Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15. During this month, the culture, history, traditions, and contributions from the countries that fall under this category are celebrated. Heritage month starts on September 15 because the anniversary of independence for Central American countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) is celebrated on that day, followed by Mexico on September 16. There are many ways you can participate in this month-long celebration, including appreciating these different cultures by reading about them. That’s why we present you with 5 different books written by Latinx and Hispanic authors about their cultures that you can read this month:


1. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo


This book by Dominican-American poet and author Elizabeth Acevedo is inspired by the events of the crash of flight AA587, which took off from New York and was supposed to land in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In this book, Acevedo writes about how the aftermath of the crash affects two sisters who don’t know about each other. Camino Rios lives in the Dominican Republic and longs for the summers when her father visits her, but one day he doesn’t arrive, and she is met at the airport with the news of a crash. Yahaira Rios lives in New York City, and she is at school when she finds out that her father was in a plane crash. In the chaos that follows their father’s death, these sisters learn of each other’s existence and their father’s secrets.

2. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Gracia

This book by Mexican author Silvia Moreno-Garcia is set in her birth-country during the 1950s.

Noemí Taboada leads a glamorous and pleasant life in Mexico City, which is interrupted when she receives a letter from a cousin asking for help and urging her to come to High Place, the house she lives in with her husband and his family in the Mexican countryside. Noemí is not sure what is happening in the house that would require her help until the house begins to make its way into her dreams with images of doom and blood. Noemí can only hope she figures out what is going on in the High Place and with the weird family that lives there before it’s too late. 

Including aspects from the history of eugenics in Mexico during the 20th century, Moreno-Garcia tells a haunting story that will keep readers on edge.


3. Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

Born in Boston to Guatemalan parents, Jennifer de Leon tells the story of a teenager and her struggles as a half-Guatemalan and half-Salvadorian girl trying to fit in, while giving the reader insight on how immigration and the separation of families affects them.

Liliana Cruz is living life one day at a time, trying to understand her friends, high-school, and the fact that her father left once again on a trip. But her father didn’t leave without doing something for her first, signing her up for school desegregation that has her starting at a new, mostly white, school in which she is seen as different. Liliana tries to fit in as much as she can by changing parts of herself, but then she finds out her father is not actually on a trip, he has been deported. Suddenly Liliana has something else to worry about and hiding who she is won’t help her. She needs to be loud about who she is and where she comes from.



4. Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

In this retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Puerto Rican-American author Lilliam Rivera tells the story of two Afro-Latinx characters set in the Bronx.

Eury and her family were displaced after the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Now, Eury is in New York and she is convinced that since she left her country, a spirit has been following her. Pheus, a talented musician, is set on putting a smile on Eury’s face. Soon, their stories go deeper than this world to fight the spirit that is tearing their lives apart. 


5. Furia

Argentine-American author Yamile Saied Méndez tells the story of Camila Hassan in this book.

Camila lives two lives. At home she is a daughter trying to please her mother, she lives in the shadow of her soccer-star brother, and with her father’s short temper. But when she’s on the soccer field she is La Furia, a talented and admired player. When Camila’s team qualifies for the South American tournament her dreams might be closer to becoming realities. But her parents don’t know she plays, and if they knew they wouldn’t allow her to continue. In this book, Camila is forced to fight for her dreams and passions.