(Cover illustration by Robert Crawford, from: Joseph, Lynn. (2002). The color of my words. New York: HarperCollins).


Young Adult Novels and Autobiographies
with Hispanic Themes

Denise E. Agosto, Ph.D.



Alvarez, Julia. (2002). Before we were free. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Tension builds as the story of the 1960s revolution in the Domincan Republic unfolds, told from the viewpoint of twelve-year-old Anita.  Will she and her parents flee to the U.S., or will they stay in their native land? (Fiction.)


Alvarez, Julia. (1991). How the Garcia girls lost their accents. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

The four Garcia sisters move from the Dominican Republic to the Bronx.  (Fiction.)


Anaya, Rudolfo A. (1972). Bless me, Ultima. Berkeley, CA: Tonatiuh International.

An elderly curandera enters young Antonio Marez’s life. Set in New Mexico. (Fiction.)


Cisneros, Sandra. (1983). The house on Mango Street. Houston, TX: Arte Público Press.

Short stories about Esperanza Cordero’s life in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago. (Fiction.)


Díaz, Junot. (1996). Drown. New York: Riverhead.

Short stories about the author’s youth in New Jersey. Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic. (Fiction.)


Jimenéz, Francisco. (1997). The circuit: Stories from the life of a migrant child. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Short stories that retell the author’s experiences as a Chicano migrant worker in the 1940s and 1950s. (Nonfiction.)


Jimenéz, Francisco. (2001). Breaking Through. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

The continuation of the author’s early life, chronicling his junior high and high school years. (Nonfiction.)


Martinez, Victor. (1996). Parrot in the oven: Mi vida: A novel. New York: Joanna Cotler.

A Chicano youth’s coming-of-age story. (Fiction.)


Mohr, Nicholasa. (1975). El Bronx remembered: A novella and stories. New York: HarperCollins.

Short stories about life in a Puerto Rican neighborhood of New York City. (Fiction.)


Ortiz Cofer, Judith. (1989). The line of the sun: A novel. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

The fictional tale of the author’s parents' and grandparents' lives in rural Puerto Rico and of her own life in Paterson, New Jersey. (Fiction.)


Ortiz Cofer, Judith. (1995). An island like you: Stories of the barrio. New York: Orchard.

Short stories about Puerto Rican life on the mainland. (Fiction.)


Santiago, Esmeralda. (1993). When I was Puerto Rican. Reading, MA: Perseus.

The first entry in the author's two-volume memoirs. (Nonfiction.)


Santiago, Esmeralda. (1998). Almost a woman. Reading, MA: Perseus.

The second entry in the author's two-volume memoirs. (Nonfiction.)


Soto, Gary. (1993). Local news. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Short stories about the everyday lives of adolescents growing up in a Californian Chicano neighborhood. (Fiction.)


Soto, Gary. (1994). Jesse. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Two Chicano brothers enroll in a community college with hopes of escaping their unhappy family lives. (Fiction.)


Veciana-Suarez, Ana. (2002). Flight to freedom. New York: Orchard.

Details twelve-year-old Yara's life as a Cuban exile in the Miami of the 1960s.  The author herself is a Cuban exile. (Fiction.)




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created 5/01/02; last updated 07/21/06