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Aditional Reading Book Lists for All Ages

Adult Fiction - Immigrant Expereince - More by Sandra Cisneros - About Adolescece

PreK-2 Grade - Elementary 3-5 Grade - Middle 6-8 Grade - Books for Teens

Adult Fiction

The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Oscar is a hopeless, fantasy-reading, role-game-playing, overweight nerd with dreams of finding love and writing the next Tolkienesque masterpiece. It’s not going so well, and it might have something to do with the fukú (ancient curse) on his family. In his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, Díaz uses his truly original, no-holds-barred voice to take us through the woes of Oscar and his family, spanning two countries and decades of history.
Brownsfille: Stories Brownsville: Stories by Oscar Casares
Casares delivers a collection of nine stories set in the border town of Brownsville, Texas. Each story paints a portrait of the Mexican American experience through rich, down-to earth characters, whose everyday struggles may be unique to their setting and culture, but are universal in the humanity they
Coffee Will Make You Black Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair
Sinclair’s debut novel, set against the backdrop of the emerging Civil Rights movement, tells the story of Stevie, a young African-American girl coming of age on the South Side of Chicago. During a racially charged period in history, Stevie struggles to find her identity as she also copes with her transition from childhood to adolescence.

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García A finalist for the National Book Award, García’s debut chronicles the story of three generations of a Cuban family, following them from Havana to Brooklyn across fifty years. Incorporating an array of writing styles, she captures the tumultuous and often magical history of one family traversing two countries and two cultures.
Drown Drown by Junot Diaz
Set in New Jersey and the Dominican Republic, this collection of ten stories garnered much critical acclaim for Díaz. Many of the stories are linked by the voice of a young narrator whose life bears a resemblance to that of the author, most notably in “Fiesta, 1980” and “Negocios” in which themes of familial relationships, growing up in dual cultures, and immigrant struggles run deep.
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
Exiled from the Dominican Republic in the 1960s, the four García girls—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia—find a new home in the Bronx. Not surprisingly, the move is an adjustment for the whole family, although the girls, eager to acclimate to their new life, fare better than their parents. Through episodic vignettes, the girls share their experiences, illuminating the challenges they face in reconciling their newly adopted American mindset with their Dominican culture.
The Joy Luck Club The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
June Woo takes her recently deceased mother’s place at the Joy Luck Club, a weekly gathering of women who enjoy mahjong, dim sum, and conversation. In alternating chapters, the members and their American-born daughters reveal their storied pasts, allowing both generations to connect as they share their experiences.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
While the lives portrayed in these linked stories set on a Spokane Indian reservation are often filled with sadness and despair, Alexie manages to inject humor and compassion into these tales. Narrated by several characters with distinct voices, the book explores the relationships within the reservation and those outside its confines, depicting the clash between not just two cultures, but between two generations.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
This classic novel introduced the world to Francie Nolan, a young girl coming of age during the early 1900s. Francie grows up in a run-down part of Brooklyn, but her intelligence and strength of character allow her to surpass her humble beginnings as she ventures away from her neighborhood to pursue a better life.
When Luba Leaves Home by Irene Zabytko
Luba Vovkovych lives in Chicago’s Ukranian Village, and while she longs to escape it and participate in a “real” American life, her family and friends need her. She tries to pull away from her immigrant neighborhood—which she thinks seems stuck in another time—by going to college and buying a car, but she finds it difficult to turn her back on her tight-knit community.
  I Sailed with Magellan by Stuart Dybek
Dybek once again returns to his hometown with eleven stories tied together by the voice of Perry Katzek, a young narrator who navigates the city’s South Side through both childhood and adolescence. With his vivid descriptions and obvious love of the city, Dybek’s Chicago becomes another living, breathing character in his most recent collection.

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Immigrant Experience

The Devil's Highway The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea
Describes the attempt of twenty-six men to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, a region known as the Devil's Highway, detailing their harrowing ordeal and battle for survival against impossible odds.
Burro Genius Burro Genius: A Memoir by Victor Villasenor
Growing up in the 1940s on his family's Southern California ranch, young Villasenor envisions a cowboy's life, just like he's seen in western movies and learned from his loving but occasionally abrasive Mexican-born pap. Reality, however, finds him in the unwelcome company of an American school system where he doesn't fit in and is ostracized thanks to his undiagnosed dyslexia and limited English. Throughout this spirited memoir, Villasenor faces an entourage of abusive teachers and embittered classmates who chip away at his confidence, leading him to the brink of adopting a personal philosophy of violence-for-respect.
Dying to Cross Dying to Cross: The Worst Immigrant Tragedy in American History by Jorge Ramos
On May 14, 2003, a familiar risk-filled journey, taken by hopeful Mexican immigrants attempting to illegally cross into the United States, took a tragic turn. Inside a sweltering truck abandoned in Texas, authorities found at least 74 people packed into a "human heap of desperation." After months of investigation, a 25-year-old Honduran-born woman named Karla Chavez was found responsible for leading the human trafficking cell that led to this grisly tragedy in which 19 people died.

Through interviews with survivors who had the courage to share their stories and conversations with the victims' families, and in examining the political implications of the incident for both U.S. and Mexican immigration policies, Jorge Ramos tells the story of one of the most heartbreaking episodes of our nation's turbulent history of immigration.
Harvest of Empire Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America by Juan Gonzalez
A sweeping history of the Latino experience in the United State, spans five centuries-from the first New World colonies to the first decade of the new millennium. Latinos are now the largest minority group in the United States, and their impact on American popular culture-from food to entertainment to literature-is greater than ever. Featuring family portraits of real- life immigrant Latino pioneers, as well as accounts of the events and conditions that compelled them to leave their homelands.
Translation Nation Translation Nation: Defining a New American by Héctor Tobar
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Héctor Tobar takes us on the definitive tour of the Spanish-speaking United States-a parallel nation, 35 million strong, that is changing the very notion of what it means to be an American in unprecedented and unexpected ways.

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More by Sandra Ciscneros

Caramelo Caramelo
Every year, Lala Reyes' family—aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and Lala's six older brothers—packs up three cars and, in a wild ride, drive from Chicago to the Little Grandfather and Awful Grandmother's house in Mexico City for the summer. Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers and to understand her place on this side of the border and that, Lala is a shrewd observer of family life. But when she starts telling the Awful Grandmother's life story, seeking clues to how she got to be so awful, grandmother accuses Lala of exaggerating. Soon, a multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, or shawl, that has been passed down through generations of Reyes women, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.
Hairs Hairs/Pelitos (juvenile; bilingual picture book)
A vignette from Sandra Cisneros's book The House on Mango Street in which a young girl reflects upon her family's different kinds of hair and the safety of her mother's arms; presented in English and Spanish with vivid illustrations.
Loos Woman Loose Woman
A candid, sexy and wonderfully mood-strewn collection of poetry that celebrates the female aspects of love, from the reflective to the overtly erotic.
My Wicked, Wicked Ways
Here are verses, comic and sad, radiantly pure and plainspoken, that reveal why her stories have been praised for their precision and musicality of language.
Woman Hollering Creek Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
A story collection of breathtaking range and authority, whose characters give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border. The women in these stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.

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About Adolescence

Once Upon a Quinceanera Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez
The quinceañera, a celebration of a Latina girl's fifteenth birthday, has become a uniquely American trend. This lavish party with ball gowns, multi-tiered cakes, limousines, and extravagant meals is often as costly as a prom or a wedding. But many Latina girls feel entitled to this rite of passage, marking a girl's entrance into womanhood, and expect no expense to be spared, even in working-class families. Acclaimed author Julia Alvarez explores the history and cultural significance of the “quince” in the United States, and the consequences of treating teens like princesses. Through her observations of a quince in Queens, interviews with other quince girls, and the memories of her own experience as a young immigrant, Alvarez presents a thoughtful and entertaining portrait of a rapidly growing multicultural phenomenon, and passionately emphasizes the importance of celebrating Latina womanhood. Finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism
Reviving Ophelia Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher
Everybody who has survived adolescence knows what a scary, tumultuous, exciting time it is. But if we use memories of our experiences to guide our understanding of what today's girls are living through, we make a serious mistake. Our daughters are living in a new world. Reviving Ophelia is a call to arms, that in spite of the women's movement, which has empowered adult women in some ways, teenage girls today are having a harder time than ever before because of higher levels of violence and sexism. The current crises of adolescence - frequent suicide attempts, dropping out of school and running away from home, teenage pregnancies in unprecedented numbers, and an epidemic of eating disorders - are caused not so much by "dysfunctional families" or incorrect messages from parents as by our media-saturated, lookist, girl-destroying culture. Young teenagers are not developmentally equipped to meet the challenges that confront them.
When I was Puerto Rican When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
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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PreK-2 Grade

Elena's Seranade Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin (ages 3+)
Longing to follow in the footsteps of her family’s artistic traditions, Elena creates music with her pipe and the images in the songs appear as beautiful glass figurines.
Family Pictures Family Pictures / Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza
A story of Carmen Lomas Garza's girlhood: celebrating birthdays, making tamales, finding a hammerhead shark on the beach, picking cactus, going to a fair in Mexico, and confiding to her sister her dreams of becoming an artist. These day-to-day experiences are told through fourteen vignettes of art and a descriptive narrative, each focusing on a different aspect of traditional Mexican American culture.
Hairs Hairs/Pelitos by Sandra Cisneros
A vignette from Sandra Cisneros's book The House on Mango Street in which a young girl reflects upon her family's different kinds of hair and the safety of her mother's arms; presented in English and Spanish with vivid illustrations.
My Diary from Here to There My Diary from Here to There / Mi Diario de Aqui Hasta Alla by Amada Irma Perez
This English/Spanish story begins as young Amada overhears her parent’s whisper of moving from Mexico to Los Angeles where greater opportunity awaits. As she and her family journey north, Amada records in her diary her fears, hopes, and dreams for their lives in the United States.
Nacho and Lolita Nacho and Lolita by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Nacho, the only pitacoche for thousands of miles, falls in love with a swallow named Lolita. Is it possible for two such different birds to find happiness together? What will happen when Lolita and the other swallows migrate back to South America?
Snapshots from the Wedding Snapshots from the Wedding by Gary Soto (ages 4+)
Maya, the flower girl, describes a Mexican American wedding through snapshots of the day's events, beginning with the procession to the altar and ending with her sleeping after the dance.
Storyteller's Candle The Storyteller's Candle / La Velita de los Cuentos by Lucia Gonzalez
During the early days of the Great Depression, New York City's first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré, introduces the public library to immigrants living in El Barrio and hosts the neighborhood's first Three Kings' Day fiesta.

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Elementary 3-5 Grade

Baseball in April Baseball in April and Other Stories by Gary Soto
A collection of eleven short stories focusing on the everyday adventures of Hispanic young people growing up in Fresno, California. In this unique collection of short stories, the small events of daily life reveal big themes--love and friendship, youth and growing up, success and failure. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to us all.
Becoming Naomi Leon Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Threatened by the unexpected return of her dysfunctional mother, Naomi Soledad León Outlaw sets out for Mexico with her brother and great-grandmother to locate her father, an Oaxacan woodcarver from whom she has inherited her artistic talent.
The Bossy Gallito The Bossy Gallito / El Gallo de Bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale by Lucia M. Gonzalez
Set in the Little Havana section of Miami, this is the colorful tale of a bossy little rooster on his way to his uncle's wedding. The rhyming, lively text is accompanied by a glossary as well as author and illustrator notes on the background and culture of the story.
Call Me Maria Call Me Maria: A Novel by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Maria is a girl caught between two worlds: Puerto Rico, where she was born, and New York, where she now lives in a basement apartment in the barrios. In lush prose and spare, evocative poetry, Cofer weaves a powerful and emotionally satisfying novel.
A Crazy Mixed-Up Spanglish Day A Crazy Mixed-Up Spanglish Day by Marisa Montes (Get Ready Gabi series)
Gabi's got issues. Her arch nemesis Johnny keeps teasing her about her name, her little brother gets bullied by some boys down the street, and Gabi has to give up her bedroom when Abuelita comes to visit. (Get Ready Gabi series)
Ellen Ochoa Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman in Space by Joy Paige
After earning degrees in the male-dominated fields of physics and engineering, as well as gaining patents in computer optics, Ellen Ochoa was already a pioneering woman in her field at a young age. Always striving to push herself further, she joined NASA's space shuttle program and became the first Hispanic woman to fly in space. This inspirational story is told in compelling style, enhanced by dozens of full-color NASA photographs.
Esperanza Rising Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
Poems to Dream Together Poems to Dream Together/ Poemas para SoñarJuntos by Francisco X. Alarcón
Poetry about Mexican-American children and families.
The Smell of Old Lady Perfume The Smell of Old Lady Perfume by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez
Chela can’t wait to start sixth grade, but nothing goes the way she had imagined, especially
when her beloved father has a stroke and her grandmother comes to stay.
Under the Royal Palms Under the Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba by Alma Flor Ada
The author offers young readers an inspiring collection of stories and memories drawn from her childhood on the island of Cuba. Through those stories we see how the many events and relationships she enjoyed helped shape who she is today.

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Middle 6-8 Grade

Cool Salsa Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Hispanic in the United States by Lori Carlson
Growing up Latino in America means speaking two languages, living two lives, learning the rules of two cultures. Cool Salsa celebrates the tones, rhythms, sounds, and experiences of that double life. Here are poems about families and parties, insults and sad memories, hot dogs and mangos, the sweet syllables of Spanish and the snag-toothed traps of English. Here is the glory, and pain, of being Latino American.
Crazy Loco Stories Crazy Loco: Stories by David Rice
Jordan and Todd are two boys from California who don't know what they're in for when they push their Texas cousins a little too far. Loosely based on the author's own childhood in south Texas, this story collection is a moving whirlwind of humor and insight.
Neighborhood Odes Neighborhood Odes by Gary Soto (ages 8+)
Award-winning poet Gary Soto writes about the world of kids – from family pictures to pinatas, from the gato with a meow like a rusty latch to Fourth of July fireworks, the startling and often overlooked moments that define childhood are vividly brought to life by these two acclaimed talents.
Taking Sides Taking Sides by Gary Soto (ages 8+)
Fourteen-year-old Lincoln Mendoza, an aspiring basketball player, must come to terms with his divided loyalties when he moves from the Hispanic inner city to a white suburban neighborhood.

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High 9-12 Grade

American Chica American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood by Marie Arana
This 2001 National Book Award Finalist is a rich, emotionally resonant portrait of a child who must come to terms with being neither North nor South American, but a mixture of both.
Cuba 15 Cuba 15: A Novel by Nancy Osa
The 2001 winner of the Delacorte Press Prize for a First Young Adult Novel tells the story of a girl who while preparing for her 15th year celebration--her "quince"--probes into her Cuban roots and unwittingly unleashes a hotbed of conflicted feelings about Cuba within her family.
Estrella's Quinceanera Estrella's Quinceañera by Malín Alegría
Estrella's mother and aunt are planning a gaudy, traditional quinceañera for her, even though it is the last thing she wants.
Finding Miracles Finding Miracles by Julia Alvarez
Milly is an ordinary American teenager – until she meets Pablo, a new student at her high school. His exotic accent, strange fashion sense, and intense interest in Milly force her to confront her identity as an adopted child from Pablo's native country. As their relationship grows, Milly decides to undertake a courageous journey to her homeland and along the way discovers the story of her birth is intertwined with the story of a country recovering from a brutal history.
How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents How the García Girls Lost their Accents by Julia Alvarez
It's a long way from Santo Domingo to the Bronx, but if anyone can go the distance, it's the Garcia girls. Four lively Latinas plunge from a pampered life of privilege on an island compound into the big-city chaos of New York, where they embrace all that America has to offer.
Journey of the Sparrow Journey of the Sparrows by Fran Leeper Buss
This heartbreaking, suspenseful story of the secret lives of illegal immigrants follows 15-year-old Maria, her sister, brother, and a boy named Toms, all from El Salvador, as they endure a terrifying journey across the U.S. border and then north to Chicago.
Parrot in the Oven Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida: A Novel by Victor Martinez
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, Parrot in the Oven tells the story of a Mexican-American boy's coming of age in the face of poverty, abuse, and cultural discrimination, a rare and believable portrait of barrio life.
Riding Low on the Streets of Gold Riding Low on the Streets of Gold: Latino Literature for Young Adults by Judith Ortiz Cofer
An essential collection of stories and poems for young people that introduces U.S. Latino Literature.
The Tequila Worm The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales (ages 12+)
Sofia grows up in the close-knit community of the barrio in McAllen, Texas, then finds that her experiences as a scholarship student at an Episcopal boarding school in Austin only strengthen her ties to family and friends.

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