Themed Thursday — LatinX Heritage Month

Posted September 17, 2020 by stuckint in Themed Thursdays / 0 Comments

September 15 through October 15 is Latinx Heritage Month and so we are excited to share some awesome sounding reads by Latinx authors. This is not in any way indicative of all of our favorite Latinx author reads because there’s no way we could fit them all in one post. We have actually done a post on this topic before, so check that one out for even more recs!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Published by Harper, Quill Tree Books, Scholastic on September 1, 2020

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

How could we NOT include this gorgeous book by Latinx, queer author Aiden Thomas. It just came out a few weeks ago and I’m dying over that cover, it’s so awesome. I love the premise of this one and can’t wait to dive in!! It has amazing reviews and everyone just seems to really love it. Have you read it yet? Is it amazing?!

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
on June 30, 2020
Pages: 301

An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a novel set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find - her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

So, this is Emily, and horror is not typically my cup of tea. BUT Haley loves it and reports that this is a novel that takes a while to get going but when it starts picking up it doesn’t stop. Also, there’s apparently a lot of body horror, which sounds totally creeptastic. That cover alone is worth it having a place on my shelf, but Halie really recommends this one, and I enjoyed the author’s previous novel Gods of Jade and Shadow, so I might need to give it a try!

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
Published by Scholastic on April 7, 2020
Pages: 288

Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business. Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely's firefly spirits before it's too late. With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.

If you know me, you know I love my middle grade novels and this one is getting rave reviews! Plus, I mean, that blurb — Coco meets Stranger Things? YES! Give it to me now. I also love this cover (I’m starting to sense a theme here) and it just sounds so great. Please give middle grade a chance in your life if you haven’t already — it is just having a real moment right now and the books are so great.

Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
Published by Quill Tree Books on March 31, 2020
Pages: 272

Efr�n Divided is a not-to-be-missed debut middle grade novel for readers who love Front Desk or Merci Su�rez Changes Gears--or for anyone working toward a more loving world--about family, friendship, and tearing down the walls being built between us.
Efr�n Nava's Am� is his Superwoman--or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Am� and Ap� work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efr�n and his younger siblings Max and M�a feel safe and loved.
But Efr�n worries about his parents; although he's American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Am� doesn't return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, M�xico.
Now more than ever, Efr�n must channel his inner Soperboy to help take care of and try to reunite his family.

Ok, I know, another middle grade, but it’s another one that’s just getting amazing reviews everywhere I look and it sounds so amazing. This book is just so timely and important and super emotional. It’s about a family divided by deportation and how that affects everyone. It just sounds so incredible and I can’t wait to read it and share it with my son.

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
Published by Harper on January 28, 2020
Pages: 384

This unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet about growing up undocumented in the United States recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man’s attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence.
“You were not a ghost even though an entire country was scared of you. No one in this story was a ghost. This was not a story.”
When Marcelo Hernandez Castillo was five years old and his family was preparing to cross the border between Mexico and the United States, he suffered temporary, stress-induced blindness. Castillo regained his vision, but quickly understood that he had to move into a threshold of invisibility before settling in California with his parents and siblings. Thus began a new life of hiding in plain sight and of paying extraordinarily careful attention at all times for fear of being truly seen. Before Castillo was one of the most celebrated poets of a generation, he was a boy who perfected his English in the hopes that he might never seem extraordinary.
With beauty, grace, and honesty, Castillo recounts his and his family’s encounters with a system that treats them as criminals for seeking safe, ordinary lives. He writes of the Sunday afternoon when he opened the door to an ICE officer who had one hand on his holster, of the hours he spent making a fake social security card so that he could work to support his family, of his father’s deportation and the decade that he spent waiting to return to his wife and children only to be denied reentry, and of his mother’s heartbreaking decision to leave her children and grandchildren so that she could be reunited with her estranged husband and retire from a life of hard labor.
Children of the Land distills the trauma of displacement, illuminates the human lives behind the headlines and serves as a stunning meditation on what it means to be a man and a citizen.

This novel has yet ANOTHER gorgeous cover and sounds like an incredibly fascinating memoir. I’ve been trying to seek out more memoirs lately, especially by people who come from different backgrounds than I do, and this one is definitely at the top of my list. The author is also a poet, and so the writing is apparently really beautiful and an important look at some current issues.

What about you?

Ok, so what did I miss! What have you read this year that you love or think we should pick up by Latinx authors? I can’t wait to add to my TBR! See you in the comments!

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