Welcome to De Los | Reads: A roundup of books designed to amplify Latinx authors

Collage of a woman reading, wearing a dress made of letters
(Roxsy Lin / For De Los )

Welcome to the first edition of De Los|Reads, a monthly feature dedicated to amplifying the vibrant and diverse voices of Latinx authors. Every second week of the month we will feature books in three categories: fiction, nonfiction and children’s books. This month, all of the featured books were published in October and November.

“Latinos make up 18% of the American workforce and nearly 20% of the overall population. But in its report, the Government Accountability Office found that publishing is just 8% Latino — making it the worst field in media for Latino representation,” wrote Rep. Joaquin Castro in Publisher’s Weekly earlier this year.

The East Los Angeles author chronicles the 14-year journey it took her to complete her novel ‘Huizache Women.’

Oct. 18, 2023

Our goal with De Los|Reads is to help change that narrative and to ensure that the work of Latinx authors and illustrators reaches the audiences that it was created for.


"Sabiduria Familiar" book cover

“Sabiduría Familiar / Family Lore”

By Elizabeth Acevedo. Translated by Kianny N. Antigua (HarperCollins Español)

Acevedo’s roots: Dominican Republic/U.S.

With brilliant brushstrokes of magic realism, this book immerses readers in the Marte family’s fascinating world through the lives of their women. It paints a complex, multifaceted picture of family strength, complexities and how these elements sculpt individual identities. One of the most undeniable strengths of the book is its gripping narration, captivating readers from the start.

“Sabiduría Familiar” doesn’t merely narrate the Marte women’s story — it honors their enduring legacy and the enchantment that exists in the spaces between.

Grab it from your library
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"A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens" book cover

“A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens”

By Raul Palma (Dutton)

Palma’s roots: Cuba/U.S.

Set against the backdrop of economic tensions, this novel is an intricately layered narrative that oscillates between the humorous and the disturbing. Hugo Contreras, a Babalawo who remains skeptical of spirits despite his profession, finds himself in an unexpected alliance with his nemesis — a debt collector named Alexi Ramirez. The deal? Exorcise Alexi’s haunted house to clear Hugo’s debt.

From laugh-out-loud moments to chilling imagery, Palma’s novel reflects on the specters that haunt us — both real and metaphorical.

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Luna, who was born in Los Angeles to Indigenous Mexican and African American parents, decided that the witching world needed a more inclusive resource for young witches of color.

Nov. 1, 2023

"Le Dedico Mi Silencio" book cover

“Le Dedico Mi Silencio / I Give You My Silence”

By Mario Vargas Llosa (Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial)

Vargas Llosa roots: Peru

“Why did Toño Azpilcueta know so much about Peruvian music?” is the question that keeps the reader of this book excited, turning the pages to learn more about this peculiar character and his ventures following the trace of his beloved music.

“Le Dedico Mi Silencio” is the new book by Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa. It’s an experience as moving as the traditional Peruvian tunes that underscore the book, a lyrical exploration of human longing and cultural legacy.

Grab it from your library
Buy it


"Latinísimo: Home Recipes From the 21 Countries of Latin America" book cover

“Latinísimo: Home Recipes From the 21 countries of Latin America”

By Sandra A. Gutierrez (Knopf)

Gutierrez’s roots: Guatemala/U.S.

Sandra Gutierrez likes to say that “Latin American food is like a big house. The front door is Mexican cuisine. But once you walk over the threshold of that Latin American house, there are 20 other kitchens, and they’re all worth experiencing.” Her book “Latinísimo” is the embodiment of that metaphor.

With more than 357 recipes, the book is a go-to for preparing day-to-day, quick-to-make food that the reader’s contemporary counterparts are cooking today around Latin America. Don’t miss her interview in the “Authors Notes” section.

Grab it from your library
Buy it

"Legitimate Kid: A Memoir" book cover

“Legitimate Kid: A Memoir”

By Aida Rodríguez (HarperOne)

Rodríguez’s roots: Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic/U.S.

Rodríguez’s memoir stands as a luminous tribute to the human spirit. Infused with captivating honesty, it’s more than a recounting of events; it’s an introspective dive into the very essence of perseverance, determination and a resolute will that refuses to be quenched. Every page, emotional and relatable, makes the reader feel intimately connected to the author’s experiences.

Rodríguez states that the universe agrees with a made-up mind. This memoir serves as a compelling reminder of that very sentiment.

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Buy it

The East Los Angeles author chronicles the 14-year journey it took her to complete her novel ‘Huizache Women.’

Oct. 18, 2023

"Motherland: A Memoir"

“Motherland: A Memoir”

By Paula Ramón (Amazon Crossing)

Ramón’s roots: Venezuela

This memoir is a window into the Venezuelan crisis. It takes the reader on a deeply personal journey to experience the debacle of a country that once was the beacon of democracy and modernism in Latin America, now turned into a land of persecution and despair.

Ramón shares a portrait of the odyssey she and her family experienced during the most turbulent times of the crisis. It is a key book to understand the human consequences of a regime that shattered Venezuelan society.

Grab it from your library
Buy it

Children's Books

"Lolo and Birdie: I'm Not Sleepy! ¡No Tengo Sueño!" book cover

“Lolo and Birdie: I’m Not Sleepy! ¡No Tengo Sueño!”

By Angela Dominguez (Henry Holt and Co.)

Dominguez’s roots: Mexico/U.S.

What happens when you are ready to go to bed but your best friend isn’t? Do you tempt him with treats, delightful readings or a relaxing time stargazing? You can say “yes” to all of that in this charming bilingual picture book. Each page is a soft lullaby, wrapped in an adorable collection of illustrations that echo the comforting hues of twilight and the sparkling magic of a starlit night.

It is a perfect bedtime story that embraces the nocturnal wonders.

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Buy it

"José and Feliz Play Fútbol" book cover

“José and Feliz Play Fútbol”

By Susan Rose and Silvia López; illustrated by Gloria Félix (Penguin Workshop)

López’s roots: Cuba/U.S.

Rose’s roots: Cuba/U.S.

Félix: Mexico/U.S

Designed as a bilingual early-reader book, it vibrates with youthful energy, vivid illustrations and the sheer delight of a game that is beloved worldwide — fútbol. As José keenly pursues his dream of making it to the fútbol team, Feliz, his canine companion, remains faithfully by his side, turning the narrative into a jubilant celebration of determination and childhood friendships.

The book’s bilingual narrative adds an enriching dimension, making it a charming tale and a bridge, connecting cultures and expanding horizons.

Grab it from your library
Buy it

"The Young Teacher and the Great Serpent" book cover

“The Young Teacher and the Great Serpent”

By Irene Vasco; illustrated by Juan Palomino. Translated by Lawrence Schimel (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers)

Vasco’s roots: Colombia

Palomino’s roots: Mexico

Schimel’s roots: U.S.

This heartfelt story celebrates the universal languages of love and understanding, woven with the invaluable power of Indigenous knowledge. It pays homage to teachers working in remote areas — the unsung heroes driven by resolute passion. The book’s delightful illustrations are a symphony of a well-thought-out color palette that conveys profound emotions. This is a definite must for readers, young and old, offering a compelling story that resonates with the human spirit and the beauty of cross-cultural connections.

Grab it from your library
Buy it

According to the recent report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at USC, Latino representation in Hollywood has not shown any meaningful growth in the last 16 years.

Nov. 9, 2023

De Los Staff

De Los team is reading:

Jessica Perez
community editor

I’m reading a book I have always wanted to read but never had the opportunity to: “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler. It’s taking me a very long time to finish it. I think I picked it up post-pandemic, post-Trump — during a time of resistance to white supremacy to connect to something that felt like it was mirroring what we went through, what we are living and what the world could become.

Christian Orozco
assistant editor

I’m currently reading “Chilean Poet” by Alejandro Zambra. It’s an interesting story that weaves together a coming-of-age tale with themes that challenge what family is, or can be, and how a chance encounter with a past love can cause a ripple effect to those around them.

Crystal Villarreal
assistant editor


I’m almost finished reading “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. It’s a moving story about identical twin girls — one who chooses to pass as white and the other who returns to their hometown and lives as a Black woman. I read Bennett’s last book, “The Mothers,” and couldn’t wait to pick up this one — it’s been brilliant so far.

Roxsy Lin is a bilingual journalist and illustrator originally from Venezuela. Her work focuses on the pulse of the modern rhythms of Latinidad, arts and culture. @roxsy_lin