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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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