Section: Young Adult Book Reviews
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

A meditative warm story about two Mexican-American teen boys, Aristotle (Ari) and Dante who have different personality types, one is outgoing and sociable, Dante, while Ari is contemplative and enjoys watching and analyzing things from a distance; but on a random day at the local pool in 1987 they start talking and begin a friendship that will last forever.
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Soldado de la Revolucion Cubana.

Standing on giant's shadows, Zayas offers a valuable account of the Cuban Revolution from below, but still an official one.In my little historical trivia knapsack that I keep just in case I am asked where I grew up, there is one story that never fails me: the Granma ship that took Fidel Castro, Camilo Cienfuegos and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, among other members of the 26th of July movement into Cuba's Sierra Maestra, departed from Tamaulipas. Read Mas!


According to popular speculation, the ancient Mayan calendar indicates the world will end in 2012. Rosalba, a nine-year-old Mayan girl, has never heard of the prophecy, until she meets Alicia whose scientist father is studying frogs in the area. Rosalba doubts Alicia's claims about the prophecy but also witnesses that frogs are dying, the cornfields suffer from lack of rain, and a new road project will forever impact her remote Mexican village. Read Mas!

The Price of Loyalty

Starting middle school is hard enough for any kid, but when your closest friends decide to start a gang, it's even more difficult. Manny is torn between his loyalty to his friends that he has known since kindergarten, and his desire to be a good student and have a successful future. Read Mas!

Fighting for Dontae

Javier in many ways represents an all too familiar scenario to today's readers a teenage boy in a poor urban household, threatening to succumb to a lifestyle of gangs and drugs. Seeing some of his friends already verging dangerously down this path, Javier wishes for a different life, though he has no idea how to escape. Read Mas!

Desert Angel

Fourteen-year-old Angel has had a hard life raising herself and fending off her mother's many boyfriends. When Scotty the latest loser boyfriend kills Angel's mother and Angel discovers the body, Scotty attempts to kill her as well. The teen barely manages to escape with Scotty hot on her trail. Taken in by a community of border Mexicans who endanger themselves by helping her, Angel learns about family unity and trust. Read more!

Body Slammed!

In this stand alone sequel to Villareal's My Father, the Angel of Death, sixteen-year-old Jesse Barron struggles with relationships and staying on the high school football team although his heart is not in it. His father, “the Angel of Death" professional wrestler and former professional football player has set a high standard for Jesse to follow. Read more!

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Caught between that awkward state of boyhood and manhood, fifteen-year-old Ari, a self-proclaimed loner, thinks the long summer ahead of him will be as disorderly and boring as every other day. This changes the minute he meets Dante at the pool. With Mexican heritage as their only commonality, the boys are polar opposites in terms of personality, self-assurance, and outlook on life. Read more!

Far From Gringo Land

Seventeen-year-old Rich Dresner leaves Colorado to spend his summer helping old family friends complete their home in thebarrio of Santo Domingo, Mexico.


Sixteen-year-old Diego has a problem managing his anger and this has lead to his latest trouble with the law after he bashes a gay student at his school.

Border Crossing

Fifteen-year-old Manz is content to spend his summer working on a cattle ranch with this best friend Jed. Although the work is hot, the job is a great escape from his mother's depression, which seeps into every corner of their house.

Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love

The 50 love poems in this book truly capture the intensity with which teenagers often love: an all consuming emotion evoked by an array of experiences ranging from the sudden and exciting realization that you are holding hands for the first time to the devastating understanding that you have just lost a good friend.

The Dreamer

Neftali Reyes is a shy Chilean boy who loves to collect mementos, daydream, and write. But, he keeps these passions a secret from his authoritarian and abusive father who constantly ridicules Neftali for being weak.

Ellen Ochoa: Astronaut and Inventor.

Inspirational and captivating, this biography chronicles the life of Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina in space.

Hands of the Rain Forest: the Embera People of Panama

Visually impressive and culturally respectful, this book highlights the daily life of the Embera people of Panama. To Americanized children, cocooned by technology and virtual environments, the tactile chores and lush sensory culture may be challenging to imagine.

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

Stork follows his critically-acclaimed Marcelo in the Real World with another powerful, unflinching young adult novel.

The Latin Music Scene: The Stars, The Fans, The Music

Latino teenagers and others interested in Latin music will find this informative title a very fun and enjoyable read.

Marcelo in the Real World

The life of seventeen-year-old Marcelo Sandoval is about to change forever.

Journey of Dreams

Tomasa watches in horror as her peaceful village in the Highlands of Guatemala is leveled by guerrilla soldiers who burn her home; massacre her Abuela, neighbors, and friends; and steal her hope for survival.

El Gusano de Tequila
Told in a series of vignettes sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous it is the story of a young Sofia, a Mexican-American girl growing up in Texas, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.
Under the Mesquite 2012 Pura Belpre Author Award Winner
The story of high school senior Lupita, whose mother is diagnosed with cancer, is beautifully told in this haunting novel in verse. The first novel by poet and Junior High teacher Guadalupe Garcia McCall mirrors her own life, highlighting the difficulty of a teen that has the burden of caring for a household during her mother's illness.
The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind
Cursed by milagros?! Although most people would consider miracles to be a blessing, sixteen-year-old Sonia finds that her life is weighed down by the expectations that her presumed miracles can heal the sick and dying.
If I Could Fly
Fifteen-year-old Doris lives a lonely life; most of her time is spent in solitude because her musician parents perform in nightclubs rather than raising their daughter.
Consuela (which authentically should be Consuelo), the Mexican American protagonist who in the real world is overweight and insecure, finds herself in a parallel world (the Flow) where she discovers her strengths in helping people about to die.
Secrets of Tamarind
In this stand-alone sequel to The Lost Island of Tamarind, Aguiar continues the story of the Nelson family and their mysterious island. Thirteen-year-old Simon misses Tamarind, an invisible island accessible only through ophalla, a mysterious and powerful stone found only on the island.
You Don't Have a Clue:Latino Mystery Stories for Teens
Several well established Latino writers lend their talents to this notable collection of young adult mystery stories. Set in Latino communities across the U.S. and dealing with a diverse set of issues relevant to today's Latino teens, these stories are at once engaging and topical.