January 30, 2020


The brotherhood of Beast Riders is lifting me in a huge hum of instructions, with great ferocity of purpose, with a kind of love new to me.  
Love that says, Stranger, we are in this together. --Manuel

The Latina Book Club is proud to be a blogger reviewer for Multicultural Children’s Book Day – January 31, 2020.  This year’s book review is of the BEAST RIDER by Tony Johnston and Maria Elena Fontanot de Rhoads (Abrams Press).  Views expressed are our own. 

Haunting. Inspiring. Genuine.   

BEAST RIDER is a harrowing, thrilling, and emotional ride fraught with danger and hope.  It’s one boy’s journey across the border to reconnect with his long lost brother. This very realistic tale is about love, courage, family and growing up fast.

It’s also frightening because it can – and does! -- happen.  Young boys – girls, adults, elders – do ride “The Beast,” the fast moving train from Mexico towards the U.S.  12-year old Manuel is such a boy.  In this fictional tale, he leaves his small town to join his older brother Toňo in Los Angeles. Neither the journey nor the ride are easy.  There are gangs, thieves, corrupt police, etc., who prowl around The Beast. Manuel is not prepared for the violence he encounters, but he does find strangers who help him on his way. Third time proves lucky, and Manuel, now 15, finally makes it to L.A. and is reunited with his brother in a strange new land.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:   Tony Johnston is the award-winning author of more than 100 children’s books. She lives with her family in San Marino, California. Maria Elena Fontanot de Rhoads is a Mexican psychotherapist who specializes in childhood trauma. She lives in Mérida, Mexico.


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. 

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum





Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove,  Lauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

·       Our New FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit http://ow.ly/kcbZ30p3QWz

·       Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!  Twitter Party on Friday, January 31, 2020, from 9:00-10:00pm ET.  Follow the #ReadYourWorld hashtag to join in and win!



January 13, 2020


Chef Aarón Sánchez’s memoir touched my soul. As a fellow Mexican American, I grew up a lot like Aarón and shared the same kind of traditional Mexican cuisines every night at the dinner table. I have a new respect and understanding for the recipes that were passed along within my family, and I now have a deeper appreciation because I recognize that this is connection to my past that will live on forever.  –Oscar de la Hoya, Boxing Legend

Happy 2020!  The Latina Book Club has chosen a savory memoir/ cookbook for its first Book of the Month of this new decade. 

WHERE I COME FROM: LIFE LESSONS FROM A LATINO CHEF by Aarón Sánchez is inspiring, passionate and delicious.  Right from the start, readers learn that Aarón equates his love of food with his love for his family and heritage.  He thanks his mother, who pushed him out of the nest at 16 to go work with a well-known New Orleans chef, for his love of cooking especially traditional Mexican cuisine.  With vivid detail that engages all the senses, and lively language (lots of f-bombs!), Aarón is frank in sharing his ups and downs in the culinary universe, but with perseverance, tenacity, courage and cojones he’s become a MasterChef, author, entrepreneur, TV personality, and philanthropist.  Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!!

SUMMARY:  America’s most prominent Latino chef shares the story behind his food, his family, and his professional journey.
Before Chef Aarón Sánchez rose to fame on shows like MasterChef and Chopped, he was a restless Mexican-American son, raised by a fiercely determined and talented woman who was a successful chef and restaurateur in her own right—she is credited with bringing Mexican cuisine to the New York City dining scene. In many ways, Sánchez, who lost his father at a young age, was destined to follow in his mother Zarela’s footsteps. He spent nights as a child in his family’s dining room surrounded by some of the most influential chefs and restaurateurs in New York. At 16, needing direction, he was sent by his mother to work for renowned chef Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans.
In this memoir, Sánchez delves into his formative years with remarkable candor, injecting his story with adrenaline and revealing how he fell in love with cooking and started a career in the fast-paced culinary world. Sánchez shares the invaluable lessons he learned from his upbringing and his training—both inside and outside the kitchen—and offers an intimate look into the chaotic and untraditional life of a professional chef and television personality. This memoir is Sánchez’s highly personal account of a fatherless Latino kid whose talent and passion took him to the top of his profession.#

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Chef Aarón Sánchez is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author, and philanthropist. He is the costar of the hit series MasterChef and MasterChef Jr., and has starred and guest-starred on many television series on Food Network and Cooking Channel. Aarón has won a James Beard award for Television Studio Program (2012) and was the host of the Emmy-nominated Cooking Channel series, Taco Trip.  Learn more about him at www.chefaaronsanchez.com.



January 6, 2020


The Latina Book Club wishes everyone a very Happy New Year !

We're starting ours with the Three Kings Day Parade on Monday, January 6, 2020, at El Museo del Barrio, followed by lunch at La Fonda.  (How sweet it is.)

We wish all our Readers and Followers all the best for 2020 and Happy Reading !!


December 16, 2019


Lucky 7!  The Latina Book Club is proud to release its 7th Annual Books of the Year List.

This year’s Books of the Year have something for everyone and for every age -- fiction, young adult, historical novels, memoirs, children, horror, mystery, scifi, short stories, LGBTQ, poetry, graphic novels and more!  We are just sorry we couldn’t include every book by and for Latinos published this year.

We are super excited to see that many of the books on our list are being published in Spanish, like Nina Moreno’s Don’t Date Rosa Santos and Carolina De Robertis’ Cantoras; and one – Elizabeth Acevedo’s With The Fire On High – may even become a movie.  Wepa!

Congratulations again to our literary award winners, including Meg Medina who won the John Newberry Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature; Sandra Cisneros who won the PEN/Nabokov Award for (Lifetime) Achievement in International Literature; and Elizabeth Acevedo whose winning streak continued in 2019 with a trifecta – the Pura Belprè Award, National Book Award and Carnegie Medal.

Special mention must be made of Anika Aldamuy Denise’s biography of New York’s First Puerto Rican Librarian -- Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belprè is a beautiful portrait of a woman with a strong commitment to reading, her community and her city.  Another special mention goes to Juan Pablo Villalobos' The Other Side: Stories of Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border, which is full of emotionally gripping stories of teens in search of the elusive American Dream. 

With the New Year upon us, please consider donating books to your child’s/ niece’s school or neighborhood library.  You can also share books with friends at the office or at social functions, or leave one or two at the doctor’s office, DMV or jury room.

Please think of The Latina Book Club when promoting your book.  We would love to help you spread the word across our social networks; maybe do a quick interview or run an excerpt. Email your information and book release date(s) to latinabookclub@aol.com.   

From The Latina Book Club Family to Yours.....
.......Happy Reading.  Happy Holiday.  Happy New Year.  Happy Everything. Happy 2020!


68: The Mexican Autumn of the Tlatelolco Massacre by Paco Ignacio Taibo II (Seven Stories Press) – non fiction

A Cuban Refugee’s Journey to the American Dream: The Power of Education by Gerardo M. Gonzalez (Well House Books) – memoir

A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son by Sergio Troncoso (Cinco Punto Press) – fiction

Alienation by Inės Estrada (Fantagraphics) – graphic novel

All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil (SohoTeen) – young adult, scifi

American Dreamer (Dreamers series) by Adriana Herrera (Carina Press) – romance, LGBTQ

Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez (Atheneum Books) – young adult

b.b. free (series) by Gabby Rivera (Boom! Boom! Box) – graphic novels

Be Recorder by Carmen Gimėnez Smith (Graywolf Press) – poetry

Becoming Beatriz by Tami Charles (Charlesbridge Teen) – young adult

Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy by Andrės Cerpa (Alice James Books) – poetry

Blizzard Besties by Yamile Saied Mèndez (Scholastic) – children, middle grade

Blood on the Canvas: The Life & Legacy of Boxing Icon, Canto “TNT” Robledo by Joseph C. Robledo (Golden Foothills Press) – biography

Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas series) by Zoraida Córdova (Sourcebooks Fire) – young adult, fantasy

Cabaňuelas by Norma Elia Cantŭ (University of New Mexico Press) – historical fiction

Cantoras by Carolina de Robertis (Knopf) – historical fiction

Carved in Bone: A Henry Rios Novel by Michael Nava (Persigo Press) – mystery, LGBTQ

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes (Harper Voyager) – scifi

Color Me In by Natasha Diaz (Delacorte Press) – young adult

Coney Island Siren by Theresa Varela (Pollen Press) – fiction, suspense

Crashing Into Her: Love on Cue by Mia Sosa (Avon Impulse) – romance

Cuicacalli/ House of Song by Ire’ne Lara Silva (Saddle Road Press) – poetry

Dactyl Hill Squad: Freedom Fire by Daniel Josė Older (Arthur A. Levine Books) – children, middle grade

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreňo Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle (Atheneum Books) – children, middle grade

Daughters of the Stone by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa (indie) – historical fiction

Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera (Simon & Schuster) – young adult

Disquieting: Essays on Silence by Cynthia Cruz (FourWay Books) – essays

Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Flatiron Books) – fiction

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno (Disney-Hyperion) – young adult

Dreams from Many Rivers by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt & Co.) – children

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya (Kokila) – children, middle grade

Explicit Content: A Black Artemis Novel by Sofia Quintero (Blackstone Audio) – young adult, audiobook

Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal (Tor Teen) – young adult, thriller

Flashed (Happy Endings series) by Zoe Castile  (Kensington Books) -- romance

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey) – fiction, magical realism

Gracias / Thanks by Pat Mora (Lee & Low) – children

Hijito by Carlos Andrės Gómez (Platypus Press) – poetry

Hipster Death Rattle by Richie Narvaez (Down & Out Books) – crime thriller

Ignacio in the Dark by Dania Ramos (Overdue Books) – children, middle grade

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press) – memoir, LGBTQ

It Would be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo (HarperVia) – historical fiction

Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina (Candlewick) -- children

Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes (Scholastic) – children, middle grade

Like This Afternoon Forever by Jaime Manrique (Kaylie Jones Books) – historical fiction, LGBTQ

Lima:: Limón by Natalie Scenters-Zapico (Copper Canyon Press) – poetry

Love, Sugar, Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits by Anna Meriano (Walden Pond Press) – children, middle grade

Luna, Yes! Luna, Si! By Jessica Gonzalez (Kaleidoscope Vibrations) – children

M is for Movement by Innosanto Nagara (Triangle Square) – children, middle grade

Malcriada & Other Stories by Lorraine Avila (DWA Press) – short stories

Mangos & Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera (indie) – romance, novella

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya (Puffin Books) – children, middle grade

Maria The Wanted and the Legacy of the Keepers by V.Castro (indie) – fiction, horror

Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes (Scholastic) – children, middle grade

Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor by Norma Elia Cantŭ (University of Arizona Press) – poetry

Mi Papi Has A Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero (Kokila) – children, middle grade

Miami Midnight: A Pete Fernandez Mystery by Alex Segura (Polis Books) – mystery

Mouthful of Birds: Stories by Samantha Schweblin (Riverhead Books) – short stories, magical realism

My Time Among the Whites by Jennine Capó Crucet (Picador) -- memoir

Ordinary Girls: A Memoir by Jaquira Diaz (Algonquin Books) – memoir

Outbursts of Horror by Manuel A. Melėndez and El David (indie) -- horror

íPa’Que Tu Lo Sepas! Latinx Fiction for Puerto Rico edited by Angel Luis Colón (Down & Out Books) – short stories

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belprè by Anika Aldamuy Denise (HarperCollins) – biography

Revolution Sunday by Wendy Guerra (Melville House) – suspense

Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (One World) – short stories, fiction

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (Rick Riordan Presents) – children, middle grade

Silver Meadows Summer by Emma Otheguy (Knopf Books) – children, middle grade

Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle (Atheneum Books) – young adult

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Córdova (Disney Lucasfilm Press) – young adult, scifi

Superman: Dawnbreaker (DC Icons Series) by Matt de la Peňa (Random House Books) – young adult, scifi

Taina by Ernesto Quiňonez (Vintage) – young adult

Tame Your Heart (Bounty Bay series) by Tracey Alvarez (Icon Publishing) – romance

Tears of the Truffle-Pig by Fernando A. Flores (FSG) – fiction

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia (DC Ink) – graphic novel

The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero (Ecco/ HarperCollins) – fiction

The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel Josė Older (Imprint Books) – paranormal

The Book of Ruin by Rigoberto González (Four Way Books) – poetry, LGBTQ

The Chronicles of The Black Fist: F.U.R.I. of the People by Kevin Sabio (indie) – fiction

The Cuban Comedy by Pablo Medina (The Unnamed Press) – fiction

The Fire Keeper (A Storm Runner Novel) by J.C. Cervantes (Rick Riordan Presents) – children, middle grade

The Fresh New Face of Griselda by Jennifer Torres (Little, Brown Books) – children, middle grade

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (Forever) – romance

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante (G.P. Putnam) – young adult, LGBT

The Internet Is For Real by Chris Campanioni (C&R Press) -- philosophy

The Last Eight by Laura M. Pohl (Sourcebooks Fire) – young adult

The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey (Inkyard Press) – young adult

The Moon Within by Aida Salazar (Arthur A. Levine Books) – children, middle grade

The Other Side: Stories of Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border by Juan Pablo Villalobos (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) – non fiction

The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada (Griffin) – romance

The Piňata that the Farm Maiden Hung by Samantha R. Vamos (Charlesbridge)  -- children

The Price of Grace (Black Ops Confidential series) by Diana Muňoz Stewart (Sourcebooks Casablanca) – thriller

The Price of Paradise by Susana López Rubio (indie) – women’s fiction

The Storm by Tomas Gonzalez (Archipelago) – mystery

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring (Imprint) – young adult, thriller

The Truth Is by NoNieqa Ramos (Carolrhoda Lab) – young adult

The Universal Laws of Marco by Carmen Rodriguez (Simon Pulse) – young adult, romance

The Withered King: Tempest Blades by Ricardo Victoria (Shadow Dragon Press) – fantasy

Their Perfect Melody by Priscilla Oliveras (Zebra Books) – romance

They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez (Little A) – young adult

This American Autopsy: Poems by Josė Antonio Rodriguez (University of Oklahoma Press) – poetry

This Train is Being Held by Ismėe Williams (Amulet Books) – young adult, romance

Tracing the Horse by Diana Marie Delgado (BOA Editions) – poetry

Travel Secrets: New York City (series) by Shar Lemond (indie) – women’s fiction

We Are La Cocina: Recipes in Pursuit of the American Dream edited by Caleb Zigas and Leticia Landa (Chronicle Books) – cookbook

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (Katherine Tegen Books) --- young adult, LGTBQ

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleyton (Berkley) – fiction

Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Mèndez (HarperCollins) – children

Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef by Aarón Sánchez (Abrams Press) – memoir

While They Sleep (Under the Bed is Another Country) by Raquel Salas Rivera (Birds LLC) – poetry

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen) – young adult

Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! by Megan & Jorge Lacera (Children’s Book Press) – children