Hispanic Heritage Month and “It Came from the Library!” Teen Read Week celebrations

There are a lot of activities going on in the fall. I’m almost too late to suggest some great book lists for National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2012).

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide and begins Sept. 15, 2012, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico achieved independence on September 16th and Chile on September 18th. Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1974, when President Gerald Ford issued a Presidential Proclamation extending Hispanic Heritage Week into a month-long observation. There doesnt appear to be a single organization that coordinates this heritage month, perhaps appropriately since Hispanic culture is extremely varied. According to the Library of Congress, this years theme (which was also the 2011 theme) is Many Backgrounds, Many StoriesOne American Spirit.

This recommended reading list from the Florida Department of Educations website provides a variety of suggested books by grade level for children of all ages, as well as a selection of suggested books for adult reading.

Another great source for booklists is Reforma: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking.They have created a great booklist of Teen Latino Titles from 2011.

Some additional titles for teens include:

  • De la Pea , Matt. I Will Save You (2010). Kidd, 17, unhappy with his life in a group home and job at the beach, learns lessons about identity, love, and friendship through his relationships with Olivia, a rich girl from Cardiff, and Devon, a mysterious teen driven by a death wish.
  • Saenz, Benjamin Alire. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (2012). Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.


It Came from the Library!Strange hair

It Came from the Library! This Teen Read Week (Oct. 14-20), YALSA dares you to read for the fun of it! Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading for fun and encourage teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms books and magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more and become regular library users. Check out the website for more ideas to use in your library.

About Sharon Rawlins

Sharon Rawlins is the Youth Services Specialist in Lifelong Learning at the New Jersey State Library. She's a children's and teen librarian responsible for providing consulting assistance to the youth services librarians in public and school libraries in NJ.