As someone who is Latinx, I always am happy to see complex and interesting portrayals of Latinx characters in my favorite novels. It makes me feel seen and included in so many different types of genres and narratives, and representation matters. Below are some of my favorite books that either: feature a Latinx main character or cast, have been written by an author who identifies as Latinx, or both!
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world.
When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
Continue Ari & Dante's love story in the sequel, Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World.
In this highly anticipated companion to the New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club YA Pick A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, Flora Maxwell heads to Miami to find a path for her future…and finds her heart along the way.
The Taking of Jake Livingston meets Cemetery Boys in this YA ghost story about a Puerto Rican teen’s battle with a malevolent spirit targeting his apartment building and the all-too-real horrors of gentrification.
This gorgeously romantic contemporary novel-in-verse from award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the “inspiring and hopeful” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) love story of two teens fighting for climate action and human rights.
Caught in the crosshairs of gang violence, a teen girl and her mother set off on a perilous journey from Guatemala City to the US border in this “engrossing” (Kirkus Reviews) young adult novel from the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From.
An inspiring coming-of-age story told in prose and “spare, lyrical” verse (The Horn Book Magazine) from award-winning author Margarita Engle about a girl falling in love for the first time while finding the courage to protest for women’s right to vote in 1920s Cuba.
Acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells a “deeply felt and engrossing” (Horn Book Magazine) story of love in a time of hunger inspired by her own family’s struggles during a dark period in Cuba’s history.
When Liliana Cruz transfers to a nearly all-white wealthy suburban high school she does what it takes to fit in. In order to do so, she builds walls around herself. However, when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable. But a wall isn’t always a barrier. It can be a foundation for something better. And Liliana must choose: Use this foundation as a platform to speak her truth, or risk crumbling under its weight.
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.
Matt Mendez's debut novel is beautifully written and explores how difficult it is to make it in life when you—your life, brown lives—don’t matter. Juan and JD both have plans. Juan is going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and JD is going to be a filmmaker. Fabi doesn’t have a plan anymore, not since getting pregnant at sixteen. When Juan and JD embark on road trip to visit Juan’s dad on death row (someone Fabi always said was dead), we find out there are some things you just can’t plan for… Once you've read Barely Missing Everything, pick up the companion, The Broke Hearts!
In the summer before eighth grade, Marco Suarez kissed his best friend Sally Blake. This was his first spark. And then, at the end of that year, she disappeared, leaving without even saying why. And now in their senior year, Sally unexpectedly returns and Marco is shaken. Still, he holds tightly to his carefully choreographed life. A life that is full of reasons why first sparks don’t matter, the main reason? He has a girlfriend. I sometimes wonder what would happen if I met my first love again years later and if you feel the same way, then this book is perfect!
Analee, also known as Kiri in her favorite online game, has trouble expressing herself outside of the game she pours hours into. Trying to bring her online persona to her real-life self while navigating high school drama is a lot, but following both her identities is such a great journey and one I can relate to heavily. Also, it has one of my favorite romance tropes: Fake Dating! This book was made for me, clearly.
“Ever since her mom died three years ago, Analee Echevarria has had trouble saying out loud the weird thoughts that sit in her head. With a best friend who hates her and a dad who’s marrying a yogi she can’t stand, Analee spends most of her time avoiding reality and role-playing as Kiri, the night elf hunter at the center of her favorite online game.
Also check out Janelle Milanes’ other book, The Victoria in My Head!
I loved Lilliam Rivera's first book The Education of Margot Sanchez and I was so excited for her new book to come out! Set in the distant future, sixteen year old Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City but she quickly grows weary of her questionable lifestyle and dreams of living in the Mega Towers. To make it there, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in search of the mysterious gang the Ashè Riders. The closer she gets to her goal the more she loses sight of everything - and everyone - she cares about.