13 Latino Young Adult Authors To Know

Latino authors have contributed some of the most beloved books in history — and young adult literature is no exception. Encourage your teenagers to get lost in the world of lit with one of these young adult novels by Latinos:

MORE: 8 Surprising Celebs Who Are New York Times Best Selling Authors.

1. Anna-Marie McLemore

Anna-Marie McLemore draws on her Mexican-American heritage in this dreamy tale about star-crossed lovers, Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau, who both work as traveling performers in rival family shows. As they grow to know each other, they also discover a few secrets about their families that will change the way they feel about each other — and themselves. The Weight of Feathers is a fantastical, ethereal novel about mermaids, magia, superstitions and the unwavering power of love. 

The Weight Of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore, $10.44, Amazon

2. Kiera Cass

Puerto Rican Kiera Cass is the author behind the wildly popular The Selection series, a collection of four novels: The Selection, The Elite, The One, and The Heir, out in Spring 2015. The books, described as The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games, follow America Singer, a young girl who's forced into a competition called the Selection. Against her will, she must compete against 34 elite girls for the hand (and heart) of the future king of Illéa, the fictional dystopian land where the novels are set. 

The Selection, $7.62, Amazon

3. Benjamin Alire Saenz

Benjamin Alire Saenz, a winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and American Book Award, has written multiple works of young adult fiction, including his latest work Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe. Saenz, who came out as gay in the late 2000s, draws upon his own experience to write books that explore LGBT rights, Latino issues, and more. Aristotle follows the titular character, an angry teen with a brother in prison. When he meets Dante, a total know-it-all, they have nothing in common. As the two loners (both Latinos!) begin spending more and more time together, they begin to come to terms with their own manhood and their identities as Mexican and American. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe, $5.92, Amazon

4. Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros’ beloved classic The House On Mango Street has been read by middle school, high school, and college students for years — for a good reason. The book follows Mexican-American child Esperanza as she struggles to find a way to achieve her dreams while staying true to her roots in the humble house on Mango Street. Told through a series of vignettes, the novel beautifully captures the spirit and culture of her Mexican-American neighborhood. 

The House on Mango Street, $7.17, Amazon

5. Jenny Torres Sanchez

Jenny Torres Sanchez, a former teacher, credits her students for inspiring her love of YA literature. “My students were some of the coolest people I have ever met,” she wrote on her website. “[They’re] a large part of why I write YA.”

Her latest novel Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia follows the adventures of the dour, gloomy Frenchie Garcia, a girl with a slightly unhealthy obsession with death and the poetry of Emily Dickinson. A friend's suicide throws Frenchie for a loop... and forces her to really explore loss and adulthood. 

Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia, $9.95, Amazon

6. Pam Muñoz Ryan

Pam Muñoz Ryan has dedicated her life to writing children’s novels that accurately portray the Latino experience. Her most famous work, Esperanza Rising, garnered critical acclaim and won the Pura Belpré Award for its honest portrayal of young Esperanza, a wealthy Mexican girl forced to move to California during the Great Depression. The novel sheds light both on the immigrant experience and on the turmoil of coming into one's own identity. 

Esperanza Rising, $5.71, Amazon

7. Esmeralda Santiago

Esmeralda Santiago made her mark on Latino literature with her 2006 novel When I Was Puerto Rican. The memoir follows Esmeralda's childhood as she journeys from her native Puerto Rico to New York City. Esmeralda must learn how to take on an entirely new identity — without leaving her Puerto Rican self behind. 

When I Was Puerto Rican, $12.70, Amazon

8. Margarita Engle

Cuban-American author Margarita Engle has written a number of young adult novels entirely in verse. In 2009, she became the first Latino author to win the Newbery Honor, one of the most prestigious awards for children’s literature in the United States. Her latest work, The Lightning Dreamer, tells the tale of Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, a feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted slavery in nineteenth century Cuba. 

The Lightning Dreamer, $11.63, Amazon

9. Malin Alegria

When it comes to writing for teenage girls, no one does it better than Malin Alegria. Her latest novel Sofi Mendoza's Guide To Getting Lost In Mexico follows a Mexican-born California girl named Sofi who sneaks off to Tijuana for a wild weekend of fun with her friends. She gets quite a shock when the border patrol discovers her green card is a counterfeit. Until her legal issues can be sorted out, Sofi is stuck in Baja, Mexico, with relatives she barely even knows. 

Sofi Mendoza's Guide To Getting Lost In Mexico, $7.90, Amazon

10. Alex Sánchez

Mexican-American author Alex Sánchez has won multiple awards for his honest, frank portrayal of LGBT culture in the teenage community. His first novel, Rainbow Boys, focused upon three high school seniors "coming of age and out of the closet." 

Rainbow Boys, $8.04, Amazon

11. Veronica Chambers

Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, Veronica Chambers often draws upon her Afro-Latina heritage as inspiration for her works. Her memoir, Mama's Girl, frankly discussed her upbringing as a first-generation American with an overworked, single, immigrant mother. In addition, Chambers has written multiple works of non-fiction, children's books and young adult books — such as Marisol and Magdalena and the sequel, Quinceanera Means Sweet 15. Both novels follow two best friends of Panamanian descent growing up in Brooklyn. 

Quinceanera Means Sweet 15, $5.40, Amazon

12. Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Cuban-American author Christina Diaz Gonzalez writes young adult novels focused on Latina characters. Her latest novel, A Thunderous Whisper, follows a 12-year-old Spanish girl named Ani during the Spanish Civil War. When Nazis overtake the sleepy town of Guernica, where she lives, she must find a way to fight back. 

A Thunderous Whisper, $7.99, Amazon

13. Valerie Tejeda

Valerie Tejeda's debut novel doesn't hit shelves until July 2015, but the creative premise already has diehard young adult fans on the edge of their seat. Hollywood WItch Hunter follows 16-year-old Iris, the lone girl on the Witch Hunters Special Ops Team. When she meets a boy named Arlo, she realized he may be the key to preventing an evil uprising in Southern California. 

Hollywood Witch Hunter, out July 20, 2015.