Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and serves as a way to intentionally celebrate the culture and contributions of Latinx and Hispanic communities worldwide. The observation began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded in 1988 to be a month long.
Sept. 15 marks Independence Day for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days later that same week.
A perfect way to celebrate is by grabbing a book written by and about Hispanic and Latino American authors. Check out this year’s updated graphic to determine which book is perfect for you to read.
Living Beyond Borders by Margarita Longoria (2021)
Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. The mixed-media collection talks about the borders the authors have crossed, the struggles they overcame, and how they continue to navigate living as Mexican American.
Undocumented by Dan-el Padilla Paralta (2015)
Dan-el Padilla Paralta recounts his journey from an undocumented immigrant living in a New York City homeless shelter to being at the top of his Princeton class. Throughout his youth, Paralta navigated two worlds: the rough streets of East Harlem, where he lived with his brother and his mother, and the ultra-elite halls of a Manhattan private school, where he soon rose to the top of his class. Following high school, Paralta went to Princeton, where he thrived and made the decision to come out as an undocumented student in a Wall Street Journal profile.
App Kid by Michael Sayman (2021)
An inspiring and deeply personal coming-of-age memoir from one of Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneurs—a second-generation Latino immigrant who taught himself how to code as a thirteen-year-old and went on to claim his share of the American dream.
Tentacle by Rita Indiana (2015)
Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging headfirst into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism, and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it’s a restless, addictive trip: The Tempest meets the telenovela.
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros (2003)
Lala Reyes’ grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo, or shawl-makers. The striped (caramelo) is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala’s possession. A multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.
If you still want more, check out the following fiction and non-fiction books as well:
- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1985)
- A Nation of Women by Luisa Capetillo (1911)
- Gordo by Jaime Cortez (2021)
- When We Make It by Elisabet Velasquez (2021)
- Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet (2015)
Want even MORE recommendations? Read Jenna’s Hispanic Heritage Month blog post from last year.
Jenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.