Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! As a sign of my love for all of you, I’m giving you a box full of candies, except the box is this post and the candies are new books by Latinx authors and illustrators coming out this Spring. My little valentine’s day card to the Latinx creative community.
Let’s spread the #ReadLatinx love with this list, or, #TheReadoftheLatinx (yes, this is based on the 8th Fast and Furious movie).
The Spring 2020 Reads list is comprised of over 100 books written and/or illustrated by Latinx that are releasing between February 15th, 2020 and May 31st, 2020. As always, it will be divided by age category (Picture Books, MG, YA, Adult) as well as genre (fiction, non-fiction, poetry). There are also subgenres such as SFF, Contemporary, etc. Each book has a link to its Goodreads page, the names of the author, illustrator, editor, or contributors, the release date, and a short description of the book in my own words. The only section without handmade descriptions is the poetry one, as it’s kind of hard to come up with my own description when I haven’t read it, so I used descriptions from the jacket copy. Each part is sorted by release date.
Disclaimer: This compilation is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive; it only contains titles I’ve been able to find through extensive research. If you know of a book I didn’t list, or have a correction to make, don’t hesitate to let me know! I also add books at my own discretion, as I have no intention of boosting sexual harassers, racists, homophobes or transphobes, but if you noticed I slipped and added a book by someone who’s been accused of harassment of any kind, let me know so I can take them out of the list. This list is in no way an endorsement of the contents of each book, as I don’t have the knowledge of what is in each and every book. I’m not being paid by any publisher or publication for promoting any of these titles.
- A Way with Wild Things by Larissa Theule, ill. by Sara Palacios (03/03/2020) – Some kids are horse kids, others are dino kids, but Poppy Ann Fields is a bug girl.
- At the Pond by Geraldo Valério (03/03/2020) – A wordless picture book exploring the friendship between a boy and a swan he finds at a pond.
- ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat! by Raúl the Third (03/24/2020) – Let’s learn about food intrinsic to Mexican/Mexican-American communities through Raúl the Third’s colorful and dreamy landscapes and anthropomorphic characters.
- Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube by Pat Mora, ill. by Meilo So (04/07/2020) – Pat Mora takes us on a lovely stroll through nature in a story in verse.
- Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us by Lauren Castillo – In the vein of Winnie the Pooh or Frog and Toad, read all about Hedgehog and her adventures.
- Here Comes Ocean by Meg Fleming, ill. by Paola Zakimi (05/19/2020) – *nicki minaj voice* Let’s go to the beach, beach.
- Selena by Silvia Lopez, ill. by Paola Escobar (02/18/2020) – A vivid biography of Selena Quintanilla, queen of Tejano music, for children.
- Let’s Dance! by Valerie Bolling, ill. by Maine Diaz (03/03/2020) – Earnestly encourage kids to learn about other cultures through dance!
- Jane Goodall: A Champion of Chimpanzees by Sarah Albee, ill. by Gustavo Mazali (03/17/2020) – Learn about the life of Jane Goodall and her work with understanding monkeys in an easy-to-read format.
- Sharuko: El arqueólogo peruano Julio C. Tello/Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello by Monica Brown, ill. by Elisa Chavarri (05/12/2020) – Read about the life of Julio C. Tello, a lesser known historical figure in Latin America.
- Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack by Sandra Nickel, ill. By Oliver Dominguez (05/26/2020) – Who created nachos? Find out in this biography!
- The Adventures of Mr. Macaw/Las aventuras del Sr. Macaw by Leticia Ordaz, ill. by Yana Popova (March 2020) – A kite comes to life and goes on an adventure in this bilingual story set in Mexico.
- Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez, ill. by Elisa Chavarri (05/19/2020) – A retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with Mexican characters.
- I Love Us: A Book About Family ill. by Luisa Uribe (03/17/2020) – Families come in all shapes and sizes, especially in this book.
- The Homesick Club by Libby Martinez, ill. by Rebecca Gibbon (04/07/2020) – Exploring themes of homesickness and creating bonds with those who’ve moved to a different home.
- A New Kind of Wild by Zara Gonzalez Hoang (04/21/2020) – Ren and his family have moved from Puerto Rico to New York City. Follow him as he learns to appreciate his surroundings with a little help.
- Mi amiga by Elisa Amado, ill. by Alfonso Ruano (05/05/2020) – Spanish translation of the 2019 picture book, My Friend, following a girl from a Latinx family who invites a white friend over to her home.
- Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, ill. by Juana Martínez-Neal (05/05/2020) – Captain Swashby is a grumpy old man who enjoys his quiet piece of ocean. That is, until a young girl disrupts his peace.
- Extraordinary Ordinary Ella by Amber Hendricks, ill. by Luciana Navarro Powell (02/25/2020) – Ella wants to showcase a new talent at school, but keeps failing at everything. Will she be able to find what makes her stand out, or risk finding she’s ordinary? (review)
- Rita and Ralph’s Rotten Day by Carmen Agra Deedy, ill. by Pete Oswald (03/03/2020) – A friendship is tested when someone gets hurt and Rita and Ralph don’t know how to apologize.
- Kaia and the Bees by Maribeth Boelts, ill. by Angela Dominguez (03/10/2020) – Kaia is afraid of bees (which, same), but learning how to be brave in order to help them.
- My Body Belongs to Me / Mi cuerpo me pertenece by Jill Starishevsky, ill. by Angela Padrón (03/17/2020) – In this bilingual rerelease, children and parents learn about the importance of bodily autonomy and boundaries.
- The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi, ill. by Lorena Alvarez (04/14/2020) – This magical book teaches children about the importance of knowing that one can’t know everything at once.
- Kindergarten Hat by Janet Lawler, ill. by Geraldine Rodríguez (05/26/2020) – An insecure new kindergartner gains confidence with the help of his new teacher.
Early Reader/Middle Grade
- Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit by Lilliam Rivera (03/17/2020) – In this comic series-turned-novel, follow Goldie Vance as she figures out who stole a missing swimming cap.
- Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros (03/31/2020) – Efrén must find a way to survive without his mom as she’s taken away by ICE.
- Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (04/07/2020) – In this paperback release of the critically acclaimed Merci Suárez Changes gears, you’ll find a story of friendship, belonging, and family secrets.
- Project Animal Rescue by Alyssa Milano and Debbie Rigaud (04/07/2020) – In this installment, Hope decides to help an animal rescue shelter from closing.
- What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado (04/14/2020) – Stephen is learning about his identity as a mixed kid and how his life won’t be equal to that of his white peers.
- On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez (04/21/2020) – Based on Peter Pan, follow Minerva as she suddenly has to care for her siblings when her mom disappears.
- The Water Bears by Kim Baker (04/21/2020) – Newt is still recovering from a bear attack when his parents have him decide whether to continue his studies far from his friends or stay in the same school where he’s the only Latinx kid.
- Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luciana Duarte Armendáriz (05/05/2020) – Julieta is helping her dad in Paris when the diamond they’re delivering goes missing! Follow Julieta in this wacky adventure.
- La luna dentro de mi by Aida Salazar (05/05/2020) – The Spanish translation of The Moon Within, a new audience to Celi’s feelings around menstruation is unlocked.
- Santiago’s Road Home by Alexandra Diaz (05/05/2020) – When Santiago decides to run away from his abusive home, he doesn’t know the journey he’s embarking on as he makes his way to the Mexico-U.S. border.
- The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre (05/26/2020) – Zoey takes on the task of saving her grandpa’s bowling alley, without realizing how herculean the effort would be.
- Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan (03/03/2020) – A story that mixes both fantasy and reality, follow Max as he seeks refuge in a legendary kingdom.
- Warren the 13th and the 13-Year Curse by Tania del Rio (03/24/2020) – In the third installment of Warren, a cursed bellhop searching for a missing friend takes center-stage.
- Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega (04/07/2020) – Lucely’s accidentally released some malicious spirits and it’s up to her and her family to save the town.
- Into the Tall, Tall Grass by Loriel Ryon (04/07/2020) – When Yolanda’s long-asleep grandma awakens and begs her help to find a mysterious box, she doesn’t think she’ll be finding out more about her family’s secret curse.
- Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (05/05/2020) – The thrilling sequel to Sal and Gabi’s universe-bending adventures!
- The Unicorn Rescue Society: The Madre de Aguas of Cuba by Adam Gidwitz and Emma Otheguy, ill. by Hatem Aly (05/12/2020) – The creature that provides water to Cubans has gone missing and it’s up to the Unicorn Rescue Society to help the island from a drought.
- The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas (05/12/2020) – Eliza Thornberry meets Central American folklore in Nestor’s quest to find his new town’s missing animals.
- Marvel Action: Black Panther: Rise Together (Book Two) by Vita Ayala, illustrated by Arianna Florean (04/14/2020) – Collecting issues 4-6 of the Marvel Action: Black Panther comic series, follow T’Challa and co. as they uncover seedy dealings in Wakanda, and more.
- When You Look Up by Guillermo “Decur” Decurgez, translated by Chloe Garcia Roberts (05/05/2020) – Translation of Decur’s graphic novel, wherein a kid moves to a new house and finds a book and magical things happen.
- With a Star in My Hand: Rubén Darío, Poetry Hero/Con una estrella en la mano, Rubén Darío by Margarita Engle, translated by Alexis Romay (02/18/2020) – A novel in verse about Rubén Darío, (hardcover and paperback published at the same time)
- Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L. Browne with Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, ill. by Theodore Taylor III (03/10/2020) – A poetic call to action, three critically acclaimed poets and writers of our time join forces to inspire young writers.
- Becoming Kid Quixote: A True Story of Belonging in America by Sarah Sierra & Stephan Haff (04/14/2020) – In this memoir, follow Sarah Sierra’s path as she speaks on her and her family’s immigration story while tying it to the Spanish classic Don Quixote.
- Serena Williams– G.O.A.T: Making the Case for the Greatest of All Time by Tami Charles (05/05/2020) – Learn more about Serena WIlliams’ career as one, if not THE, greatest tennis player of all time.
- A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope edited by Patrice Caldwell, stories by Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi (03/10/2020) – An anthology full of speculative fiction stories of Black characters by Black authors (yes, there are vampires).
- Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices edited by S.K. Ali & Aisha Saeed, story by Candice Montgomery (05/05/2020) – Muslim kids are put front and center in this collection from well-known and up-and-coming Muslim writers.
- Out Now: Queer We Go Again! edited by Saundra Mitchell, stories by Mark Oshiro, Candice Montgomery, and Hillary Monahan (05/26/2020) – If you loved the first anthology, All Out, (hello, they gave us our first taste of Tehlor Kay Mejia!) then you’ll adore this one as well.
- Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas (03/03/2020) – Isabella’s life is in shambles, but will she be able to pick up the pieces in France while she apprentices with a renowned chef?
- We Didn’t Ask For This by Adi Alsaid (04/07/2020) – An ensemble cast locked in a school while some take part in an eco-protest is forced to take a look at their lives and their relationships.
- A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen (04/28/2020) – A look at mental health from the perspective of a girl who’s just died by suicide is now forced to evaluate the life she had.
- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (05/05/2020) – Elizabeth Acavedo returns to writing a novel-in-verse, this time from the perspectives of two girls who learn they’re estranged sisters after learning of their father’s untimely death.
- Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De León (05/05/2020) – In De León’s debut YA, Liliana is forced to assimilate into white society as racism in her community and school ramps up.
- Running by Natalia Sylvester (05/05/2020) – Cuban-American Mariana has to evaluate her father’s political ideologies when he decides to run for president and she comes under scrutiny by the public eye.
- We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez (05/19/2020) – A group of Guatemalan teens undergo a dangerous journey through Mexico in order to reach the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping for freedom.
- Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco by Richie Narváez (05/31/2020) – Set in 1979-80, Holly Hernandez finds herself embroiled in a whodunit when one of her classmates is the prime suspect in the murder of their social studies teacher.
- Write Yourself a Lantern by Elizabeth Acevedo (04/07/2020) – A journal based on Elizabeth Acevedo’s award-winning novel The Poet X.
- We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia (02/25/2020) – In the thrilling sequel to Mejia’s We Set the Dark on Fire, we follow Carmen and her involvement with a radical group set on destroying Medio’s elite.
- Nocturna by Maya Motayne (03/03/2020) – Paperback release of Maya Motayne’s acclaimed Dominican-inspired fantasy novel.
- The First 7 by Laura Pohl (03/05/2020) – The Last Teenagers on Earth are back and they’ve been exploring the galaxy and its alien civilizations, until they receive a distress signal from Earth.
- Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry (03/24/2020) – In this Latinx gothic/magical realism novel, three sisters are being haunted by their deceased sister… or are they?
- Incendiary (The Hollow Crown #1) by Zoraida Córdova (04/28/2020) – Renata Convida was used against her own people, making them forget their lives and turning them into husks, or Hollows. Now, she has to return to the people who killed her family in order to destroy them from inside.
- Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1) by Romina Garber (05/05/2020) – Manu’s life is upended when ICE takes her mother, but now she also has to contend with the fact that she might have powers that her mother had pressured her into keeping secret.
- The Betrothed by Kiera Cass (05/05/2020) – Lady Hollis Brite is stuck in limbo between a King who adores her and a commoner who can worm their way into her heart.
- Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera (03/04/2020) – A spanglish tale of 15-year-old Francisca and her struggle against evangelism while finding her own identity.
- Grieving for Guava: Stories by Cecilia M. Fernandez (03/23/2020) – Short story collection centered around the experiences of Cuban immigrants and the grief that comes with uprooting your life.
- Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (03/31/2020) – An English translation about a villager’s death and a cast of unreliable narrators searching for the culprit.
- Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (04/07/2020) – Antonia Vega’s life is upended when her husband dies, her sister disappears, and an undocumented pregnant teen appears on her doorstep.
- Both Sides: Stories from the Border edited by Gabino Iglesias (04/07/2020) – 15 writers take a noir-centered spin on border narratives.
- Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (04/07/2020) – Paperback release of the National Book Award finalist short story collection on women in Denver, Colorado.
- Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos, trans. Robin Myers (04/14/2020) – A short story collection with characters in NYC, New Jersey, and Chile, examining life as subversive art.
- Subduction by Kristen Millares Young (04/14/2020) – A Latina anthropologist ends up in Neah Bay after her marriage and family are shattered, and is taken in by the Makah Indian community.
- Cockfight by María Fernanda Ampuero (05/01/2020) – Ecuadorian writer María Fernanda Ampuero takes a closer look at the violence and tragedy a home can hide.
- El manto by Marcela Serrano (02/18/2020) – The author evaluates her relationship to her sister after experiencing her death and reflecting on loss and grief, all in Spanish.
- Hunger: The Oldest Problem by Martín Caparrós (02/25/2020) – A new US edition of Caparrós’ internationally acclaimed critique on hunger, food waste, and corporate greed.
- Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez (03/03/2020) – A Mexican writer’s experience as he joins Indigenous runners and activists as he travels from Canada to Guatemala and learns about his relationship to land.
- A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture by Melissa Castillo Planas (03/13/2020) – Castillo Planas’ text examines the Mexican diaspora in NYC post-9/11, focusing on cultural shifts among the populations.
- The Undocumented Americans: A Homecoming by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (03/24/2020) – Follow one of Harvard’s first undocumented graduates as she comes to terms with her relationship to her citizenship and identity, and in the process gives fellow undocumented people a chance to tell their stories.
- God-Level Knowledge Darts: Life Lessons from the Bronx by Desus & Mero (04/14/2020) – A humorous self-help book and co-memoir from the hilarious minds of Desus Nice and Kid Mero.
- Nerds, Goths, Geeks, and Freaks: Outsiders in Chicanx and Latinx Young Adult Literature edited by Cristina Herrera & Trevor Boffone, foreword by Guadalupe García McCall (04/15/2020) – Essays from academics at the forefront of Latinx YA literature analyzing texts such as Shadowshaper and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.
- Nine Moons by Gabriela Wiener (05/05/2020) – A closer look at reproduction and sex from the perspective of a Peruvian writer.
- American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera (03/30/2020) – The conclusion of the Dreamer series, we follow Priscilla and Juan Pablo in a will-they-won’t-they adventure in Dominican Republic, as their sixteen-year relationship comes to head.
- Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher (04/14/2020) – Have you ever gone to Vegas and accidentally married your boss? No? Well, Matt Kido has.
- The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (04/14/2020) – Sometimes you adopt a dog??? To Cope??? But the dog you care for is actually a musician’s dog and he wants the dog back??? So you fall for the musician as well???
- Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras (04/28/2020) – Sara is dumped by her boyfriend on the day she’s supposed to leave for vacation, which is how she ends up recruiting Luis Navarro to go with her to Key West as her fake-boyfriend.
- A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos (05/19/2020) – Reminiscent of The Sadness of Lemon Cake and Like Water for Chocolate, follow a disgraced Dominican chef as she has to take a position as sous chef at a stuffy French restaurant and vows never to eat her boss’ cooking.
- Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (02/18/2020) – Paperback release of Moreno-Garcia’s 1920’s road trip with the God of Death.
- Hairspray and Switchblades by V. Castro (02/20/2020) – Magdalena turns to sex work in order to keep her sister in school, all while there’s a killer on the loose murdering strippers and the sisters deal with their lineage as Jaguar shifters.
- The Road of Ice and Salt by José Luis Zárate and translated by David Bowles (03/20/2020) – English translation of a Mexican cult vampire novella.
- Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin (05/05/2020) – A dystopian, near-future story about privacy and the voyeurism of state-sanctioned technological vigilance.
- Serpiente emplumada, corazón del cielo by David Bowles (05/12/2020) – Spanish edition of Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of the Sky, a collection of Indigenous Aztec folktales .
- The Fire Eater by José Hernández Díaz (02/14/2020) – The poet’s “debut chapbook introduces us to a mime, a skeleton, and the man in the Pink Floyd t-shirt, all of whom explore their inner selves in Hernández Díaz’s startling and spare style.”
- Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien by Alán Pelaez Lopez (02/22/2020) – “An experimental poetry collection that renders an intimate portrait of growing up undocumented in the United States.”
- Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie G. Diaz (03/03/2020) – “In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic.”
- Borderland Apocrypha by Anthony Cody (03/15/2020) – “an avant-garde examination of how borderlands have remained occupied spaces, and of the necessity of liberation to usher the earth and its people toward healing.”
- Itinerario del Olvido/Itinerary of Forgetting by Nelson Simón (March 2020) – “A sixteen-part series from Nelson Simón’s award-winning collection A la sombra de los muchachos en flor.”
- The BreakBeat Poets Vol 4: LatiNext edited by Felicia Rose Chavez, Willie Perdomo, and José Olivarez (04/07/2020) – This poetic anthology collects some of the best Latinx poets as they voice their relationship to Hip Hop.
- Not Go Away is My Name by Alberto Ríos (04/14/2020) – “The borderline between Mexico and the U.S. looms large, and Ríos sheds light on and challenges our sensory experiences of everyday objects.”
- Body of Render by Felicia Zamora (04/21/2020) – “This collection carves at the physical, the political, the intimate, and the structural with poems that simultaneously create and encourage voice to seek a path toward collective mending.”
- After Rubén: Poems and Prose by Francisco Aragón (05/05/2020) – “After Rubén unfolds as a decades-long journey in poems and prose, braiding the personal, the political & the historical, interspersing along the way English-language versions & riffs of a Spanish-language master: Rubén Darío.”
- Catrachos by Roy Guzmán (05/05/2020) – “In these unflinching, riveting poems, Roy G. Guzmán reaches across borders—between life and death and between countries—invoking the voices of the lost.”
- Thresholes by Lara Mimosa Montes (05/12/2020) – “In this almanac of place and memory, Lara Mimosa Montes writes of her family’s past, returning to the Bronx of the 70s and 80s and the artistry that flourished there.”
- Self-Portraits as Yurico by Bailey Cohen (May 2020) – Poetry chapbook upcoming from Glass Poetry.
Thus concludes this list!
If you enjoyed this list or think it’s a good resource as I believe it is, please think about sharing and maybe donating some money. I don’t get compensated for any of this, this is just what I do in my free time because I love boosting Latinx voices, but it takes a lot of time and effort to compile these lists. My Paypal is paypal.me/adrianammf, Ko-Fi is ko-fi.com/boricuareads, and Venmo is @adrianammf. Check out my official website boricuareads.com for information on my services and more.
Thank you for reading!! Follow the blog if you’d like to see more posts like this. Make sure you spread the word, share the list with friends, pre-order and buy these books! Are there books here that you hadn’t heard of? Books here that you’ve already pre-ordered? Books that you hadn’t heard of and now are interested in? Are there books you think I might have missed? Let me know in the comments or reach out to me on social media (@boricuareads on IG, Twitter, and Tumblr), and I’ll add it!
Past #ReadLatinx lists: