Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! PLL is so excited to celebrate the diversity of the written word by highlighting some of our favorite Latino and Latina characters, in honor of the upcoming release of SNAP, by Ellie Rollins.
Here’s a bit about SNAP: When Danya Quixote’s family fortunes take a turn for the worse and her parents decide that they must sell her pet pony Sancho to make ends meet, Danya, well, snaps. She and her free-spirited best friend Pia decide to whisk Sancho away to Florida, where Danya’s estranged grandmother lives. Danya is convinced her grandmother is sitting on a nest egg that could save Sancho, and so the two embark upon an epic trip along the majestic Mississippi River. As Danya and Pia face crocodiles, Louisiana casinos, and a surprising instance of what looks like divine intervention, they learn about the true power of family, discovering that magic exists if you know where to look and that sometimes the real treasure we’re seeking is with us all along.
Featuring diversity in literature is what the “melting pot” of America is all about. If you’re interested in reading SNAP, here are some more of the most captivating, inspiring, and all-around-awesome latino (and latina!) characters.
1. Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez
The coming-of-age story of Lina Flores, who is dealing with her best friend’s parent’s divorce, her crush on the cute boy Luis, and the death of her mother a year before.
2. Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa
Violet Paz is 15, which means her Cuban grandmother thinks it’s time for a traditional celebration; but Violet is also half Polish, and wrestles with the definition of culture, ancestry, and family, all while trying to form her own opinions.
3. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
A tragedy that kills her father forces Esperanza and her mother to flee their ranch in Mexico and make their way to America as farm workers during the Great Depression. Esperanza journeys to California and discovers that fresh starts often have difficult beginnings.
4. Help Wanted by Gary Soto
A collection of short stories about young Mexican Americans living in California struggling to establish themselves and assert their identities while staying true to their cultural roots.
5. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The story of Esperanza Cordero is already a classic as she navigates the twists and turns of an oppressive environment in Chicago’s Hispanic quarter.
6. In the Shade of the Nispero Tree by Carmen T Bernier Grand
Teresa and her mother are at odds in Puerto Rico: Teresa wants to enter a contest with her best friend to win Junior Queen, but her mother wants Teresa to join the High Society and go to private school.
7. Call Me Maria by Judith Ortiz
Maria is fifteen years old and lives in New York City with her father, but misses her mother, who is still in Puerto Rico, and who she left behind to get a good education.