The sun is finally out and vacation season is here. Need a book to read on your flight, on the beach or anywhere else you're chilling this summer? These books are definitely for you.
1. Gabi: A Girl in Pieces
Isabel Quintero tells the story of Gaby Hernandez, a senior in high school who is going through some serious life changes. From her father's drug addiction to her best friends getting pregnant and coming out, Gabi chronicles everything in her diary in the most honest way possible.
2. Juliet Takes a Breath
Gabby Rivera's debut book tells the story of Juliet Milagros Palante, a queer Puerto Rican who moves from the Bronx to Portland, Oregon. She goes on a journey to make peace with the intersection of identities that she holds and in turn makes peace with herself.
3. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
One of Julia Alvarez's most well-known books, How The García Girls Lost Their Accents, tells the story of four sisters who flee the Dominican Republic and find themselves in New York City in 1960. They find themselves at a crossroads between a yearning for U.S. culture and their parents' emphasis on Dominican cultura.
Jose Daniel Older brings us the urban sci-fi novel we've all been waiting for with Shadowshaper. Sierra Santiago's story is where sci-fi collides with Carribbean folklore, simultaneously melding in themes of intersectional feminism, gentrification and colonialism.
5. The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano
Sesame Street's Sonia Manzano made her YA novel debut with this powerful coming of age story. Evelyn's story takes place in 1969, at the beginning of Puerto Rican activist group The Young Lords' take over of East Harlem. With their help, she learns significant truths about her heritage that both change her and empower her.
6. Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx
Sonia Manzano's memoir tells us how she went from a little girl in the Bronx with a dream to an award-winning actress, playing Maria on Sesame Street. This book combines the perfect mix of culture, heartache and humor, and shows that with talent and perseverence, dreams can come true.
7. Fish Out of Agua: My Life on Neither Side of the (Subway) Tracks
Michele Carlo perfectly and hilariously captures what it means to grow up as a light-skinned Latina in the 'hood with her memoir, Fish Out of Water: My Life on Neither Side of the (Subway) Tracks.
8. This is How You Lose Her
Junot Díaz paints vivid, relatable portraits of love and relationships in Dominican culture. With each short story, the characters tell various perspectives of what it's like to experience love, loss and infidelity.
9. American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood
Marie Arana tells her own story on what it was like growing up with a bi-cultural household. While she was raised to be a "proper" lady on her Peruvian father's side, she was also raised liberal on her American mother's side. This will definitely be a book for you to relate to if you feel like your cultural identity is split in half.