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Students of Latin heritage cannot be placed into a box, though they are often stereotyped.

While there are 20 countries in Central and South America, many teachers just assume that Hispanic students are of Mexican descent.

Trouble with the English language is often quite incorrectly associated with an intellectual deficit. 

Many of our students have to live a dual life, longing to embrace the culture they are immersed in at school while being encouraged to hold on to their heritage at home.

It is common for Latinx students to feel torn between the norms of the American culture and those of their family’s cultural traditions.

Some speak Spanish at home and English at school. On rare occasions, you may even come across students who cannot speak the same language as one or both of their parents.

The children of undocumented parents sometimes leave for school in the mornings worried that their parents will not be there when they got home. While some have been stranded alone upon their parents' deportation. 

Regardless of your political opinions, it is your responsibility to care for and offer an equitable education to all of your students. In order to make your classroom a place where all students feel valued and equal, it is essential that students see themselves reflected in the literature they read.

Here are some of our favorite titles for teaching literature that has prominent Latinx characters or address issues of social injustice or discrimination against Latinx individuals. Some of these titles are bilingual, and many are available in Spanish.

As with all content, you should make sure that you have properly vetted, studied, and received approval for any piece before teaching it or even adding it to your classroom library.

Please add your favorite titles in the comments!

Children’s Books

Abuela, Arthur Dorros

Bad Hair Does Not Exist!, Selma Arzu-Brown

Callaloo: The Legend of the Golden Coqui, Marjuan Canady

Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin, Duncan Tonatiuh

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, Margarita Engle

Just a Minute, Yuyi Morales

Kitchen Dance, Maurie Mannie

Luis Paints the World, Terri Farish

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match, Monica Brown

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale, Carmen Agra Deedy

Max Loves Munecas!, Zetta Elliott

My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz, Monica Brown

My Papi Has  Motorcycle, Isabel Quintero

Nino Wrestles the World, Yuyi Morales

Octopus Stew, Eric Velasquez

Separate Is Never Equal, Duncan Tontiuh

Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx, Jonah Winter

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes, Duncan Tonatiuh

The Secret Footprints, Julia Alvarez

What Can You Do with a Paleta, Carmen Tafolla

Junior High

Call Me Maria, Judith Ortiz Cofer

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings, Margarita Engle

Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan

Gaby, Lost and Found, Angela Cervantes

I Lived on Butterfly Hill, Marjorie Agosin

Lowriders in Space, Cathy Camper (part of a series)

My Name Is Maria Isabel, Alma Flor Ada

Red Glass, Laura Resau

Return to Sender, Julia Alvarez

Riding Low Through the Streets of Gold: Latino Literature for Young Adults, Judit Ortiz Cofer (Editor)

Stef Soto, Taco Queen, Jennifer Torres

The Firefly Letters, Margarita Engle

The First Rule of Punk, Celia Perez

The Lightning Dreamer, Margarita Engle

The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez, Robin Yardi

They Call Me Guero: A Border Kid’s Poem, David Bowles

Under the Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba, Alma Flor Ada

Yes! We Are Latinos, Alma Flor Ada & F. Isabel Campoy

Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth, Jeff Anderson

High School

500 Years of Chicana Women’s History, Elizabeth Martinez

Across a Hundred Mountains, Reyna Grande

All the Stars Denied, Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Always Running La Vida Loca Gang Days in LA, Luis Rodriguez

An Uninterrupted View of the Sky, Melanie Crowder

Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo

Enrique’s Journey: The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite with His Mother: Adapted for Young People, Sonia Nazario

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Erika L. Sanche

In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez

Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots, Margarita Engle

Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, Sonia Manzano

Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom, Margarita Engle

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

The Book of Unknown Americans, Cristina Henriquez

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz

The Distance Between Us, Reyna Grande

The Radius of Us, Marie Marquardt

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, Meg Medina

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