023
Iselia “Seelie” Graygrove looks just like her twin, Isolde. However, as an autistic changeling left in the human world by the fae as an infant, she has always known she is different. Seelie’s unpredictable magic makes it hard for her to fit in — and draws her and Isolde into the hunt for a fabled treasure. In a heist gone wrong, the sisters make some unexpected allies and find themselves unraveling a mystery that has its roots in the history of humans and fae alike.
Both sisters soon discover that the secrets of the faeries may be more valuable than any pile of gold and jewels. But can Seelie harness her magic in time to protect her sister and herself? (Source)
Author: Diana Rodriguez Wallach | Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller | Release date: October 10, 2023
When Mariella Morse accuses her boyfriend, Vik Gomez, of murdering her wealthy parents with an axe, the town is quick to believe her. It doesn’t help that Vik is caught standing over her parents’ bodies with blood on his hands, unable to remember anything about the night in question. But Vik’s sister, Tessa, knows that Vik would never be capable of such a gruesome crime.
Haunted by the mistakes she made that led her family to move to Fall River, MA in the first place, Tessa sets out to prove her brother’s innocence. Her search for answers will lead her into a sprawling, notoriously cursed forest, where she and Mariella must face a darkness that has lurked within their town since before the days of Lizzie Borden — the original axe murderess of Fall River. (Source)
Federico and the Wolf
Author: Rebecca J. Gomez | Illustrator: Elisa Chavarri | Genre: Folklore | Release date: May 19, 2020
Clever Federico outsmarts el lobo in this fresh and funny Mexican-American take on Little Red Riding Hood. With his red hoodie on and his bicycle basket full of food, Federico is ready to visit Abuelo. But on the way, he meets a hungry wolf. And now his grandfather bears a striking resemblance to it…
Fortunately, Federico is quick and clever — and just happens to be carrying a spicy surprise! Federico drives the wolf away, and he and Abuelo celebrate with a special salsa. Recipe included. (Source)
Plátanos Are Love
Author: Alyssa Reynoso-Morris | Illustrator: Mariyah Rahman | Genre: Picture book | Release date: April 11, 2023
A delicious picture book about the ways plantains shape Latine culture, community, and family, told through a young girl’s experiences in the kitchen with her abuela. With every pop of the tostones, mash of the mangú, and sizzle of the maduros, a little girl learns that plátanos are her history, they are her culture, and — most importantly — they are love. (Source)
Martina Has Too Many Tías
Author: Emma Otheguy | Illustrator: Sara Palacios | Genre: Fable | Release date: June 20, 2023
Martina does not like parties. Parties are full of tías with their flashy fashions and boom-and-bellow laughter that’s too much for quiet Martina. At least with all that noise, no one notices when she slips away. She finds herself in a magical place: a warm, familiar island where she can finally play in peace and quiet. Martina is home at last — or is she? (Source)
Author: Lucky Diaz | Illustrator: Micah Player | Genre: Picture book | Release date: June 1, 2021
What’s the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? Run quick and find Paletero José! Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator’s pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now.
Full of musicality, generosity, kindness, and ice pops, this book includes Spanish words and phrases throughout, an author’s note from Lucky Diaz, and a link to a live version of the Lucky Band’s popular song that inspired the book. (Source)
Header: Enzo Muñoz