All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Hispanic Heritage

In this booklist, you'll find a range of titles — young adult novels by award-winning Hispanic-American authors, bilingual poetry, biography, memoir — celebrating Latino culture and examining the immigrant experience.

Mexican WhiteBoy

Mexican WhiteBoy

Age Level: 14-16

Danny's a great baseball player but he's not even on the school team — he's consumed with feeling like his private-school classmates only see him as a Mexican who doesn't belong and that his Mexican relatives see him as an "almost albino." Can Danny find the help he needs before it's too late?

The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street

Age Level: 12-14

This classic of Latin American literature tells the story of Esperanza, who lives in a poor Hispanic neighborhood in Chicago. Told in a series of vignettes, Esperanza tries to leave, while realizing the house on Mango Street will always be with her.

Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story

Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story

Age Level: 16-18

Eddie Guerrero was a WWE star who grew up in a family of famous Mexican wrestlers. This autobiography details Guerrero's rise from Tijuana to fame in the United States as a professional wrestler. Unfortunately, soon after completing the book, Guerrero died suddenly of heart failure, possibly brought on by his past drug and alcohol abuse.

So Hard to Say

So Hard to Say

Age Level: 12-14

A middle-school boy begins to question his sexual orientation, while dealing with the crush his female friend, 13-year old Hispanic Xio, has on him. Sanchez is sensitive and insightful when talking about both gay and Hispanic culture, and he's created a delightful heroine in Xio.

Romiette and Julio

Romiette and Julio

Age Level: 14-16

African-American Romiette begins dating Hispanic Julio when he moves to her Cincinnati high school from Texas in this retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

The Afterlife

The Afterlife

Age Level: 14-16

Our narrator Chuy is dead! He was stabbed in a nightclub bathroom by another teen who misunderstood something he said. As he floats around in the afterlife, he not only learns about being dead, but he also comes to understand his short life.

Cuba 15

Cuba 15

Age Level: 12-14

Every girl wants to celebrate her quinceañera, or 15th birthday, right? Not necessarily, as half-Cuban, half-Polish Violet can barely speak Spanish. As the plans move forward, Violet comes to terms with her heritage in this warm and funny novel.

When I Was Puerto Rican

When I Was Puerto Rican

Age Level: 16-18

Product Description: Esmeralda Santiago's story begins in rural Puerto Rico, where her childhood was full of both tenderness and domestic strife, tropical sounds and sights as well as poverty. When her mother, Mami, a force of nature, takes off to New York with her seven (soon to be eleven) children, Esmeralda as the oldest must learn new rules, a new language, and eventually take on a new identity.

The Tequila Worm

The Tequila Worm

Age Level: 12-14

Sofia is a Mexican-American living in Texas. When she is accepted to a prestigious, predominantly white boarding school, she learns how to meld her Mexican-American roots with her new life. The author includes lots of detail about Mexican culture and heritage.

Crossing the Wire

Crossing the Wire

Age Level: 12-14

Fifteen-year-old Victor decides to cross the U.S.-Mexican border to earn money for his family. The border patrol is only one of his worries, which also include drug dealers, extreme temperatures, and fellow migrants. This is an eye-opening look at what draws many immigrants to the U.S. and the risks they take.

Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States

Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States

Age Level: 14-16

A collection of poems from an array of seasoned poets and young Latino authors describing their experiences in the United States. These poems depict the reality and hardships some young Latinos have experienced in their search for identity, as well as the joy of family gatherings surrounded by food, customs, and culture. Introduction by Oscar Hijuelos.

Becoming Naomi León

Becoming Naomi León

Age Level: 9-12

Naomi and her younger brother Owen have lived with their grandmother in a small trailer for many years, ever since they were abandoned by their mother. When Mom Terri Lynn suddenly returns, does she really have the kids' best interests at heart?