Entertainment

In Honor Of Book Lovers Day, Here Are 9 Latino Authored Books To Represent Different Groups Of La Raza

Yes Yes Books / The Unnamed Press / Amazon

Summer is a great time to read and unwind. There’s nothing like snuggling up on the couch with a light blanket and disappearing into another world full of great twists, turns, sorrows and celebrations. Here are 11 books written by Latinos that we think you should put on your reading list, just in time to celebrate #BookLoversDay.

1. “How the García Girls Lost Their Accents” by Julia Alvarez

CREDIT: Algonquin Books / Amazon

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents” follows a family from the Dominican Republic as they flee after their father’s association with a group trying to overthrow the dictator government is discovered. The family lands in New York City and the four sisters, Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia, have to figure out how to adjust to living in a different culture while retaining their Dominican heritage. The adjustment proves tricky for the girls who slowly become increasingly Americanized over time. This book emotionally shows the struggle many young immigrants and first-generation children deal with: balancing your family’s culture with your new culture.

2. “The Show House” by Dan Lopez.

CREDIT: The Unnamed Press / Amazon

Dan Lopez paints a vivid picture of central Florida in his novel “The Show House.” In the book, two families are quickly heading to a disastrous ending in this psychological thriller. A Puerto Rican pharmacist, Laila, is trying to figure out her handsome, young, gay half-brother who is in the throes of some serious teenage angst and runs away from home. At the same time, a serial killer targeting gay men in Orlando is on the loose, leading to more panic than worry. As Laila tries to find her half-brother, another family is trying to fix a broken relationship between a father and son, Steven. Though Steven is married to Peter and the two have a child, something seems off. It isn’t long until all the characters in the book have a fateful meeting.

3. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

CREDIT: HarperCollins / Amazon

“The Alchemist” is an absolute classic and no Latino reading list is complete without it. Santiago is a young Andalusian shepherd who is following his destiny, as told to him by a gypsy. During his journey, he learns many valuable lessons that all point to the same conclusion – the importance of following your heart and desires.

4. “Waiting for Snow in Havana” by Carlos Eire.

CREDIT: Pocket Books / Amazon

Author Carlos Eire writes an autobiographical account of being a part of Pedro Pan, a mass exodus of Cuban children to the U.S. from December 1960 to October 1962. Pedro Pan is seen as one of the largest migrations of unaccompanied minors in the Western Hemisphere, with 14,000 Cuban children landing in Miami before being united with relatives or placed in homes across the U.S. Parents sent their children to the U.S. to prevent indoctrination by the rising Cuban government. It is a part of Cuban history that is rarely talked about but one that is important to understand. “Waiting for Snow in Havana” is definitely worth a read if you are into history.

5. “The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende.

CREDIT: Washington Square Press / Amazon

The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende is a story of familial discovery through journals. Clara del Valle was a young girl when her sister was suddenly died of poisoning, leading her to a nine-year period of silence with the outside world. Clara, a clairvoyant, turns to documenting her life in a journal. Fifty years after the book begins, her husband and granddaughter use her journals to try and figure out their families history. There are moments of unease as the secrets of the family are laid bear in the search for identity.

6. “My Beloved World” by Sonia Sotomayor.

CREDIT: Vintage Books / Amazon

Sonia Sotomayor made history as the first Latino ever appointed to the Supreme Court and the third woman to do so. In “My Beloved World,” Sotomayor writes about being the child of Puerto Rican immigrants and how she made her way from a girl in the Bronx that grew up in a housing project with an alcoholic father, to graduating from Yale Law School and becoming a federal district attorney in New York. Basically, this book is a great source of inspiration for anyone who is trying to better their circumstances.

7. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz.

CREDIT: Riverhead Press / Amazon

Junot Díaz draws the reader into a scary and beautiful story of a young man in New Jersey who is looking for love and acceptance in “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” After two failed suicide attempts, the main character, Oscar, moves to the Dominican Republic to get away from New Jersey, but things don’t go right. Oscar, who was afraid of dying a virgin, falls in love with a sex worker who has a policeman boyfriend. The policeman sends some men to scare Oscar, and they end up beating him into a coma. This is when Oscar gets sent back to New York where his family helps him recover before he moves back to the Dominican Republic in pursuit of the sex worker.

8. “Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa” by Rigoberto González.

CREDIT: The University of Wisconsin / Amazon

Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa” is a coming-out story that deals with the complexities and societal shortcomings of the Latino community when it comes to homosexuality. The book is a personal look at the authors’ life, who had to figure out how to come out of the closet as the first-generation child of Mexican farmworkers. The book examines the themes of machismo, being valued within the Latino culture and the struggle first-generation children have when they are in a country whose culture is different from their parents’.

9. “Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina” by Raquel Cepeda.

CREDIT: Atria Books / Amazon

This memoir by Raquel Cepeda is a different glimpse into the complicated world of looking for acceptance from family who doesn’t understand you. “Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina” chronicles Cepeda’s life, starting from when she lived in the Dominican Republic, and touches on how she lost her Latina identity. It was her father and European stepmother who tried to make sure she didn’t express her Dominican heritage.


READ: Get On It: 13 Books By Latino Authors You Should Have Read By Now

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Best Selling Author Elizabeth Acevedo’s Book ‘With The Fire On High’ Is Going To Be Turned Into a Movie

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Best Selling Author Elizabeth Acevedo’s Book ‘With The Fire On High’ Is Going To Be Turned Into a Movie

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Lately, Afro-Dominican author and poet Elizabeth Acevedo has gotten a lot of well-deserved praise for the incredible writings she has contributed to the literary world. Back in June of 2019, Acevedo’s “Poet X” won the prestigious Carnegie Medal — making her the first writer of color to ever receive the honor. The writer also released her second book, “With The Fire On High,” to esteemed reviews back in May of the same year. 

Now, the Latina creator is getting another honor to add to her distinguished resume. 

Her book, “With The Fire On High,” has been picked up by a production company with plans to develop it into a movie. 

Twitter / @AcevedoWrites

It was announced on Monday, August 5th that the production company, Picturestart, acquired the rights to the New York Times bestselling novel and will produce a film that Acevedo will adapt for the big screen. Picturestart was launched earlier this year by Former Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-president Erik Feig. This adaptation will be one of the production company’s first. Feig and Executive Vice-President of Picturestart, Lucy Kitada, are set to produce the film for the company. As of now, there is no date or time frame for the film in these early stages of its development.  

“With The Fire On High” tells the story of protagonist Emoni Santiago. The 17-year-old Philadelphian works through the challenges of becoming a single mother during her freshman year of high school. Despite many hardships, Santiago finds that the one place she can still feel free is the kitchen. The magic, love, and kindness she puts into her dishes make both her and everyone who tastes them happy. However, as much she likes to cook, Santiago feels its an impossible dream to pursue so she is conflicted about pursuing it. Still, she can’t help the way she feels when she turns up the heat and creates something new. 

On Twitter, fans and colleagues alike celebrated Acevedo’s newest project. 

Twitter / @YesikaStarr

Fellow Latina writer, Yesika Salgado, took to Twitter to congratulate Acevedo. As the Salvadorean says in her tweet, the “With The Fire On High” author really seems to be on a winning streak lately. We’re glad to see her getting all the accolades she deserves. 

As this tweet points out, Acevedo’s news is very needed after this weekend’s tragedies. 

Twitter / @GlamBelle9

After a weekend filled with so much pain, the Latinidad is in desperate need of some happy news so this announcement comes as a beautiful win for all of us. Acevedo was raised by immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. To see her succeed in the ways that she has is both inspirational and so gratifying for our Latinx and immigrant communities.

Some supporters expressed their excitement to see Acevedo’s characters on the big screen. 

Twitter / @juliaerin80

This new film deal means that we will see Emoni and all of the book’s other characters brought to life. Seeing more films with protagonists of color not only opens more roles up to Black and brown actors, but it also provides an opportunity to see ourselves and our community is reflected by Hollywood. 

Most of all, Acevedo’s fans and supporters were just really excited for the Latina writer. 

Twitter / @IAmKingBey

Acevedo’s announcement was full of reactions from friends, fans, and supporters and they all echoed the same excitement and happiness for the author. GIFs and reaction images expressed just how proud they are to hear the Dominicana’s news. Her mentions were basically a big celebration. 

We’re very happy for Acevedo and can’t wait to see her book come to life. It’s another example of what can be accomplished with Latina excellence. 

La Chona Is THAT Hot Girl We Should All Be Trying To Be

Culture

La Chona Is THAT Hot Girl We Should All Be Trying To Be

lostucanesdetijuana.com

Besides our moms, abuelas, tias and comadres, there are so many strong Latina icons like Selena Quintanilla, Frida Kahlo, Celia Cruz, Jenni Rivera and Rita Moreno that we can look up to.

However, we need to give proper credit to another important feminist figure in the Latinx culture.

“La Chona” is one of the original feminist icons of our generation and she needs to get the proper credit she deserves.

Twitter / @bonitaapplewend

“La Chona” is a song from 1995 by Los Tucanes de Tijuana — a norteño band from Tijuana. The fast beat and up-tempo song tells the story of a woman named La Chona. As the song goes, La Chona is a “city girl” who spends her nights out at the clubs dancing and basically living her best life. Think of “Hotline Bling” without Drake.

The lyrics below will help you understand (if you already don’t) why La Chona is an important feminist figure.

“I’ll tell you the story of a famous city girl.
Everybody knows her and La Chona is her name.
Everybody knows her and La Chona is her name.
Her husband is crying, he doesn’t know what to do.
Daily, she is dancing and spending on her booze.
Daily, she is dancing and spending on her booze.
The band has started, they’re playing the first song.
La Chona is ready, ready looking for a boy.
La Chona is ready, ready looking for a boy.
People are watching and they’re all singing aloud.
Bravo, bravo. Chona, about dancing, you’re the one.”

Twitter user @bonitaapplewend wasn’t the only one to declare La Chona one of the original hot girls.

Twitter / @dig_apony

As this tweet says, we stan a strong, confident woman. La Chona is the kind of girl who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it — no matter what other people think about her choices. She isn’t afraid to leave her toxic husband behind and enjoy herself. We have to appreciate that level of self-confidence.

A thread by @UnTalFredo goes even further into the La Chona lore and is a good read if you want to learn more about the legend.

Twitter / @UnTalFredo

As the thread details, La Chona isn’t the kind of girl to let things happen to her. She’s going to experience life to it’s fullest because she knows that we are all on borrowed time. If she wants to dance, she finds a partner. If she wants to drink, La Chona buys her own bottles — she doesn’t wait for someone else to treat her. She’s an independent woman who doesn’t need a man to make her nights worthwhile.

Not only that but, La Chona is adored and respected by her community and she loves them in return.

Twitter / @UnTalFredo

La Chona isn’t just dancing for her own enjoyment, she’s also doing it for her community. She shows her appreciation for them by doing something that she is generally great at. She doesn’t dance for the ovations but she appreciates the love that she gets from her audience. Considering how important community is to the Latinidad, this exudes big Latina energy. La Chona is like a local celebrity and we’re certain girls in the clubs she dances at dream of becoming as carefree and acclaimed as she is.

La Chona is so important in Latin music lore that she deserves a place in our hearts alongside other legendary music figures.

Twitter / @monitolegoazul

As this tweet suggests, La Chona would be the perfect partner for “Sergio el Bailador.” The song by a Nuevo León group, Bronco, it tells the story of Sergio el Bailador — a handsome dancer that all the girls come to see groove. His noteworthy style and reputation is a perfect match for La Chona. We’re sure she would save him a dance or two but remember, La Chona doesn’t need a man to get her party on.

La Chona would find a home with another legendary dance group, too.

Twitter / @datfoosaul

Named after an indigenous woman who translated for Cortés, La Malinche was a dance trio created in the 1950s by famous dancer José Limón. Their dances were based on the Mexican fiestas that Limón remembered from his childhood. La Malinch was very popular during the ’50s and it could be said they were the ones that paved the way for other expressive dance groups. La Chona would be just the dancer to make this trio troop into a quartet.

We have to give props to La Chona. She lived her life on her own terms, was immortalized in a song and is still being talked about 25 years later. She’s a true feminist icon and we can all benefit from living a little more like La Chona.

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