Hispanic Heritage Month is drawing to a close. That sounds like an excellent opportunity to highlight Latina/o characters in media!
You might be asking me “But, Tara, why is it so important to depict and represent the full range of human existence in books and movies?”
Good question! The answer is two-fold. 1. People need to see positive characters that are a lot like them – whether that means they’re Latino, Black, Muslim, Jewish, gay, trans*, overweight, physically or mentally disabled, poor, or a victim of the Zombie Apocalypse. We all deserve to represented positively. 2. The other half of this is for those who are unlike the character in question. For example, I am not a survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse; I can never really understand the experience of a survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse. But, one of the easiest ways to gain insight into this type of life is to read books with realistic, relatable characters.
Aren’t you glad you asked?
Tara’s Top Ten Books that Focus on Latina/o Characters
- Gabi: a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
- Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
- When I Was Puerto Rican; a Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago
- 90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis
- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
- My Bloody Life: the Making of a Latin King by Reymundo Sanchez
- Sizzle by Lee McClain
- Carmen; an Urban Adaptation by Alan Dean Myers
- Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles