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READS: CCB Fiction: Latinx

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Books in the Library

Butterfly boy : memories of a Chicano - YA

Heartbreaking, poetic, and intensely personal, this is a unique coming-out and coming-of-age story of a first-generation Chicano who trades one life for another, only to discover that history and memory are not exchangeable or forgettable. 207 pages.

Chicano chicanery : short stories

From Mexico City to "Aztlan Oregon" in bittersweet comic fables & frightening realism the author captures the shrewd, furtive, and sometimes tortuous ways by which Mexican-Americans manage to survive. 152 pages.

Hard Language : short stories

A Mexican-American construction worker's jealousy and controlling behavior become entwined with dark resentment of his wife's English-speaking abilities. Among his other startling snapshots, Padilla captures the day the family got together to tear apart old Aunt Eufrasia's house ... the uneasy bonds holding together two elderly women, once the best of friends but now only housemates. 164 pages.

The House on Mango Street

From joyous to heartbreaking, it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago.

Books in the Library

Small-town browny : cosecha de la vida - YA

About a young man struggling to understand his turbulent past, his place in a family of farm workers, and his identity. 94 pages.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

 A poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.    Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.   But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role.   Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. 

Into the Beautiful North

Inspired by The Magnificent Seven, 19 yr. old Nayeli leaves her small Mexican village for the US. She needs to find 7 men to help fight the nasty drug-dealers attacking the village. 338 pages.

Prayers for the Stolen

Born in a rural Mexico region where girls are disguised as boys to avoid the attentions of traffickers, Ladydi dreams of a better life before moving to Mexico City, where she falls in love and ends up in a prison with other women who share her experiences.

The Poet X

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours her frustration onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers - especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class. With Mami's determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. When she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she knows that she could never get around Mami's rules to attend, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can't stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in spite of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent

Saint Death - YA

Arturo scrapes by living in Anapra living odd jobs and staying out of sight. His friend Faustino joined one of the drug gangs. He stole money form the gang to send his girlfriend and her baby into the U.S.-- and he wants Arturo's help replacing the money before the gang kills him. Looming over Arturo's story, and Juarez itself, is Santa Muerte-- Saint Death, watching impassively as people in the border town struggle in the face of a vicious drug trade, dangerous trafficking, corruption, and income inequality. 227 pages.

Tree Girl

When, protected by the branches of one of the trees she loves to climb, Gabriela witnesses the destruction of her Mayan village and the murder of nearly all its inhabitants, she vows never to climb again until, after she and her traumatised sister find safety in a Mexican refugee camp, she realizes that only by climbing and facing their fears can she and her sister hope to have a future. They call Gabriela Tree Girl 225 pages.

Books in the Library

Autobiography of My Hungers - YA

This book takes a second piercing look at the author's past through a startling new lens: hunger. The need for sustenance originating in childhood poverty, the adolescent emotional need for solace and comfort, the adult desire for a larger world, another lover, a different body. 113 pages.

Dominicana

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn't matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan's free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay. As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family's assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America.

Drown - YA

Ten stories about the author's youth in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey. 208 pages.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

The García sisters--Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía--and their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after their father's role in an attempt to overthrow brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo is discovered. They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Caribbean. In the wondrous but not always welcoming U.S.A., their parents try to hold on to their old ways as the girls try find new lives: by straightening their hair and wearing American fashions, and by forgetting their Spanish. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating to be caught between the old world and the new.

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