Books for Latino Teens – REFORMA’s Teen Latino Titles

REFORMA promotes library services to Latino and Spanish-speaking patrons. Recently, REFORMA provided an excellent list of Teen Latino Titles, recently-published books of particular appeal to Latino teens. Enjoy this infographic analysis of the list!

Thoughts About the List

  • The Real Deal: As you may have noticed from the inforgraphic above, the titles in REFORMA’s list focus on realism — realistic fiction, historical fiction and memoir. This makes the list an excellent tool to assist readers seeking depictions of the Latino experience in literature. Since recent studies have shown that identifying with a character in a book can change behavior — or increase empathy towards people who resemble the character — REFORMA’s Teen Latino Titles are great tools for increasing understanding of Latino culture. On the other hand, it can be challenging for the teen (or adult!) fan of scifi, fantasy, horror, and mystery to find books in those genres featuring people of color. I would love to see the list open up to new genres in the future, as a selection a readers advisory aid. [Editor’s update: Rachel Manija Brown published a list of YA sci-fi and fantasy novels with protagonists of color on her blog.]
  • Immigrants and Emigrants: Eight of the twenty-two titles on the list feature immigration and emigration as a major theme, and most protagonists in the other titles are the children of immigrants. Immigration is explored from many different angles in these titles: some characters are forced by political pressure to emigrate, some are undocumented immigrants, and some are second-generation Americans who find themselves at odds with their immigrant parents. As immigration is a hot topic in the US today, this list would be a great tool for teachers exploring the subject with their classes.

What are your thoughts on REFORMA’s Teen Latino Titles list?

— Maria Kramer, currently reading Love & Haight by Susan Carlton