Summertime Adventures

Anything can happen in the summer — and for these young Latinos, anything does! From an unexpected trip to Cuba for a family funeral to a summer job that changes everything, these summer stories will have teens on the edge of their seat waiting to find out what happens next. Recommended for grades 7-12.

Amor and Summer Secrets

Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: For fifteen-year-old Mariana Ruiz, it's not so much an unexpected vacation as a literal "guilt trip" — her father's way of atoning for ignoring his Puerto Rican roots. The heat is merciless, the food is spicy, and her great aunt and uncle's mountain house teems with relatives, only one of whom — her distant cousin Lilly — speaks English. Bored, and hoping to make up for missing her best friend's star-studded Sweet 16, Mariana offers to help in the planning of Lilly's quinceañera.

Dreams of Significant Girls

Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: Brought together each summer at a boarding school in Switzerland, three girls learn a lot more than just French and European culture. Shirin, an Iranian princess; Ingrid, a German-Canadian eccentric; and Vivien, a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker culinary phenom, are thrown into each other's lives when they become roommates. This is a story of 3 paths slowly beginning to cross and merge as they spend the summers together and form an unbreakable bond.

Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa

Age Level: 12-14

"When high-school senior Emily Goldberg leaves her New York suburban home to attend her grandmother's funeral in Puerto Rico, it's her first meeting with her mother's extended family…Emily stays in Puerto Rico for the summer to help Mom reconnect with what she left behind, and discovers a new world…Ostow draws on her own half-Jewish, half-Puerto Rican roots to tell a moving story that has a solid plotline and plenty of family secrets — past and present — as it opens up issues of tradition, feminism, friendship, and loyalty." — Booklist

Firefly Summer

Age Level: 9-12

"In this turn-of-the-century novel, seventh-grader Teresa attends school in San Juan and travels home in time to celebrate the Feast of the Cross with her extended family, friends, and plantation workers on her parents' finca…Belpré submitted Firefly Summer for publication during World War II, but it was rejected because of a paper shortage; it is available now because of a national project whose aim is to locate, identify, preserve, and make accessible the literary heritage of U.S. Hispanics." — School Library Journal

How Tía Lola Saved the Summer

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Miguel Guzman isn't exactly looking forward to the summer now that his mother has agreed to let the Sword family — a father, his three daughters, and their dog — live with them while they decide whether or not to move to Vermont. Little does Miguel know his aunt has something up her sleeve that just may make this the best summer ever. With her usual flair, Tía Lola decides to start a summer camp, complete with magical swords, nighttime treasure hunts, campfires, barbecues, and an end-of-summer surprise!

Marcelo In The Real World

Age Level: 14-16

Marcelo Sandoval, a 17-year-old with an Asperger's-like condition, has arranged a job caring for ponies at his special school's therapeutic-riding stables. But he is forced to exit his comfort zone when his high-powered father steers Marcelo to work in his law firm's mailroom…Readers enter his private world as he navigates the unfamiliar realm of menial tasks and office politics with the ingenuity of a child, his voice never straying from authenticity even as the summer strips away some of his differences. — Publishers Weekly

Poe Park

Age Level: 12-14

"The day after Enoch Morales graduates from elementary school, his mother throws him a surprise eleventh-birthday party, and his best friend, Spencer, gives him an iguana. The following day, the two boys are playing outside when Spencer is shot and killed. Over the summer, Enoch tries to cope with his shock and anger, his growing certainty that Spencer had become involved in a gang, and his mixed feelings about his older half brother, who has moved from Puerto Rico to New York City to live with Enoch and his mother.

Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood

Age Level: 14-16

This Hollywood is a barrio in 1968 New Mexico, where the students at Las Cruces High School struggle through heartbreak, loss, and an entrenched racial divide to find their place in the world.

Suckerpunch

Age Level: 14-16

"Marcus is quiet and artistic; his younger brother, Enrique, is a charismatic ladies' man. Both boys have been scarred by their father's constant physical abuse directed at Enrique and witnessed silently by guilt-ridden Marcus. The man left a year earlier, but the boys are far from healed. Enrique turns to fighting and dating and dumping girl after girl, while Marcus gets stoned.

Summer of the Mariposas

Age Level: 12-14

Product Description: When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead body in the swimming hole, they embark on a hero's journey to return the dead man to his family in Mexico. But returning home to Texas turns into an odyssey that would rival Homer's original tale. With the supernatural aid of ghostly La Llorona, Odilia and her little sisters travel a road of tribulation to their long-lost grandmother's house. Along the way, they must outsmart a witch and her Evil Trinity.

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: When Pancho arrives at St. Anthony's Home, he knows his time there will be short: If his plans succeed, he'll soon be arrested for the murder of his sister's killer. But then he's assigned to help D.Q., whose brain cancer has slowed neither his spirit nor his mouth. D.Q. tells Pancho all about his "Death Warrior's Manifesto," which will help him to live out his last days fully — ideally, he says, with the love of the beautiful Marisol. As Pancho tracks down his sister's murderer, he finds himself falling under the influence of D.Q. and Marisol, who is everything D.Q.

What the Moon Saw

Age Level: 12-14

"Out of the blue, 14-year-old Clara Luna receives a letter from her grandparents inviting her to spend the summer with them in Mexico. She has never met her father's parents and he has not seen them since he left his homeland more than 20 years ago. Wary of visiting people she doesn't know and yet frustrated and restless with her life at home, Clara embarks on the two-day journey to the remote village of Yucuyoo.

When the Stars Go Blue: A Novel

Age Level: 14-16

"In a risky career move, ballerina Soledad refuses an offer to join a dance company in order to play the role of Carmen with a Miami-based competitive all-male drum and bugle corp. Although the role and its opportunities are seductive, spending the summer with her new boyfriend, bugle-playing Jonathan, and exploring their fresh, exciting love is equally compelling.