Because there is no single Latinx experience, there should never be a single type of “Latinx book.” With over 30 countries making up Latin America and the Caribbean, hundreds of years of colonization and slavery, and diasporas to and from the United States, “Latinx” means something different to every individual. Stories about immigrant families like Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, will always be necessary. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros, opened doors for Latinx writers that followed.
This year, in particular, is a time for Latinx protagonists to shine. From magical realism to mouthwatering contemporaries, in these books teens are the heroes of their own stories.
Because of the Sun, by Jenny Torres Sanchez
After her mother’s tragic accident, Dani moves from suburban Florida to the desert of New Mexico. Living with an aunt she never knew doesn’t exactly make things easy for Dani. She spends that summer reading Albert Camus’ The Stranger and wandering the dry, unknown desert on her own. Her alienation from the outside world stops when she meets Paulo, who understands exactly what Dani is going through. Dani even starts to open up to her aunt, learning secrets about her family she didn’t expect. This story about healing and family is a stunning must-read.
Future Threat, by Elizabeth Briggs
After a trip to the future that cost the lives of her teammates, Elena is having a hard time adjusting to the present. She’s finished with time travel and Aether Corp, and plans to concentrate on dealing with her survivor’s guilt and relationship with Adam. But Aether won’t leave her alone. Suddenly, Elena finds herself right where she didn’t want to be: in a future she helped create. As Elena and her team race through time, she’s prepared to risk it all to set things right.
North of Happy, by Adi Alsaid
Carlos Portillo has had his life mapped out for him. Private school, college, marry, settle down. The only one in his family who dared choose a different path, a path of travel and adventure, was his brother, Felix. But Felix was killed, and Carlos can’t shake the voice inside his head (which sounds a lot like his brother’s) urging him to follow his passion. That passion is food. Carlos runs away from his well-planned life in Mexico City to the United States, where he’s a dual citizen. There, he lands a job with his favorite celebrity chef, in a novel that celebrates life, love, and good food.
No Good Deed, by Goldy Moldavsky (May 30)
Gregor Maravilla is an activist. He wants to help people. Save the world. Be “Someone Great.” When he’s accepted to Camp Save the World, a summer program for teen activists, he’s sure he’s on the right path. But the summer of doing the right thing is harder than Gregor expected. The camp announces a contest, with the prize going to the camper whose campaign shows the most promise. Despite being a camp full of do-gooders, they sure are competitive. As the sabotages start, Gregor has to wonder, how much bad is he willing to do for the greater good?
The Savage Dawn, by Melissa Grey (July 11)
The thrilling conclusion to the Girl at Midnight trilogy is here. Echo has unleashed the Firebird of legend. Now, a battle that has been brewing for centuries comes to a head, and Echo might be the only one who can tip the scales. She must learn to harness the power she has, because whether she’s ready or not, the fight is coming to her doorstep.
The Gallery of Unfinished Girls, by Lauren Karcz (July 25)
Mercedes Moreno is an artist suffering a creative block. Her grandmother is in a coma, and Mercedes has feelings for her best friend, Victoria, that she can’t admit out loud. As fate would have it, a piano appears on her lawn—and so does a mysterious new neighbor offering Mercedes a place to paint. At the Red Mangrove Estate, Mercedes lets her creativity flow. But she can’t take anything out of the estate and starts to lead two lives, knowing that ultimately, she’ll have to face the reality she’s running away from.
They Both Die at the End, by Adam Silvera (September 5)
Death comes calling in Adam Silvera’s third young adult novel. Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio are complete strangers with something huge in common: Death-Cast just told them they’re going to die today. In order to not die completely alone, Mateo and Rufus find each other through the Last Friend app. They spend the day together, deciding to live for the time they have left, and set off to experience a lifetime in a single day.
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Shadowhouse Fall, by Daniel José Older (September 12)
The long-awaited sequel to the New York Times bestselling Shadowshaper is here. Sierra Santiago and the shadowshapers are back and ready to take on a new threat rising in their Brooklyn streets. A beast called the Hound of Light is coming for her, and Sierra has to be ready. Revolution is brewing in the real and shadow worlds as everything Sierra holds dear hangs in the balance of good and evil.
Wild Beauty, by Anna-Marie McLemore (October 3)
From acclaimed author Anna-Marie McLemore comes a lush story full of magic and cursed love. The Nomeolvides women are cursed. If they fall in love too deeply, their loves vanish. For centuries, these women have tended the estate gardens of La Pradera. When Estrella Nomeolvides discovers a boy with no memory in the gardens, everything changes. Estrella tries to help him uncover who he is and where he comes from, in the process unearthing dangerous and magical secrets.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sanchez (October 17)
Julia is struggling to fill her sister Olga’s shoes, Olga who was the “perfect Mexican daughter.” Julia wants to go away to college, move out, do the opposite of everything Olga had planned, but when Olga is killed on the streets of their Chicago home, Julia must stay tat home to pick up the pieces. But Julia is hurting for her sister, too. With help from Olga’s friends and boyfriend, Julia starts to discover things about Olga she never knew. Could it be that her perfect sister wasn’t so perfect after all? Pitched as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin, this book explores Julia’s Mexican American identity.