Talk Chisme to Me: 2020 Latinx Heritage Month TBR

I am so excited about this year’s Latinx Heritage Month. I have a series of posts that will go up every week in celebration. I will also be participating in three different readathons/readalongs throughout the month which I will be talking about below. If you are able, please consider joining us as we celebrate Latinx voices all month long. And as always, please support books by Latinx authors once LHM ends.

Find my annual Twitter giveaway for Latinx Heritage Month here!!!

For Latinx Heritage Month, please consider donating to the Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Black Latina Girls and Women Fund, and the Undocumented Indigenous Fund

Latinx Book Club:

The Latinx Book Club is partnering again with Latinx-a-thon and Latinx Book Bingo for #LatinxLitTakeover. We will all be reading By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery for Latinx Heritage Month. You can find the Latinx Book Club on Twitter here and our Goodreads discussion group here. Graphic is linked to Goodreads.

Latinx Book Bingo TBR:

I am also participating in Latinx Book Bingo again this year. You can find their Twitter account here. I have sixteen books ready for this readathon which takes place September 15th-October 15th. I know I won’t get to them all, but a girl can dream.

Afro-Latinx: Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

Lighthearted Story: This Train Is Being Held by Ismée Amiel Williams

Set in/MC from Latin America: Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Any Book by a Latinx Author: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Backlist Title: Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

Recommended By a Latinx Reader: Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz (recommended to me by Gabi @ Gabi’s Book Reviews)

Nonfiction: Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas by Roberto Lovato

On Cover Rep: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Never Before Read Latinx Author: Tight by Torrey Maldonado

Cover with Latinx Flag Colors: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Award-Winning: Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Group Book: By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery

2020 Release: Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Queer Rep: Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Immigrant Story: We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Intersectional MC: We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Latinx-A-Thon TBR:

I will also be participating in Latinx-a-thon which takes place September 15th-24th. You can find them on Twitter here. Here is a list of prompts for this year including the books I will be reading for them.

  1. VOICES – Read a book written by an Indigenous and/or a Black Latinx author: Tight by Torry Maldonado
  2. LATINIDAD – Read a book written by an intersectional Latinx author (gender, sexuality, ability, etc.): Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
  3. ROOTS – Read a translated book or a book prominently featuring more than one language (i.e. with a bilingual MC): Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
  4. HERITAGE – Read a book written by an author from a non-Spanish speaking Latin American country/heritage (i.e. Brazil or Haiti): Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
  5. #LATINXLITTAKEOVER – Group book: By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery
  6. BONUS: Read books from authors of different heritages.

Latinx Heritage Month Book Fest

Not a readathon, but the Latinx Heritage Month Book Fest, organized by Paola @Guerrerawr is happening this month and I am so excited to check out all the panels. Check out this thread here for a list of all the author and reader panels happening. There are also Instagram and Blog/BookTube challenges, so be sure to check out the book fest’s IG here for all the info. And one more thing…

The Latinx Book Club will be participating in the final panel for the book fest! I am very excited for this, so I hope you all join us October 11th at 5pm est on Jocelyn’s YT channel here.

Will you be joining any of these readathons/readalongs this year for Latinx Heritage Month? Which book by a Latinx authors are you hoping to get to soon?

Talk Chisme to Me: August Releases by Latinx Authors

I cannot believe that it is already August. I am so excited to bring you today’s list of books by Latinx authors being publisher in August that have caught my eye. Quick note that next month’s list will be a part of my Latinx Heritage Month post series which begins September 15th. Graphics are linked to Goodreads.

If you are looking to educate yourself about abolition and systemic racism, Haymarket Books has several discussions they have been hosting. Check out their YouTube channel here.

1. Lobizona by Romina Garber

Why I Am Excited? I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this Argentinian-inspired fantasy and it was so good. Manu was an easy character to root for and I cannot wait to see how Garber expands her universe in the next book. Review for this one coming very soon.

Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.

2. You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Why am I excited? This book had me the moment I laid eyes on the cover. I cannot wait for this romance which promises all sorts of steamy tension.

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers. 

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

3. Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Why am I excited? Forever bitter that I wasn’t approved for an ARC of this one, but I have preordered this debut MG and will be reading it as part of the Meteor Shower Readathon.

“Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It’s all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.

Hating her mother’s humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it’s the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right…

Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.”

4. Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica (translated by Sarah Moses) 

Why am I excited? When I tell you that I want to read all the horror novels by Latinx authors, I want to read all the horror novels by Latinx authors. Warning, I heard this one is heavy on the body horror.

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans—though no one calls them that anymore.

His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.

Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.”

5. Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Why am I excited? I am in love with the title of this one and love how unique it sounds. I cannot wait to be swept away by this debut.

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.

It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years since Sia Martinez’s mom disappeared. Sia wants to move on, but it’s hard in her tiny Arizona town where people refer to her mom’s deportation as ‘an unfortunate incident.’

Sia knows that her mom must be dead, but every new moon Sia drives into the desert and lights San Anthony and la Guadalupe candles to guide her mom home..

Then one night, under a million stars, Sia’s life and the world as we know it cracks wide open. Because a blue-lit spacecraft crashes in front of Sia’s car…and it’s carrying her mom, who’s very much alive.

As Sia races to save her mom from armed-quite-possibly-alien soldiers, she uncovers secrets as profound as they are dangerous in this stunning and inventive exploration of first love, family, immigration, and our vast, limitless universe.”

6. What If a Fish by Anika Fajardo

Why am I excited? Yay for more middle grade magical realism books. No doubt this one will be just as enchanting as the cover.

“Half-Colombian Eddie Aguado has never really felt Colombian. Especially after Papa died. And since Mama keeps her memories of Papa locked up where Eddie can’t get to them, he only has Papa’s third-place fishing tournament medal to remember him by. He’ll have to figure out how to be more Colombian on his own.

As if by magic, the perfect opportunity arises. Eddie – who’s never left Minnesota – is invited to spend the summer in Colombia with his older half-brother. But as his adventure unfolds, he feels more and more like a fish out of water.

Figuring out how to be a true Colombiano might be more difficult than he thought.

Whimsical and unflinchingly honest, What if a Fish is a generational story of family and identity where hats turn into leeches, ghosts blow kisses from lemon trees, and the things you find at the end of your fishing line might not be a fish at all.”

7. Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

Why am I excited? We are seeing more books that focus on immigration, but this one caught my eye because it focuses on the child of undocumented parents. Also centers a Central American family which I would like to see more of in books that deal with immigration.

First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.

Fifteen-year-old Liliana is fine, thank you very much. It’s fine that her best friend, Jade, is all caught up in her new boyfriend lately. It’s fine that her inner-city high school is disorganized and underfunded. It’s fine that her father took off again—okay, maybe that isn’t fine, but what is Liliana supposed to do? She’s fifteen! Being left with her increasingly crazy mom? Fine. Her heathen little brothers? Fine, fine, fine. But it turns out Dad did leave one thing behind besides her crazy family. Before he left, he signed Liliana up for a school desegregation program called METCO. And she’s been accepted.

Being accepted into METCO, however, isn’t the same as being accepted at her new school. In her old school, Liliana—half-Guatemalan and half-Salvadorian—was part of the majority where almost everyone was a person of color. But now at Westburg, where almost everyone is white, the struggles of being a minority are unavoidable. It becomes clear that the only way to survive is to lighten up—whiten up. And if Dad signed her up for this program, he wouldn’t have just wanted Liliana to survive, he would have wanted her to thrive. So what if Liliana is now going by Lili? So what if she’s acting like she thinks she’s better than her old friends? It’s not a big deal. It’s fine.

But then she discovers the gutting truth about her father: He’s not on one of his side trips. And it isn’t that he doesn’t want to come home…he can’t. He’s undocumented and he’s been deported back to Guatemala. Soon, nothing is fine, and Lili has to make a choice: She’s done trying to make her white classmates and teachers feel more comfortable. Done changing who she is, denying her culture and where she came from. They want to know where she’s from, what she’s about? Liliana is ready to tell them.”

Which of these are you looking forward to reading? Any releases by Latinx authors in August that I didn’t list that you are excited for?

Talk Chisme to Me: July Releases by Latinx Authors

Yes, I am currently on hiatus, but I didn’t want to miss on opportunity to highlight books by Latinx authors coming out this summer. Be sure to check out these releases from your local library or purchase them from an indie bookstore (support these Black-owned bookstores). Summer is usually when book releases slow down a bit, so this list is very small. But that just means you have time to support all of these authors! Graphics are linked to Goodreads and be sure to check out the following links as well.

Check out this Anti-Racist Reading List.

Donate to organizations fighting for racial justice here.

Read up on #8toAbolition.

1. Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse by Chantel Acevedo

Why I Am Excited? I can’t wait to see more books that diversify well-known myths and this one sounds like such a delight.

The first in a middle grade fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology.

Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret.

Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.

When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s exceptionally nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.

As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse . . . or will it undo them all?”

2. All These Monsters by Amy Tintera

Why am I excited? You don’t get to see too many YA sci-fi books with Latinx leads, so I am really looking forward to this one. I also heard it has major Pacific Rim vibes which is such a fun movie.

“From New York Times best-selling author Amy Tintera, a high-stakes sci-fi adventure about a teen girl who will do anything to escape her troubled home—even if that means joining a dangerous monster-fighting squad. Perfect for fans of Warcross and Renegades.

Seventeen-year-old Clara is ready to fight back. Fight back against her abusive father, fight back against the only life she’s ever known, and most of all, fight back against scrabs, the earth-dwelling monsters that are currently ravaging the world. So when an opportunity arises for Clara to join an international monster-fighting squad, she jumps at the chance.

When Clara starts training with her teammates, however, she realizes what fighting monsters really means: sore muscles, exhaustion, and worst of all, death. Scrabs are unpredictable, violent, and terrifying. But as Clara gains confidence in her battle skills, she starts to realize scrabs might not be the biggest evil. The true monsters are the ones you least expect.”

3. Running by Natalia Sylvester

Why am I excited? This is the political YA novel I’ve been waiting for and I love that it gets to right down to addressing political views in Latinx households. I am ready.

“When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, Mari starts to see him with new eyes. A novel about waking up and standing up, and what happens when you stop seeing your dad as your hero—while the whole country is watching.

In this thoughtful, authentic, humorous, and gorgeously written novel about privacy, waking up, and speaking up, Senator Anthony Ruiz is running for president. Throughout his successful political career he has always had his daughter’s vote, but a presidential campaign brings a whole new level of scrutiny to sheltered fifteen-year-old Mariana and the rest of her Cuban American family, from a 60 Minutes–style tour of their house to tabloids doctoring photos and inventing scandals. As tensions rise within the Ruiz family, Mari begins to learn about the details of her father’s political positions, and she realizes that her father is not the man she thought he was.

But how do you find your voice when everyone’s watching? When it means disagreeing with your father—publicly? What do you do when your dad stops being your hero? Will Mari get a chance to confront her father? If she does, will she have the courage to seize it?”

4. The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas

Why am I excited? We need more Latinx MG books starring boy characters and I am so excited to see this one also includes a witch which I am always here for.

In this magical middle-grade debut novel from Adrianna Cuevas, The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, a Cuban American boy must use his secret ability to communicate with animals to save the inhabitants of his town when they are threatened by a tule vieja, a witch that transforms into animals.

All Nestor Lopez wants is to live in one place for more than a few months and have dinner with his dad.

When he and his mother move to a new town to live with his grandmother after his dad’s latest deployment, Nestor plans to lay low. He definitely doesn’t want to anyone find out his deepest secret: that he can talk to animals.

But when the animals in his new town start disappearing, Nestor’s grandmother becomes the prime suspect after she is spotted in the woods where they were last seen. As Nestor investigates the source of the disappearances, he learns that they are being seized by a tule vieja―a witch who can absorb an animal’s powers by biting it during a solar eclipse. And the next eclipse is just around the corner…

Now it’s up to Nestor’s extraordinary ability and his new friends to catch the tule vieja―and save a place he might just call home.”

Which of these are you most excited for? Have you preordered any of these? Any releases by Latinx authors in July I might have missed?

Talk Chisme to Me: Upcoming June Releases by Latinx Authors

I planned to post this one on Sunday but decided to wait a couple of days to not distract from real-world issues happening right now. Please remember white and non-Black PoC that just because you are now waking up to what it happening in the Black community doesn’t mean that that they have not already been dealing with police brutality for generations. Your comfort is not more important, you having a “safe place” from real-world events is a sign of your privileged and you need to learn when to speak up and when, frankly, to keep your mouth closed. If I sound testy, it’s because I’ve been really appalled by some of the things I have seen in this community. It is not surprising but I am getting tired of the seeing so many asked to be coddled during this time. This isn’t about you. Take a step back and figure out where you stand and then act. There are several ways that you can help right now and I will be listing links where you can financially contribute and add your voice to petitions.

Split your donation between organizations (Black Lives Matter, National Bail Out, etc) here.

Updated Twitter thread of specific bail funds, relief funds, and organizations that are still accepting donations here.

Twitter thread of mutual aid funds that you can donate to here.

Twitter thread of Goggle Docs that include petitions you can sign and calls you can make here.

Another way to help if you aren’t able to contribute money is to give this video a watch/let it run in the background (let it run all the way though, don’t skip ads), the ad revenue will be donated to Black Lives Matter organizations.

I started these posts with the intention of highlighting upcoming books by Latinx authors that need more attention during this pandemic, but I might just keep doing them every month from here on out. As always, if you are able, please buy these from your local indie bookstore (here is a list of Black-owned book stores that you should check out) or check them out from your library (if it’s been reopened). And I am always on the lookout for more books by Latinx authors to read and promote, from middle grade to adult. If there is a book that I don’t mention, please share them with me in the comments. Graphics are linked to Goodreads.

Note: Adriana @ Boricua Reads puts together a more comprehensive list of Latinx releases every season, so be sure to check out their summer 2020 list here!

1. The Way to Rio Luna by Zoraida Córdova

Why I Am Excited? I am such a fan of Zoraida Córdova’s novels and I cannot wait to see what she does with her first middle grade novel. Also, I love books that focus on sibling connections.

For fans of The Land of Stories comes an adventure that reveals the secret warnings hidden inside all classic tales — beware fairyland at all costs.

Eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic. He knows that pixie dust is real, that wardrobes act as portals, and that rabbit holes lead to Wonderland. Most of all, he believes that his older sister, Pili, is waiting for him somewhere in Rio Luna, the enchanted land in their favorite book of fairy tales.

Danny doesn’t care what the adults say. He knows that Pili isn’t another teen runaway. When the siblings were placed in separate foster homes, she promised that she’d come back for him, and they’d build a new life together in Rio Luna.

Yet as the years pass, Danny’s faith begins to dim. But just when he thinks it might be time to put foolish fairy tales behind him, he finds a mysterious book in the library. It’s a collection of stories that contain hints about how to reach another world. A map to Rio Luna . . . and to Pili.

As his adventure takes him from New York to Ecuador to Brazil, Danny learns that meeting your favorite characters isn’t always a dream come true. But nothing will stop him from finding his sister . . . even if it means standing up to the greatest threat the magical realm has ever known.”

2. Where We Go From Here by Lucas Rocha

Why am I excited? We do not have enough YA novels that talk about HIV, so I am really looking forward to this one. This is also one of the few novels from a Latin American author that has been translated to English. Here’s hoping we see more of these.

An absorbing debut novel about three gay young adults in Brazil whose lives become intertwined in the face of HIV, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Bill Konigsberg.

Ian has just been diagnosed with HIV.

Victor, to his great relief, has tested negative.

Henrique has been living with HIV for the past three years.

When Victor finds himself getting tested for HIV for the first time, he can’t help but question his entire relationship with Henrique, the guy he has-had-been dating. See, Henrique didn’t disclose his positive HIV status to Victor until after they had sex, and even though Henrique insisted on using every possible precaution, Victor is livid.

That’s when Victor meets Ian, a guy who’s also getting tested for HIV. But Ian’s test comes back positive, and his world is about to change forever. Though Victor is loath to think about Henrique, he offers to put the two of them in touch, hoping that perhaps Henrique can help Ian navigate his new life. In the process, the lives of Ian, Victor, and Henrique will become intertwined in a story of friendship, love, and stigma-a story about hitting what you think is rock bottom, but finding the courage and support to keep moving forward.

Set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this utterly engrossing debut by Brazilian author Lucas Rocha calls back to Alex Sanchez’s Rainbow Boys series, bringing attention to how far we’ve come with HIV, while shining a harsh light on just how far we have yet to go.”

3. Category Five by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Why am I excited? I am always on the lookout for diverse horror novels and I am really curious to see what Dávila Cardinal does with the sequel to Five Midnights.

Category Five is a new supernatural thriller from Ann Dávila Cardinal, set against the backdrop of a post-hurricane Puerto Rico

After the hurricane, some see destruction and some smell blood.

The tiny island of Vieques, located just off the northeastern coast of the main island of Puerto Rico, is trying to recover after hurricane Maria, but the already battered island is now half empty. To make matter worse, as on the main island, developers have come in to buy up the land at a fraction of its worth, taking advantage of the island when it is down.

Lupe, Javier, and Marisol are back to investigate a series of murders that follow in the wake of a hurricane and in the shadow of a new supernatural threat.”

4. Dactyl Hill Squad: Thunder Run by Daniel José Older

Why am I excited? I full admit that I have not picked up this fun middle grade series yet, but with the third book coming out, it is the perfect time to binge read them.

“Magdalys’s connection with the dinosaurs has led the US Army to some important victories, but the Civil War’s not over yet and the squad finds itself fighting deep in the Louisiana bayou. Then General Ulysses S. Grant himself entrusts Magdalys with a top secret mission — one that the very success of the Union depends on. Because as the friends will soon find out, the United States has more than one enemy.

Imperial troops are gathering along the Mexican border, forming an alliance with the Confederates in pursuit of spreading slavery, and suddenly the Union is facing battles on two fronts. But they are barely holding their own against one army. How can they possibly defeat two?

As New Orleans is surrounded, and desperate battle plans laid, Magdalys and her friends set off to disrupt a scheme that would destroy everything she cares about. But to do it, she’ll have to push her dinowrangling skills further than she’s ever been able to before. Can Magdalys defeat the fiercest rival she’s ever faced and save the fractured nation?”

5. Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster

Why am I excited? Latinx authors of middle grade books are thriving this year and I am so excited to welcome this debut author and her enchanting sounding adventure.

“On Emblem Island all are born knowing their fate. Their lifelines show the course of their life and an emblem dictates how they will spend it.

Twelve-year-old Tor Luna was born with a leadership emblem, just like his mother. But he hates his mark and is determined to choose a different path for himself. So, on the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, where Emblemites throw their wishes into a bonfire in the hopes of having them granted, Tor wishes for a different power.

The next morning Tor wakes up to discover a new marking on his skin…the symbol of a curse that has shortened his lifeline, giving him only a week before an untimely death. There is only one way to break the curse, and it requires a trip to the notorious Night Witch.

With only his village’s terrifying, ancient stories as a guide, and his two friends Engle and Melda by his side, Tor must travel across unpredictable Emblem Island, filled with wicked creatures he only knows through myths, in a race against his dwindling lifeline.”

6. On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez

Why am I excited? I have been thinking about this book for months and I cannot wait to read some more middle grade magical realism novels.

Minerva must take care of her sisters after her mother’s disappearance.

Twelve-year-old Minerva Soledad Miranda is determined to reach her goals, despite shouldering more responsibility than the other kids at school–like caring for her two sisters while her mom works two jobs. But one night, Minerva’s mom doesn’t come home, and Minerva has to figure out what to do. Was Mamá snapped up by ICE? Will the girls be sent to foster homes or holding centers for migrant kids? Minerva and her sisters can’t let anyone know Mamá has disappeared. They’ll just pretend everything is normal until she comes back.

Minerva’s plan falls apart the first afternoon, when her baby sister throws a tantrum during Minerva’s audition for Peter Pan. But as the days pass and Minerva grows ever more worried about her mother, something magical seems to be watching out for them: leaving them cupcakes, helping her find money, even steering them to friends and distant family who can help. Eventually, Minerva must make the hardest choice of her life. And when she does, she’ll be prepared to face life’s challenges–with friendship, hope, and a little bit of fairy magic.”

7. The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre

Why am I excited? I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this one and it is just as sweet as it sounds. You can read my thoughts on this one here.

“Twelve-year-old Zoey comes from a family of dreamers. From startup companies to selling motorcycles, her dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Her family being together is all that matters to her.

So Zoey’s world is turned upside down when Dad announces that he’s heading to a new job in New York City without her. Instead, Zoey and her older brother José will stay with their Poppy at the Jersey Shore. At first, Zoey feels as lost and alone as she did after her Mami died. But soon she’s distracted by an even bigger problem: the bowling alley that Poppy has owned for decades is in danger of closing!

After befriending a group of kids practicing for a summer bowling tournament, Zoey hatches a grand plan of her own to save the bowling alley. It seems like she’s found the perfect way to weave everyone’s dreams together…until unexpected events turn Zoey’s plan into one giant nightmare.

Now, with her new friends counting on her and her family’s happiness hanging in the balance, Zoey will have to decide what her dream is—and how hard she’s willing to fight for it.”

8. Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendariz

Why am I excited? I really wish we had had these Latinx books around growing up because I would have loved to have followed Julieta on these amazing adventures.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets Merci Suarez in this smart young middle-grade mystery about a diamond gone missing from the Louvre and the sweet and spunky girl who cracks the case.

Nine-year-old Julieta is finally about to put a purple pin in her family’s world traveling map! She’s off to Paris to help her art-handler dad collect pieces for a new exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Sadly, they must leave Julieta’s very pregnant mother behind, but they’re sure they’ll be back before the baby is born. Julieta sees the best of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, and plenty of great art. But things go awry when she and Dad walk in on a thief stealing the Louvre’s most prized piece–a priceless cursed diamond with a shady history. When Julieta runs for help, she accidentally frees the thief instead! Now Dad’s job is in danger and he’s become a suspect. Can Julieta determine who the thief really is before it’s too late?”

9. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Why I Am Excited? Did you know I am a fan of Silvia Moreno-Garcia? Trick question because if you know me, you know this. I feel so lucky to have been sent an ARC of this one from the publisher and it really was a dream come true to see the incomparable SMG write a horror novel. I loved this one so much and can’t wait to share my thoughts. Review for this one coming very soon.

“From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico — and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.”

Which of these are you most excited for? Have you preordered any of these? Any releases by Latinx authors in June I might have missed?