Celebrating Latine Heritage Month

September 15th to October 15th is Latine Heritage Month and we recommend the following books for adults, youth, and children that center and honor the histories, contributions, and stories of the Latine community. Join us this month and all year round in celebrating these trailblazers whose stories are redefining identity, shaping our culture and society, and pointing to the crucial work that remains.

by Richard Blanco

In this collection, Richard Blanco has selected  poems from his previous books that represent his evolution as a writer grappling with his identity and working to find and define “home.” These poems are bookended with new poems that address those issues from a fresh, mature perspective. Pausing at a pivotal moment in his career, Blanco reexamines his quest to find his proverbial home and all that it encompasses: love, family, identity, and ultimately art itself. In the closing section, he has come to understand and internalize the idea that “home” is not one place, not one thing, and lives both inside him and inside his art. Available October 24th.
Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino”
by Héctor Tobar

“Latino” is the most open-ended and loosely defined of the major race categories in the United States. Our Migrant Souls assembles the Pulitzer Prize winner Héctor Tobar’s personal experiences as the son of Guatemalan immigrants and the stories told to him by his students to offer a spirited rebuke to racist ideas about Latino people. Investigating topics that include the US-Mexico border “wall,” Frida Kahlo, urban segregation, gangs, queer Latino utopias, and the emergence of the cartel genre in TV and film, Tobar journeys across the country to expose something truer about the meaning of “Latino” in the twenty-first century.

Relinquenda: Poems
by Alexandra Lytton Regalado

When COVID-19 broke and the United States closed the border to travel, Alexandra Lytton Regalado was separated from family back in El Salvador. She wrote Relinquenda entirely during lockdown as a meditation on cancer, the passing of her father, and the renewed significance of her community. Situated in the tropical landscapes of Miami and El Salvador, the poems also negotiate the meaning of home. In a lyrical and often bilingual voice, Regalado explores impermanence and the body, communication and inarticulation, and the need to let go in order to heal regrets.

Once I Was You: Adapted for Young Readers
by Maria Hinojosa

Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist who, for nearly thirty years, has reported on stories and communities in the United States that often go ignored by the mainstream media. In Once I Was You, Hinojosa shares her experiences growing up Mexican American on the South Side of Chicago. An urgent call to fellow Americans to become aware of the immigration crisis, this heartrending memoir paints a vivid portrait of how we got here and what it means to be a survivor, a feminist, a citizen, and a journalist striving for the truth. Ages 8–12.

The Secret of the Plátano
by Luz Maria Mack and
illustrated by Stephany Mesa

Under the full moon, Abuela leads an enchanted dance, bows to the sky and the night winds, and helps her curious grandson discover the rhythm of his heartbeat while listening to the great secret of the plátanos. This loving and tender story of the magical union between a grandmother and her grandson was penned by Dominican author Luz Maria Mack, and was inspired by a dream in which she and her Abuela met again to dance together and share the secrets of the plátanos. Ages 4–8.

Bright Star
by Yuyi Morales

From the creator of Dreamers comes a beautiful story about growth, empowerment, and finding one’s own voice. Told with a combination of powerful, spare language and sumptuous and complex imagery that is typical of Yuyi Morales’s work, this is the story of a fawn making her way through a border landscape teaming with flora and fauna native to the region. A gentle but empowering voice encourages her to face her fears when she comes across an obstacle in the form of an insurmountable barrier. Ages 4–8.