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Women's History Month, Biblio File

Yo Soy Latina! Recommended Reads

Some of our favorite books written by some of our favorite Latina authors! These works depict a range of themes, from motherhood and sisterhood, to growing up, to the Latina experience in America and abroad. 

May you find yourself and others in these books, learn from them, and feel inspired. 



The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

The Book of Unknown Americans is the story of 15-year-old Maribel Rivera. This beautiful story takes us  on Maribel's journey of hope, dreams, guilt, and the universal search for love.






Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

It is a story of immense charm about women and politics, women and witchcraft, and women and their men.







My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic and the third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. She is an American icon and an inspiration to many.






The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

This is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.








The Sweet Life: Find Passion. Embrace Fear, and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Dulce Candy Ruiz

Part memoir, part manifesto, The Sweet Life is a fun, inspirational guide for any woman who wants to find success and happiness without compromising who she is.




Young Adults


The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

This is the utterly captivating story of Lace Paloma and the family rivalry that will change her life forever.







The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Coming-of-age novel about Margot Sanchez, the South Bronx, dysfunctional families, and the courage to question everything you ever wanted.




The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

Reyna Grande shares her compelling experience of crossing borders and cultures in this middle grade adaptation of her memoir, The Distance Between Us.






Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Alex is an encantrix, a Brooklyn bruja with ultimate powers. A regrettable mistake, a dangerous journey through the underworld, a power reborn.







Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Summer of the Mariposas is a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love.








How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent by Julia Alvarez

This is the story of four sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, Sofia—and their family who are forced to escape the Dominican Republic and a start a new life in America.







Gabi: A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

Gabi chronicles her last year of high school through her diary and daily experiences.




When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago

This is Esmeralda Santiago's story about growing up in Puerto Rico and adjusting to life in America when her mom decides to move to New York City.



Shame the Stars by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Shame the Stars is a rich reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set in Texas during the explosive years of Mexico's revolution. Filled with period detail, captivating romance, and political intrigue, it brings Shakespeare's classic to life in an entirely new way.






The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

Sonia Manzano has crafted a gripping work of fiction based on her own life growing up during a fiery, unforgettable time in America when young Latinos took control of their destinies.







Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle

Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.



Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

A sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and her mom to flee California during the Great Depression and live in a camp for Mexican farm workers.




tia isa

Tía Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina

It's a hot summer, and our narrator and her Tia Isa—who are sharing a room in a city apartment—are saving money so their whole family can get to the beach.






Santiago Stays by Angela Dominguez

A feel-good picture book about a dog who loves the kids in his family.




This post was originally published as part of Women's History Month in 2017! Check out more posts related to women authors.


Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you'd recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!


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Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia has written two short collections and two novels that absolutely belong on this list! Particularly her debut novel "Signal to Noise". Please check out her work!

I' haven't read Silvia's work

I' haven't read Silvia's work, but thanks so much for the suggestion! Looking forward to it:)

Excellent list, Elisa!

Excellent list, Elisa!

Thank you:) I appreaciate it!

Thank you:) I appreaciate it!

Hispanic, not Latina

Great list, but I'd like to suggest you use Hispanic here instead of Latina. Please know that many Latinas speak languages other than Spanish (Portuguese, English, even French). So if the list doesn't incorporate any Brazilians or Haitians, for example, and uses a Spanish title, it's really a list of Hispanic women, and should reflect that. The two words are not interchangeable.

Hispanic would imply

Hispanic would imply inclusion of Spain itself, which this list deliberately doesn't.

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