Must-Read Books for Latine Hispanic Heritage Month

a collage of books by latina authors: first gen by alejandra campoverdi, the making of yolanda la bruja by lorraine avila,  legitimate kid by aida rodriguez, wealth warrior by linda garcia and borderless by jennifer de leon

It's Latine Hispanic Heritage Month, and while there are so many amazing stories from diverse Latine voices, here are a few new book picks that are more than just great reads; they are experiences that will resonate, inspire, and open your eyes to different facets of the Latino experience.


First Gen: A Memoir by Alejandra Campoverdi

This isn't your regular rags-to-riches story; Alejandra Campoverdi's life has been a blend of challenges and triumphs. From being on welfare to becoming a White House aide, her life experiences are a testament to the resilience and multifaceted nature of many first-generation Americans. Going beyond the success bullet points, Alejandra dives deep into the gaps between, highlighting the struggles, the sacrifices, and the genuine meaning of belonging. This memoir is an evocative journey of a "first and only" trying to find her place in the vast mosaic of the so-called “American dream.”

www.barnesandnoble.com

First Gen: A Memoir|Hardcover
$28

Legitimate Kid: A Memoir by Aida Rodriguez

Aida's life reads like an action-packed movie - from child abductions to facing homelessness as an adult. But as good comedians do, she turns her harrowing experiences into laughter. With her infectious wit, Aida has transformed pain into comedic gold, challenging societal norms and paving the way for Latino representation in the comedy world. 'Legitimate Kid' is more than just a memoir; it's a testament to the human spirit's ability to rise and make the best of the cards life deals you.

www.barnesandnoble.com

Legitimate Kid: A Memoir|Hardcover
$28.99

Borderless by Jennifer de Leon

'Borderless' is a gripping tale of a teen, Maya, and her mother navigating the treacherous waters of gang violence and seeking a better life. It's a race against time as they journey through Guatemala and Mexico, with their sights set on the US border. Amidst the suspense, the story offers a poignant look at the aspirations, sacrifices, and hope that many carry on their quest for a safer and better life.

www.barnesandnoble.com

Borderless|Hardcover
$19.99

The Making Of Yolanda La Bruja by Lorraine Avila

Enter the world of Yolanda Alvarez, a young girl at a crossroads. Her initiation into her family's bruja tradition takes a dark turn when she's plagued by visions of a new student with harmful intentions. At its core, this story is a call to arms against societal issues like gun violence. Lorraine Avila's fiery prose explores race, justice, education, and spirituality, presenting a narrative that will strike a chord with readers from all walks of life.

www.barnesandnoble.com

The Making of Yolanda la Bruja|Hardcover
$19.99

Wealth Warrior by Linda García

Finance can seem daunting, but Linda García, a financial educator and proud Latina, is here to change that. From being a single mother struggling to make ends meet to becoming a stock market savant, Linda's journey is awe-inspiring. 'Wealth Warrior' is more than just an investment guide; it's a call to address and heal our money wounds, especially for communities of color historically kept from these financial arenas. Whether you're a stock market newbie or looking to up your game, this book is the companion you've been waiting for.

www.barnesandnoble.com

Wealth Warrior: 8 Steps for Communities of Color to Conquer the Stock Market|Hardcover
$26.10

These narratives that range from heartfelt to harrowing, from financial savvy to deep-rooted tradition. Celebrate by expanding your understanding, honoring these voices, and maybe even finding a bit of yourself in their stories. ¡Feliz lectura!

vibrant graphic design featuring two female wrestlers in action

Picture this: the grand arena hums with the electricity of expectation and the clamor of a thousand voices, all waiting for the spectacle of the age-old Mexican tradition of Lucha Libre, a wrestling style born in the heart of Mexico in the early 20th century.

The combatants aren’t mere wrestlers; they are luchadores, artists of acrobatics and theatricality, their faces hidden behind vibrant masks that carry stories older than the very sport they represent, stories rooted in the legacy of the ancient Aztecs.

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Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram


Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

Video by theluncheonlawyer on InstagramVideo by theluncheonlawyer on Instagram

Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.