10 Must-Have Books by Latinx Authors in 2021


This month is Hispanic Heritage Month, a time dedicated to the recognition and celebration of the Latinx community. This period from September 15 to October 15 is often used to tell their stories and raise Latinx voices, so what better way to celebrate than reading books written by Latinx authors?

To compile this list of must-read books written by Latinx, we combed through the posts of Read With Jenna book club members on Goodreads and Facebook to find the books they recommended. Many of these novels have become popular not only because they are great stories crafted with beautiful writing, but also for their problem solving affecting the Latinx community.

So whether you love reading the horror at the edge of your seat or want to learn how to live your life like Frida Kahlo, read on to find your next page turner.

“What’s Mine and Yours” by Naima Coster

The Read With Jenna book club’s pick of March 2021, “What’s Mine and Yours” is written by Dominican American writer Naima Coster. Set in the Piedmont community of North Carolina, the story follows two families whose lives are tied for the next 20 years after a county initiative drew students from the largely black eastern part of the city to the predominantly white high schools in the west, sparking outrage.

“The story is epic in scope. It’s about understanding the demons and the hardships that lie ahead and how they affect our lives,” Jenna said.

“Infinite country”, by Patricia Engel

“Infinite Country” is the story of two countries, the United States and Colombia, and of a mixed-status family in search of a better life. Every member of this family of five has a voice in the story, from Talia, who is racing against time to make her escape to America, to her immigrant parents, who face many hardships, including including the deportation of his father.

Through this book, award-winning author Patricia Engel, who has dual citizenship and the daughter of Colombian immigrants, draws readers into the tense reality of life as an undocumented migrant in America.

“The boys of the cemetery”, by Aiden Thomas

When a traditional Latinx family struggles to come to terms with their true gender, Yadriel, a trans boy, sets out to summon the ghost of his murdered cousin and set him free. Instead, he summons Julian Diaz, a bad boy who refuses to leave until he finds out what led to his death. Romantic and heartfelt, this book delves deep into topics such as gender identity, racism and more.

“Mexican Gothic”, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Written by Mexican-Canadian author Silvia Moreno-Garcia, “Mexican Gothic” is a perfect horror book for those looking to embrace the spooky season. The story follows Noemi Taboada, a glamorous debutante who receives a letter from her newly married cousin begging someone to save her from an unknown fate. To investigate, Noemi goes to High Place, a mysterious house in the Mexican countryside where her cousin lives with her English husband. There, she discovers secrets of violence and madness. Will she be able to leave this terrifying house behind her?

“Furia”, by Yamile Saied Méndez

Written by Yamile Saied Mendez, an Argentine-American football enthusiast, “Furia” follows the story of Camila Hassan, a young girl from Rosario, Argentina, known as La Furia on the soccer field for her talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila finally gets the chance to see how far her talents can take them, but will her father allow a girl to play football? Between intense action scenes on the soccer field and heartfelt romance, “Furia” is a story you shouldn’t miss.

“Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe”, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Winner of the best YA book of all time in 2021, “Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe” speaks of an unlikely friendship between two loners. Aristotle is an angry teenager with a brother in prison while Dante is a know-it-all. After meeting in a swimming pool, they discover that their friendship is “one that changes lives and lasts a lifetime,” according to the book’s official description. This book is a story about identity and the truths about family and friends.

“Dominicana”, by Angie Cruz

Not only does “Dominicana” paint a picture of the immigrant experience, it is also a coming of age story about a young woman finding her voice in the world. The story follows Ana Cancion, a 15-year-old girl from the Dominican countryside who never dreamed of moving to America. However, when the opportunity comes in the form of a marriage proposal from a man twice the age, she has to say yes in the hopes that her family can eventually immigrate.

Lonely and miserable, Ana lives confined to a six-story apartment in Washington Heights, until a chance presents itself in her husband’s absence to live a different kind of life in America. Is she following her heart or is she staying for the sake of her family?

“Next year in Havana”, by Chanel Cleeton

Marisol Ferrera grew up listening to the stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, a member of Cuban high society who was largely immune from the country’s political turmoil, until she entered a love story with a revolutionary. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in Cuba, where Marisol “unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution,” according to the book’s description.

“What would Frida do?” : A guide to living boldly ”, by Arianna Davis

“What would Frida do?” is a celebration of Frida Kahlo and her signature style, outspoken politics and daring creativity. Despite the hardships and grief, Kahlo continued to create. Author Arianna Davis uses Kahlo as a way to encourage women to be bold, to create, and to stick with what they believe in.

“The poet X”, by Elizabeth Acevedo

Winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award and the Pura Belpré Award, this book is about Xiomara Batista, an Afro-Latin student from Harlem who feels unknown. Unable to hide since she grew up in her curves, Xiomara has learned to use her fists for defense. Caught between his mother’s strict rule centered on church laws and her feelings for a boy in class, Xiomara finds her voice performing her poems.

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About Karren Campbell

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