Whether it’s a juicy novel or a fascinating biography, these exciting new books by Puerto Rican authors will help you connect with your roots. Así que ponlos en tu reading list ¡ya!
Comienza el otoño con su aire que nos invita a quedarnos en casa a leer un buen libro. Pero… who are we kidding? Let’s face it, fall or not, the weather doesn’t change much in sunny Florida. However, the desire to read a good book se despierta with the release of these wonderful titles inspired by nuestro querido Borinquen.
The Way of the Saints
Based on the author’s personal experiences as the daughter of a Santería priestess, this multigenerational collection of linked short stories tells the journey of three generations of Puerto Rican women: Paula, who moves with her children into a brutal tenement in 1950s New York; Isabel, who begins a quest for power after she is initiated into the Santería religion, and her daughter Esther, who grows up in the 1980s between two worlds: ancient island spiritism and suburban materialism.
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The book won the Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel, and according to Kirkus Reviews, “[Elizabeth] Engelman’s vivid prose… delivers an intimate, emotionally resonant portrait of a complicated family.” Available now.
Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Reshaped Libraries With Her Stories
Lyrically written by Annette Bay Pimentel and beautifully illustrated by Magaly Morales, this book celebrates the remarkable life and legacy of Pura Belpré, the storyteller, author, folklorist, and first Latina librarian in New York City. Pura grew up listening to her abuela’s cuentos, como el de la cucarachita que amaba a un ratón, y el del señor Zapo, but after becoming an adult and moving from Puerto Rico to Harlem, New York, the magic suddenly ends. At the library where she gets a job, all the books are in English. Where is her beloved islita, with its wealth of magical stories, on these shelves? Pura becomes a pioneer of bilingual story times, telling cuentos that weren’t even printed in books at the time, and creating cultural bridges in her community. Available now.
Good Night Little Astronomer
Part of a series of multilingual bedtime stories for children ages 0–6, this charming story and its Spanish version “Buenas noches, pequeña astrónoma” inspire children to believe that they can work towards making their dreams a reality. In the stories, your child will be able to follow a brave, smart, and adventurous little Chinese astronomer as she discovers new planets, visits the Northern Lights, and explores the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Written by Dr. Intergalactic, this beautiful illustrated book will delight any child with curiosity and imagination. Release date: Available now.
A Lot Like Adiós
Are you in the mood for romance? Entonces alégrate, porque la nueva novela de Alexis Daria, the national bestselling author of “You Had Me at Hola,” is just what la Dra. Corazón te recetó: a thrilling second-chance romance about a commitment-phobic Boricua and Gabe, her childhood best friend. Gabe left the Bronx at 18 to escape his parents’ expectations, leaving Michelle behind. Will sparks fly when they set eyes on each other again? What do you think? Of course! Tú sabes que sparks will fly and volcanoes will erupt when they start working together on a marketing campaign and old feelings resurface. Available now.
Imagined, written, and illustrated by Puerto Rican women to share with the world, Mya Pagán’s “Ellas” wants Boricua children and youth to dream big and follow in the pioneering footsteps of these brave women. Available now.
Home in Florida: Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness
Celebrated Boricua author end editor Anjanette Delgado explores la literatura del desarraigo in this selection featuring contemporary Latinx writers who have called Florida home, including Richard Blanco, Jaquira Díaz, Patricia Engel, Jennine Capó Crucet, Reinaldo Arenas, and Judith Ortiz Cofer, among others. The writers featured are first-, second-, and third-generation immigrants to Florida from Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Perú, Argentina, Chile, and other countries. In their unique voices, and whether through fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, they capture the desire to establish a new home in the United States as they struggle with the reality of displacement. Release date: Oct. 26.
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Un coquí de Borinquen con los Reyes a Belén
Perfecto para regalar el Día de Reyes, is the story of a magical coquí that accompanies a Puerto Rican girl to the first Christmas, when the song of the coquí helps the Magi find baby Jesus. By Lara Mercado, Armando Valdés, and Nivea Ortiz. Available now.
Julia de Burgos: La creación de un ícono puertorriqueño
Available for the first time in Spanish, this absorbing biography tells the story of the iconic Puerto Rican poet and activist who fought against colonialism and social injustice, and celebrates her contributions to Latin American literary and visual culture. Author Vanessa Pérez-Rosario’s clear prose unravels the cultural and political dynamics that Latino writers and artists in New York undertake to imagine new possibilities for themselves and their communities, while presenting a fascinating portrait of the indomitable Boricua. Release date: Jan. 25.