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Sage Book Club: Books to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

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Right now, in the United States, we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

This celebration of the histories, cultures, and contributions of the Hispanic/Latino community in the United States first began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. Twenty years later, it was expanded to a 30-day celebration starting with September 15 and ending on October 15.

The September 15 start day was very intentional, as it Independence Day for several Latin American countries including Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras.  Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Today, the diverse Hispanic/Latino community in the United States represents more than 60 million people with ancestors hailing from 22 countries across Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month our Sage colleagues have curated a reading list to help you expand your understanding of the Hispanic/Latino community and to support you in creating a more inclusive culture for your business and your community.

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Non-Fiction

Once I was you: A memoir of love and hate in a torn America by Maria Hinojosa

Award-winning journalist, Maria Hinojosa shares her experience of growing up Mexican American on the South Side of Chicago.

Finding Latinx by Paola Ramos

Drawing on research and her own personal story, journalist Paola Ramos chronicles how young Latinos across the United States are pushing boundaries and redefining their identities.

The power of Latino Leadership by Juana Bordas

What can leaders, from any culture, learn from how Latinos lead? Juana Bordas offers ten principles that richly illustrate the inclusive, people-oriented, socially responsible, and life-affirming way Latinos have led their communities.

Connected: How a Mexican village built its own cell phone network by Roberto J. González

Anthropologist Roberto J. González shares the true story of how, against all odds, a remote Mexican village built its own autonomous cell phone network – without help from telecom companies or the government.

 


Fiction

Love in the time of cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

This modern literary classic by Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez, tells the story of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza who fall passionately in love in their youth. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. Florentino must wait fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, to be able to freely do so again.

How the Garcia girls lost their accents by Julia Alvarez

When the Garcia girls arrive in New York City in 1960 from the Dominican Republic, they encounter a very different life then the one they left behind. What they have lost – and what they find – is revealed across 15 interconnected stories.

Stubborn Archivist by Yara Rodrigues Fowler

But where are you really from? When your mother considers another country home, it’s hard to know where you belong. When the people you live among can’t pronounce your name, it’s hard to know exactly who you are. In Stubborn Archivist, a young British Brazilian woman from South London navigates growing up between two cultures.

 


Young Adult / Teens

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Afro-Latina Xiomara Batista feels unheard. But she has plenty to say.  She pours all her frustrations and passions onto the pages of her leather notebook. When she gets invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she can attend without her Mami finding out. Yet, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Told in a series of vignettes, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza lived a privileged life in Mexico.  But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

 


Children

Solar system with Ellen/El Sistema solar con Ellen by Patty Rodriguez and Arian Stein

In this bilingual book, children can take a trip around our solar system with Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina in the world to travel into space.

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the people by Monica Brown

Once upon a time there was a little boy who loved people and discovered the magic of words. When he grew up, he gave himself the pen name Pablo Neruda and wrote about the people of Chile and their stories of struggle.

Where are you from? By Yamile Saied Mendez

When a girl is asked where she’s from–where she’s really from–none of her answers seems to be the right one. Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn’t give her the response she expects. She gets an even better one.

 

Do you have a book recommendation to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Share it with us in the comments.

Looking for more reading recommendations? Visit our Sage Book Club hub for more reading lists. 

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