25 Inspiring Books Written About Latinas You Should Be Reading For Women’s History Month

A good book will either pull you in and remind you of yourself or, help you to lose yourself. Latinas have been mastering the art of storytelling for decades, crafting and weaving tales of our culture and experience to help themselves and others to understand their own cultural experiences has been just one of the many talents they have been able to sharpen and hone.

In the spirit of Women’s History Month here’s a list of 9 inspiring books written by Latinas that are totally worth a read.

1.  Women Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros

inspiring books

“A collection of stories, whose characters give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border. The women in these stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.” — From the Inside Flap

2. This Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa

“When it was published in 1981, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color was a vermilion ink bloom on the crisp white wedding dress of the U.S. feminist movement. It was meant to be shocking. This anthology of prose and poetry by Black, Latina, Asian, and Native American women was the first to express loudly, clearly, bilingually that the ‘sisterhood’ could not be colorblind. Women of color are not the same as white women. They experience America differently.” —  The Huffington Post

3. Corazón by Yesika Salgado

“Corazón is a love story. It is about the constant hunger for love. It is about feeding that hunger with another person and finding that sometimes it isn’t enough. Salgado creates a world in which the heart can live anywhere; her fat brown body, her parents home country, a lover, a toothbrush, a mango, or a song.” —Amazon

4. Women with Big Eyes by Ángeles Mastretta

“Thirty-nine indomitable aunts are captured in a series of lyrical snapshots in this autobiographically inspired collection, a bestseller in the award-winning author’s native Mexico. Mastretta (Lovesick) originally conceived these brief stories as a way of telling her daughter about her long line of powerful female ancestors; the resulting fictional series of portraits delivers charming lessons in life and love.”—Publishers Weekly

5. You Don’t Have To Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism by Alida Nugent

“In this series of entertaining essays, popular blogger and author Nugent (Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse) documents her journey to feminism while skewering misogynist tropes and delivering some painful truths. Using her own experiences to expand on larger issues, Nugent bravely confides the details of her battle with bulimia and society’s ever-shifting idea of the perfect body…”—Publishers Weekly

6. A Cup of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernández

“[Hernández] examines the warmth and pain she found in her relationships with her family, the varied reactions they had when she came out as bisexual, and the cognitive dissonance she experienced as she became upwardly mobile. Throughout, she talks about the power of reshaping your experiences through narrative, of taking the past apart and putting it back together in a way that makes sense to you and makes it truly your own.”—The Huffington Post 

7. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

“I strongly encourage you to read Juliet Takes a Breath. It’s quite dazzling, funny as hell, poignant, all the things.—Roxane Gay

8. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

“Why isn’t 15-year-old Julia Reyes a perfect Mexican daughter in her mother’s eyes? Mostly because of her older sister, Olga, who puts family first, listens to her parents, and dresses conservatively. Julia, by contrast, argues with her mother, talks back at school, and dreams of becoming a famous writer. When Olga dies suddenly, Julia is left wishing that they had been closer and grieving what she sees as Olga’s wasted life. And when she starts to suspect that Olga might not have been so perfect, she follows every clue.”—Publishers Weekly

9.The Ladies of Managua by Eleni Gage

“Three generations . . . confront the tumultuous history of their country and their family in this vibrant story about radical acts of womanhood.” ―O Magazine

10. Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue

“Sudden Death shows us that games are never merely games, because no game is played without consequences — some of which then permanently clouding our ability to look back and understand the procession of bodies that enable our play, our culture.” —Los Angeles Times 

11. The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

This novella by Sandra Cisneros tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a Latina teen growing up in a Chicago barrio. In a series of vignettes, Cisneros poetically spins Esperanza’s beautiful story of resisting oppression while coming of age. Like so many of the books on this list, Esperanza’s story resonated with Latinas because of the shared experiences of familia and facing obstacles. Even now, readers can vividly recall the sadness of reading about female characters like Esperanza’s abuela, who were so trapped within their lives.

12. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Speaking of Esperanzas, the main character in “Esperanza Rising” is the privileged daughter of a wealthy landowner living with her parents in Mexico when misfortune forces her and her mother to flee to a California farm workers colony. Set in the era of the Great Depression, Pam Muñoz Ryan’s story spurred our thoughts as young readers on topics surrounding prejudice, choice, economics and labor unions. The plot of this novel took us on a journey riddled with characters who managed to maintain optimism despite living amidst so much sadness and suffering.

13. Quinceañera Means Sweet 15 by Veronica Chambers

As readers of Veronica Chambers’ novel, connecting to Afro-Latina best friend’s Marisol and Magdalena was easy because of their friendship, crushes and familial pressures to maintain their Latino culture. The two friends navigate the cultural divide of being American, Black and Latina while also trying to remain true to themselves and their own interests. No doubt this book inspired young readers to stay educated about ourselves and explore our own roots.

14. Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan

At the very beginning of this novel, Naomi León’s strong bond with her abuela and brother appear unshakeable. That is until her alcoholic mom inserts herself into their lives and turns everything upside down when she decides to take Naomi away. After a chain of luckless events, Naomi is sent on a flight to Mexico with her brother and grandmother where she discovers her Mexican heritage. Pam Muñoz Ryan’s book helped us to better understand our anxieties as children.

15. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

For many readers, Rudolfo Anaya’s novel acted as an introduction to the world of magic realism, and a unique grandson/abuela bond that was easy to relate to. At the heart of “Bless Me, Ultima” is the story of a boy undergoing a series of rites of passages which put him face to face with themes surrounding identity, free will and fear— subjects Latinas and really all women can relate to.

16. How Tía Lola Came to (Visit) Stay by Julia Alvarez

Who didn’t want a tía like Tía Lola after this read? That is, if they didn’t have one like her already. Julia Alvarez tells the story of a boy named Miguel whose move to Vermont after his parents’ divorce is chaperoned by his colorful Tía Lola. Between this book’s pages is a story of acceptance, cultural diversity and holding onto family, even when it hurts.

17. Cuba 15 by. Nancy Osa

Nancy Osa’s novel is about Violet Paz, a girl who’s part Cuban, part Polish family. Cultures collide when she hits 15. For many Latinas coming from families who immigrated to the U.S., Violet’s narrative was a relatable read that taught them to embrace their multiple cultures.

18. The Guardians by Ana Castillo

Author Ana Castillo bestowed Latinas a fiercely independent female character in Tía Regina. As a young reader of this book, the amorous relationship between Regina and Miguel was a pleasing introduction to sensuous literature that (dare I say) rivaled the likes of Judy Blume.

19. Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

In this book, Sandra Cisneros writes of the lies, trauma and history that affects a multigenerational family. It all comes out as they take a summer road trip to Mexico City, making us reminisce about long car rides and the pains of learning difficult parts of your heritage.

20. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

“Themes as diverse as growing up first-generation American, Latinx culture, sizeism, music, burgeoning sexuality, and the power of the written and spoken word are all explored with nuance. Poignant and real, beautiful and intense.” ―Kirkus Reviews 

21. The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos

“Ramos’ relevant and thought-provoking debut is a powerful addition to any collection.” ―Kirkus Reviews 

22. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Alex is a bruja in a long line of brujas. Her Deathday – when she comes into full power with the blessing of her family and all the dead brujas who came before her – is approaching. But unlike her mother and sisters, Alex actually mistrusts magic. After all, magic has done nothing good for her: her godmother died young because of it and her father disappeared after her magic did something so sinister he got scared of her. ―Kirkus Reviews 

23. Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

“A darkly enchanting retelling of the classic fairy tale Swan Lake” ―Bustle

24. Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

“Garcia has become synonymous with a certain breed of drama-filled, compulsively readable romance.” ―Bustle

25. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

“Nunez’s prose itself comforts us. Her confident and direct style uplifts—the music in her sentences, her deep and varied intelligence.” –The New York Times Book Review

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This Instagram Page Is Doing The Work To Identify And Expose The People Who Stormed The Capitol

Things That Matter

This Instagram Page Is Doing The Work To Identify And Expose The People Who Stormed The Capitol

homegrownterrorists / Instagram

After a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, people immediately started identifying the intruders. Videos have been circulating and people are steadily contacting the FBI to expose them. Instagram page @homegrownterrorists is one of the leading forces in identifying the rioters.

On Jan. 6, people stormed our Capitol building and the American people are demanding justice.

Images of people storming the Capitol building and looting the offices of members of Congress startled people around the world. One of the safest places in the world was overrun by far-right Trump supporters attacking the democratic process. Americans are demanding justice and working together to identify and report as many people to the FBI that were at the Capitol.

The Instagram page is unapologetically encouraging followers to identify people at the Capitol.

Five people died as a result of the riot, two of them were police officers. The Instagram page, run anonymously, is encouraging people to share the photos to their stories to increase the reach. The account might not have any legal power, but it is having some success. There has been more than one person identified through the IG page that has led to people losing jobs and being arrested by the FBI.

The account has disappeared multiple times but always comes back.

The mystery person running the account has expressed concern over their safety. The account has been suspended by Instagram after being reported by multiple people. There has even been some talk about them receiving threats of violence via DMs.

The person who runs the account has mentioned it randomly on their stories but with no real detail. According to recent stories, the person behind the account doesn’t want to antagonize the people sending threats.

The owner of the account did say that they have been contacted by Instagram about the account.

A tweet from HomeGrownTerrorists caught Instagram’s attention and the account was reinstated. However, there was a backup account to keep functioning in case the original got deleted. IG and the account owner reached an agreement where they get to keep the main account and the backup account was permanently banned. No questions asked.

If you want to help or be connected to the cause, you can follow this page on Instagram.

There are a lot of people left to identify and the nation’s law enforcement is bracing for more violence. Capitols in all 50 states are on alert for possible attacks and the National Guard is being mobilized in big numbers for the inauguration. We are not out of the woods when it comes to the threats that have been made.

READ: After Last Week’s Riots, A Black Woman Has Been Appointed to U.S. Capitol Police Chief

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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