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Middle School | Latinx Voices
Portraits and poems present famous and lesser-known Latinos from varied backgrounds who have faced life's challenges in creative ways.
Caravan to the North by
Presents a novel in verse following the story of Misael Martínez, a boy from El Salvador who goes with his family to join a migrant caravan heading to the U.S. Sad to leave their beloved home, they still have many terrible reasons to do so, but when they reach Tijuana they are met with protests and tear gas.
The Distance Between Us by
Presents a middle-grade adaptation of the memoir of Reyna Grande about her childhood longing for her absent father, who left Mexico to find work in America to make a dream life for his family. She dreamed of his return, but things didn't work out like that--instead, Reyna found herself following him on her own dangerous journey from El Otro Lado to find him. Along the way, books and writing helped save her.
Enchanted Air by
In this poetic memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.
Dreams from Many Rivers by
Presents a collection of poems from Hispanic American children about Hispanic American and indigenous history in the United States, from the days of colonialism and conquest up to the present. Particularly highlights the unique experiences of Hispanic Americans and Latinos in relation to the majority American culture.
Efrén Divided by
When his mother is deported to Mexico, seventh grader Efrén is the only one who can cross the border to bring his mother home.
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by
Arturo Zamora must save his family's restaurant before a land developer destroys it. He teams up with the funny, cute new girl, Carmen, to thwart the developer's plans and help bring the community together.
The First Rule of Punk by
Twelve-year-old Malú was pretty sure of her identity as a lover of punk rock and a maker of zines. But then her mom whisks her off to Chicago, leaving her dad and his record store behind, and enrolling her in a new school that’s mostly Hispanic. The other kids question how Mexican she is, and so she’s forced to balance being Mexican American with her punk side. Forming her own punk band with three of the school’s “misfits” lets her rock on toward the realization that she doesn’t have to pick just one side of herself.
The Go-Between by
She is the envy of every teenage girl in Mexico City. Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle—Cammi to those who know her best. When Cammi’s mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly. Her mom’s first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi’s new friends assume she’s a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic. At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will be her way of teaching her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?
Iron River by
Twelve-year-old Manny Maldonado Jr. and his friends find a body near the train tracks that they've played near their whole lives, and a vindictive cop tries to pin the murder on the boys.
La Linea by
When fifteen-year-old Miguel's time finally comes to leave his poor Mexican village, cross the border illegally, and join his parents in California, his younger sister's determination to join him soon imperils them both.
Lety Out Loud: a Wish Novel by
When Lety offers to write animal profiles at the local shelter she volunteers at, her classmate, Hunter, decides he'd like to do them instead of her. He sets up a competition to see whose profile gets an animal adopted first. Lety is anxious about competing with Hunter because her first language is Spanish and she's still learning English while Hunter is the only fifth grader in her class who reads and writes at a high school level. But she's determined to try her best.
Lucky Broken Girl by
In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative—based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s—a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time. Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.
Lupe Wong Won't Dance by
Baseball is everything to seventh-grader Lupe Wong. So is championing causes, like expanding the options for race on school tests. Lupe has an agreement with her uncle that if she gets straight As in all her classes, she can meet pitcher Fu Li Hernandez, who is half-Mexican, half-Chinese like Lupe. But when the dreaded square dancing unit begins in gym class, Lupe's afraid that she'll never meet Fu Li. As Lupe starts a campaign to get rid of square dancing, her changing friendships force her to reexamine her priorities and relationships.
Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by
After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mother takes him and his younger brother, who has Down syndrome, to Puerto Rico to visit relatives they do not remember or have never met, and while there Marcus starts searching for his father, who left their family ten years ago and is somewhere on the island.
Merci Suárez Changes Gears by
Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren't going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what's going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.
The Only Road by
When Jaime hears his cousin Miguel murdered outside his house in Guatemala, Jaime knows he either needs to get out or get hurt next. With his cousin °ngela, Jaime leaves for the United States, risking everything for a chance at a new, safe life.
The Other Half of Happy by
One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana's Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn't know more about her family's heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she's found true friends. But she can't help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what's going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother.
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (a Sal and Gabi Novel, Book 1) by
Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but when he starts attending a new school, Gabi Reál discover's Sal's secret: he can reach into other dimensions and pull things into their dimension, including different versions of his dead mother. There's only one problem: Sal's manipulation of time and space is putting the entire universe at risk. Sal, Gabi, and their friends and family, as well as a sassy entropy sweeper, will have to work to make things right.
Santiago's Road Home by
The coins in Santiago’s hand are meant for the bus fare back to his abusive abuela’s house. Except he refuses to return; he won’t be missed. His future is uncertain until he meets the kind, maternal María Dolores and her young daughter, Alegría, who help Santiago decide what comes next: He will accompany them to el otro lado, the United States of America. They embark with little, just backpacks with water and a bit of food. To travel together will require trust from all parties, and Santiago is used to going it alone. None of the three travelers realizes that the journey through Mexico to the border is just the beginning of their story.
Someone Like Me by
Julissa Arce describes her childhood as an undocumented immigrant in Texas and the social, cultural, and language barriers she had to overcome in order to achieve what she believes is the American Dream.
Soaring Earth by
Cuban American poet Margarita Engle offers poems about her experiences in high school, how life changed when the war in Vietnam began, and how in a world surrounded by conflict she was able to find hope and love.
They Call Me Güero by
Twelve-year-old Mexican American Güero--which is a nickname in Spanish for guys with pale skin whether they are Latino or Anglo--is red-headed and freckled, a nerd, and loves his friend squad of misfits. His seventh-grade "woke" English teacher helps him express himself through poetry and make it cool.
Undocumented is the story of immigrant workers who have come to the United States without papers. Every day, these men and women join the work force and contribute positively to society. The story is told via the ancient Mixtec codex—accordion fold—format. Juan grew up in Mexico working in the fields to help provide for his family. Struggling for money, Juan crosses over into the United States and becomes an undocumented worker, living in a poor neighborhood, working hard to survive. Though he is able to get a job as a busboy at a restaurant, he is severely undercompensated—he receives less than half of the minimum wage! Risking his boss reporting him to the authorities for not having proper resident papers, Juan risks everything and stands up for himself and the rest of the community.
My Family Divided by
Guerrero was the daughter of undocumented immigrants living in Boston. When she was fourteen, she came home to find that her parents had been arrested and would be deported. Alone (neither ICE nor Child Protective Services ever checked on her), she had to rely on friends to survive. Guerrero details the financial and emotional troubles that resulted from this childhood trauma, as well as how she ended up on the show "Orange Is the New Black."