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Teen Book Lists: Mexican American YA Authors: Fiction by and about Mexican Americans

[Printable book list]

Viola Canales / YP FIC CANALES
The Tequila Worm
When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It's a different mundo, but one where Sofia's traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path.

Genaro González / YP FIC GONZALEZ
A So-Called Vacation
When their father insists that they lack "life expe-riences," teenaged brothers Gabriel and Gustavo reluctantly agree to a family vacation in a Califor-nia migrant camp, where the boys pick crops and learn about immigrant labor and prejudice within the Hispanic community.

Irene Beltrán Hernández / YP FIC HERNANDE
Across the Great River (Also available in audiobook and ebook)
The Secret of Two Brothers
Beaver tries to create a decent life for himself and his brother following his mother's death and his own stint in prison. Younger brother Cande, a teenager who has been left to fend for himself, has been abused by his father while big brother Beaver served time in the state penitentiary. When Beaver returns to the old barrio, various neighbors and friends pitch in to help him and Cande make lives for them-selves. But some of the old pitfalls are still pre-sent as is the danger of their abusive father.

Juan Felipe Herrera / YP FIC HERRERA
CrashBoomLove: a Novel in Verse
Sixteen-year-old Cesar García is careening. His father, Papi Cesar, has left the migrant circuit in California for his other wife and children in Denver. Sweet Mama Lucy tries to provide for her son with dichos and tales of her own misspent youth. But at Rambling West High School in Fowlerville, the sides are drawn: Hmongs vs. Chicanos vs. everybody vs. Cesar, the new kid on the block.

Francisco Jiménez / YP FIC JIMENEZ
Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University
Reaching Out
During his college years, the very family solidarity that allowed Francisco to survive as a child is tested. Not only must he leave his family behind when he goes to Santa Clara University, but while Francisco is there, his father abandons the family and returns to Mexico. This is the story of how Francisco coped with poverty, with his guilt over leaving his family financially strapped, with his selfdoubt about succeeding academically, and with separation.

Guadalupe Garcia McCall / YP FIC MCCALL
Under the Mesquite
Summer of the Mariposas
With the supernatural aid of ghostly La Llorona via a magical earring, Odilia and her little sisters travel a road of tribulation to their long-lost grandmother's house. Along the way, they encounter a witch and her Evil Trinity, a wily warlock, a cov-en of vicious half-human barn owls, and a bloodthirsty livestock-hunting chupacabra. Can these fantastic trials prepare Odilia and her sisters for what happens when they face their final test: returning home to the real world?

Matt de la Peña / YP FIC DELAPENA
The Hunted
The Living (Also available in audiobook)
I Will Save You
We Were Here
Ball Don't Lie
Mexican Whiteboy (Also available in audiobook and ebook)
Danny's brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego, that close to the border, means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can't speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they've got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny's convinced it's his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico. That's why he's spending the summer with his dad's family. Only, to find himself, he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see--the demons that are right in front of his face. And open up to a friendship he never saw coming.

Isabel Quintero / YP FIC QUINTERO
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces (Also available in ebook)
Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz / YP FIC SAENZ
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood
Last Night I Sang to the Monster
He Forgot to Say Goodbye
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Also available in audiobook)
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. They meet at the swimming pool and seem to have nothing in common. But eventually they discover that they share a special friendship - the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.

Alex Sánchez / YP FIC SANCHEZ
The God Box
Getting It
Rainbow Road
Rainbow High
Rainbow Boys
Boyfriends with Girlfriends
Lance has always known he was gay, but he's never had a real boyfriend. Sergio is bisexual, but his only real relationship was with a girl. When the two of them meet, they have an instant connection--but will it be enough to overcome their differences? Allie's been in a relationship with a guy for the last two years--but when she meets Kimiko, she can't get her out of her mind. Does this mean she's gay? Does it mean she's bi? Kimiko, falling hard for Allie, and finding it impossible to believe that a gorgeous girl like Allie would be into her, is willing to stick around and help Allie figure it out.

Gary Soto / YP FIC SOTO
Worlds Apart: Traveling with Fernie an Me, EMS
Accidental Love (Also available in ebook)
The Afterlife
Help Wanted
Hey 13!
Petty Crimes
Mercy on These Teenage Chimps (Also available in ebook)
Buried Onions
For Eddie there isn't much to do in his rundown neighborhood but eat, sleep, watch out for drivebys, and just try to get through each day. His father, two uncles, and his best friend are all dead, and it's a struggle not to end up the same way. The violence makes Fresno wallow in tears, as if a huge onion with its ubiquitous vapors were buried beneath the city. Making an effort to walk a straight line despite constant temptations and frustrations, Eddie searches for answers after the death of his cousin and discovers that his closest friends may be his worst enemies.

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