4 Books That Celebrate Latinx Characters

These staff favorites make for excellent reads all year long and especially during the months when we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
“As the first person of Latinx heritage to be appointed to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor is a huge inspiration to me. Not only is she the first Latinx, but she is also a Puerto Rican woman, raised in NYC, who came from very humble beginnings. Her memoir, My Beloved World, weaves culture, personal history, grit and intelligence together to create a portrait of a superlative person I am proud to call a fellow Puerto Rican!” — Cristina Leifson, Save the Children

 “My Beloved World is filled with inspiring, and surprisingly candid, stories about how the Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice overcame a troubled childhood to attend Princeton and Yale Law School, eventually earning a seat on the nation’s highest court.” — Carla Main, Wall Street Journal   


Ternura: Canciones para Ninos/Tenderness: Songs for Children by Gabriela Mistral
“Gabriela Mistral was born in Chile; she was the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. Gabriela was an educator and a humanist. She attended school until she was only 12 years old.  She was a remarkable autodidact and a genius with words. Her poems have been translated into several languages. However, what really inspired me is Gabriela’s poem, Su Nombre es Hoy.” — Carmen Weder, Save the Children

“We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow,’ his name is today.” — Gabriela Mistral, Su Nombre es Hoy


One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
“The book was fascinating to read because at the time I was living in Barranquilla, Colombia having recently moved there from the U.S. following my college graduation. It is beautifully written and explores the complex history of Colombia. As an adopted Colombiana - who returned to live in her birth country for the first time - it was a privilege to read this novel while learning the costena culture simultaneously.” — Lauren Villanova, Save the Children

“In 1967, Sudamericana Press published One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien Años de Soledad), a novel written by a little known Colombian author named Gabriel García Márquez. Neither the writer nor the publisher expected much of the book. They knew, as the publishing giant Alfred A. Knopf once put it, that “many a novel is dead the day it is published.” Unexpectedly, One Hundred Years of Solitude went on to sell over 45 million copies, solidified its stature as a literary classic, and garnered García Márquez fame and acclaim as one of the greatest Spanish-language writers in history.” — Alvaro Santana-Acuña, The Atlantic


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“I had the good fortune to pick this book up randomly over a decade ago and it has survived many bookshelf purges of mine simply because it was engrossing in a way few books have seized me during adulthood. Mr. Ruiz Zafón’s novel is the second-most-successful novel after Don Quixote, and his skill as a storyteller has been compared to that of Gabriel García Márquez. I don’t often reread novels, but to honor this recently-departed author I think I’ll take my own recommendation and pick The Shadow of the Wind up once again.” — Jenée Tonelli, Save the Children

“Ruiz Zafón gives us a panoply of alluring and savage personages and stories. His novel eddies in currents of passion, revenge and mysteries whose layers peel away onionlike yet persist in growing back. At times these mysteries take on the aspect of the supernatural. The figures appear beleaguered by ghosts until these give way to something even more frightening: the creak of real floors undermined by real rot, and the inexorability of human destinies grimmer than any ghostly ones could be.” — Richard Eder, The New York Times

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