College Stories

These stories focus on the college experiences of young Latinos, whether they are on their way to begin college life or are trying to figure out what to do once they arrive. Recommended for grades 10-12.

A Good Long Way

Age Level: 14-16

"At 2 a.m., Roelito wakes up to a furious quarrel between his older brother, Beto, 18, and Dad over a broken curfew. When Dad tells Beto to leave, he does, and his best friend, Jessy, helps him find shelter for the night. She knows about running away; she flees the house whenever her drunken father and her mother scream and fight. Can she wait out the two months to graduation and make it to college?

Cubanita

Age Level: 16-18

Product Description: All Isa wants is to be a regular American teenager, something her Cuban immigrant mother most definitely does not understand. After almost eighteen years of constant debate over everything from birthdays to boys, Isa has had enough. She's counting down the days until she leaves for college — and can get as far away from Miami (North Cuba) as possible. But the more Isa tries to detach herself from her roots, the more tangled she becomes. Will she ever find the normal American life she dreams of? Or is she destined to become a cubanita after all?

It's Not About the Accent

Age Level: 16-18

Product Description: Sick and tired of her life in small-town Ohio, college-bound Caroline Darcy is determined to start fresh…as a new person. And that means following in the footsteps of her late Nana Ellie — her witty and vibrant Cuban great-grandmother with a glamorous, well-traveled past. The only person who doesn't seem impressed by her Latina facade is Peter, a quiet, sweet Cuban guy from Miami. But when "Carolina" finds herself in a dangerous situation, it's Peter who comes to her rescue — and leads her on a real adventure to discover the truth about Nana Ellie and her family.

Jesse

By: Gary Soto
Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: In this new edition of his first young adult novel, Gary Soto paints a moving portrait of seventeen-year-old Jesse, who has left his parents' home to live with his older brother. These Mexican American brothers hope junior college will help them escape their heritage of tedious physical labor. Their struggles are humorous, true to life, and deeply affecting. Young adults will sympathize with the brothers as they come to terms with what is possible for each of them in an imperfect world.

Soledad: A Novel

Age Level: 16-18

Product Description: Soledad couldn't get away fast enough from her contentious family. She's an art student at Cooper Union with a gallery job and a hip East Village walk-up. But when Tía Gorda calls with the news that Soledad's mother has lapsed into an emotional coma, she insists that Soledad's return is the only cure.

What Can't Wait

Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: Marisa's parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. Marisa hears something else from her calc teacher. She should study harder, ace the AP test, and get into engineering school in Austin. Caught between the expectations of two different worlds, Marisa isn't sure what she wants — other than a life where she doesn't end each day thanking God it's over.