Literature Picks for Spring Break

For book lovers, it might seem that there are endless lists of books to read, but we’ve stumbled across a couple of selections that you might pick up during your Spring Break vacation.

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
This historical book is about the famous Mirabal sisters who lived in the Dominican Republic and defied the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. The story follows the lives of the sisters from young girls to marriage, womanhood, motherhood, and to their incarceration. This is a must-read as it recounts a heartbreaking story of Latina woman who fought for freedom in their country during a time when women were expected to be obedient, let alone not meddle in politics. The work of Alvarez makes the reader feel the oppression and fear that Dominicans felt during Trujillo’s regime, while trying to live their lives as normally as possible. This book has been adapted to movie starring Salma Hayek.

The Selection by Kiera Cass
While the story might not center around the Latino community, this author is Puerto Rican who has found immense popularity in the literature realm. The Selection is the first part out of a 4-book saga; it follows the main protagonist, America Singer, who has been forced to enter competition called the Selection in order to compete against 34 girls to win the heart of the future king of Illéa. Unlike the other girls, America finds that being selection is a nightmare as she didn’t want to leave her home and her previous Love to live in a mansion where chaos and violence are constant companion. This book meets The Bachelor and the Hunger Games. The Selection is a must-read as it is important to support Latina authors in the book world where it is difficult to find books that have Latino protagonists or even written by Latinos.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Shadowshaper is the story with an Afro-Latina protagonist. This book is for those who are looking for a young adult fiction book that has magic and fantasy elements. Sierra Santiago is a young artist living in Brooklyn when at a party a zombielike creature crashes her world. Through this conundrum, Sierra discovers that her world around her consists of magic and that it exists in her ancestry.  Older’s book is a refreshing take on the female protagonist as she is not only strong but has a positive mentality of her body, which will pass onto the reader. There is romance incorporated into this book but it is not the main focus nor the goal for the protagonist.

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