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Latin American Literature  

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Fiction Books

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Across a Hundred Mountains - Reyna Grande
ISBN: 9780743269582
Publication Date: 2007-05-15
Winner of the American Book Award, Across a Hundred Mountains is a stunning and poignant novel about a young girl who leaves her small town in Mexico to find her father, who left his family to find work in America—a story of migration, loss, and discovery. After a tragedy separates her from her mother, Juana García leaves in search of her father, who left them two years earlier. Out of money and in need of someone to help her across the border, Juana meets Adelina Vasquez, a young woman who left her family in California to follow her lover to Mexico. Finding themselves—in a Tijuana jail—in desperate circumstances, they offer each other much needed material and spiritual support and ultimately become linked forever in the most unexpected of ways. In Across a Hundred Mountains, Reyna Grande puts a human face on the controversial issue of immigration, helping readers to better understand those who risk life and limb every day in pursuit of a better life.

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz
ISBN: 9781442408937
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
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 they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship--the kind of friendship that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through their friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves--and about the kind of people they want to be.

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Ball Don't Lie - Matt De la Peña
ISBN: 9780385734257
Publication Date: 2007-03-13
Newbery Award-winning author Matt de la Pena's Ball Don't Lie about basketball "is a must-read." [The Bulletin]    Sticky is a beat-around-the-head foster kid with nowhere to call home but the street, and an outer shell so tough that no one will take him in. He started out life so far behind the pack that the finish line seems nearly unreachable. He's a white boy living and playing in a world where he doesn't seem to belong.     But Sticky can ball. And basketball might just be his ticket out . . . if he can only realize that he doesn't have to be the person everyone else expects him to be.

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Gabi, a Girl in Pieces - Isabel Quintero
ISBN: 9781935955955
Publication Date: 2014-10-14
Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity. My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn't want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it's important to wait until you're married to give it up. So now, everytime I go out with a guy, my mom says, "Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas." Eyes open, legs closed. That's as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don't mind it. I don't necessarily agree with that whole wait until you're married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can't tell my mom that because she will think I'm bad. Or worse: trying to be White.

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Marcelo in the Real World - Francisco X. Stork
ISBN: 9780545056908
Publication Date: 2011-02-01
The term "cognitive disorder" implies there is something wrong with the way I think or the way I perceive reality. I perceive reality just fine. Sometimes I perceive more of reality than others. Marcelo Sandoval hears music that nobody else can hear -- part of an autism-like condition that no doctor has been able to identify. But his father has never fully believed in the music or Marcelo's differences, and he challenges Marcelo to work in the mailroom of his law firm for the summer . . . to join "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file a picture of a girl with half a face that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.

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Mexican WhiteBoy - Matt De la Peña
ISBN: 9780440239383
Publication Date: 2010-01-12
Newbery Award-winning author Matt de la Pena's Mexican Whiteboy is a story of friendship, baseball, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions. Danny's tall and skinny. Even though he's not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy's not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it. But at his private school, they don't expect much else from him. Danny' s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can't speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they've got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny's convinced it's his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico. That's why he's spending the summer with his dad's family. Only, to find himself, he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see--the demons that are right in front of his face. And open up to a friendship he never saw coming.ion.

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Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood - Benjamin Alire Sáenz
ISBN: 9781933693996
Publication Date: 2011-05-10
It is 1969, America is at war, "Hollywood" is a dirt-poor Chicano barrio in small-town America, and Sammy and Juliana face a world of racism, war in Vietnam, and barrio violence.Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood is a Young Adult Library Services Association Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults and a finalist for theLos Angeles Times Book Award for Young Adults. Benjamin Alire Saenz--novelist, poet, and writer of children's books--was named one of the "Fifty Most Inspiring Authors in the World" byPoets & Writers magazine. He was also a finalist for PEN/USA's literary award for children's and young adult literature. Saenz lives in El Paso, Texas.

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The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
ISBN: 9780679734772
Publication Date: 1991-04-03
The best-selling coming-of-age classic, acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught in schools and universities alike, and translated around the world. The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes--sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous--Sandra Cisneros' masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

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We Were Here - Matt De la Peña
ISBN: 9780385736701
Publication Date: 2010-09-14
Newbery Award-winning author Matt de la Pena's We Were Here is a "fast, funny, smart, and heartbreaking" novel [Booklist]. When it happened, Miguel was sent to Juvi. The judge gave him a year in a group home--said he had to write in a journal so some counselor could try to figure out how he thinks. The judge had no idea that he actually did Miguel a favor. Ever since it happened, his mom can't even look at him in the face. Any home besides his would be a better place to live. But Miguel didn't bet on meeting Rondell or Mong or on any of what happened after they broke out. He only thought about Mexico and getting to the border to where he could start over. Forget his mom. Forget his brother. Forget himself. Life usually doesn't work out how you think it will, though. And most of the time, running away is the quickest path right back to what you're running from. From the streets of Stockton to the beaches of Venice, all the way to the Mexican border, We Were Here follows a journey of self-discovery by a boy who is trying to forgive himself in an unforgiving world.

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What Can't Wait - Ashely Hope Rez
ISBN: 9780761384991
Publication Date: 2012-01-10
"Another day finished,gracias a Dios." Seventeen-year-old Marisa's mother has been saying this for as long as Marisa can remember. Her parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. An ordinary life--marrying a neighborhood guy, working, having babies--ought to be good enough for her. Marisa hears something else from her calc teacher. She should study harder, ace the AP test, and get into engineering school in Austin. Some days, it all seems possible. On others, she's not even sure what she wants. When her life at home becomes unbearable, Marisa seeks comfort elsewhere--and suddenly neither her best friend nor boyfriend can get through to her. Caught between the expectations of two different worlds, Marisa isn't sure what she wants--other than a life where she doesn't end each day thanking God it's over. But some things just can't wait...

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Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass - Meg Medina
ISBN: 9780763671648
Publication Date: 2014-08-26
In Meg Medina's compelling new novel, a Latina teen is targeted by a bully at her new school -- and must discover resources she never knew she had. One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn't even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she's done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn't Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn't kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she's never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy's life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.

 

Non-fiction Books

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Always Running - Luis J. Rodríguez
ISBN: 0671882317
Publication Date: 1994-02-09
A former L.A. gang member describes his experiences in that world, recounting the sense of security and power found in a gang and the grim reality of violence and poverty.

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The Devil's Highway - Luis Alberto Urrea
ISBN: 9780316010801
Publication Date: 2005-09-19
A widely-praised piece of investigative reporting examining the journey of 26 men who in May 2001 attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of Southern Arizona through the region known as the Devil's Highway. So harsh and desolate that even the Border Patrol is afraid to travel through it, the Highway has claimed the lives of countless men and women - in May 2001 it claimed 14 more. History of high acclaim from the author of The Hummingbird's Daughter.

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The Distance Between Us - Reyna Grande
ISBN: 9781451661781
Publication Date: 2013-03-12
In this poignant memoir about her childhood in Mexico, Reyna Grande skillfully depicts another side of the immigrant experience;the hardships and heartbreaks of the children who are left behind. Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years in this compelling unvarnished, resonant; story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries. As her parents make the dangerous trek across the Mexican border to El Otro Lado (The Other Side) in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are forced into the already overburdened household of their stern grandmother. When their mother at last returns, Reyna prepares for her own journey to El Otro Lado to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father. Funny, heartbreaking, and lyrical, The Distance Between Us poignantly captures the confusion and contradictions of childhood, reminding us that the joys and sorrows we experience are imprinted on the heart forever, calling out to us of those places we first called home.

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Enchanted Air - Margarita Engle; Edel Rodriguez (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481435222
Publication Date: 2015-08-04
In this poetic memoir, which won the Pura Belpre Author Award, was a YALSA Nonfiction Finalist, and was named a Walter Dean Myers Award Honoree, acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother's tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Words and images are her constant companions, friendly and comforting when the children at school are not. Then a revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita fears for her far-away family. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupts at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Margarita's worlds collide in the worst way possible. How can the two countries she loves hate each other so much? And will she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?

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Enrique's Journey - Sonia Nazario
ISBN: 1400062055
Publication Date: 2006-02-21
A Los Angeles Times journalist offers her 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning story in book form--a timely account of a young Honduran boy's perilous quest to reunite with his mother in the United States. Includes 16-page color photo insert. Young Adult.

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The Pregnancy Project - Gaby Rodriguez; Jenna Glatzer (As told to)
ISBN: 9781442446229
Publication Date: 2012-01-17
The true story of a high school senior whose faked pregnancy rocked her community and made international headlines. It started as a school project, but turned into so much more. Growing up, Gaby Rodriguez was often told she would end up a teen mom. After all, her mother and her older sisters had gotten pregnant as teenagers; from an outsider's perspective, it was practically a family tradition. Gaby had ambitions that didn't include teen motherhood. But she wondered: how would she be treated if she lived down to others' expectations? Would everyone ignore the years she put into being a good student and see her as just another pregnant teen statistic with no future? These questions sparked Gaby's school project: faking her own pregnancy as a high school senior to see how her family, friends, and community would react. What she learned changed her life forever, and made international headlines in the process. In The Pregnancy Project, Gaby details how she was able to fake her own pregnancy hiding the truth from even her siblings and boyfriend's parents;and reveals all that she learned from the experience. But more than that, Gaby's story is about fighting stereotypes, and how one girl found the strength to come out from the shadow of low expectations to forge a bright future for herself.

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When I Was Puerto Rican - Esmeralda Santiago
ISBN: 9780306814525
Publication Date: 2006-02-28
Esmeralda Santiago's story begins in rural Puerto Rico, where her childhood was full of both tenderness and domestic strife, tropical sounds and sights as well as poverty. Growing up, she learned the proper way to eat a guava, the sound of tree frogs in the mango groves at night, the taste of the delectable sausage called morcilla, and the formula for ushering a dead baby's soul to heaven. As she enters school we see the clash, both hilarious and fierce, of Puerto Rican and Yankee culture. When her mother, Mami, a force of nature, takes off to New York with her seven, soon to be eleven children, Esmeralda, the oldest, must learn new rules, a new language, and eventually take on a new identity. In this first volume of her much-praised, bestselling trilogy, Santiago brilliantly recreates the idyllic landscape and tumultuous family life of her earliest years and her tremendous journey from the barrio to Brooklyn, from translating for her mother at the welfare office to high honors at Harvard.

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