Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month


September 15 - October 15 marks Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of the culture, contributions, and histories of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Originally observed as Hispanic Heritage Week starting in 1968, the celebration was expanded in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period that included the independence days for Latin American countries, as well as Mexico and Chile.

There have been numerous contributions and notable firsts made by Hispanic Americans throughout history. Joseph Marion Hernández was the first Hispanic person elected as a representative to the United States Congress, representing the Territory of Florida in 1822 and 1823. Famous guitarist Carlos Santana was the first Hispanic American inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Antonia Coello Novello was the first woman and Hispanic person to serve as Surgeon General, helping to develop the National Hispanic/Latino Health Initiative to improve health care education and services for Hispanic Americans. Mexican-American author Matt de la Peña was the first Hispanic American to win the John Newbery Medal, which recognizes authors who have made prominent contributions to American literature for children. Many of his works are available through the library

These are only a few of the incredible accomplishments and contributions made by Hispanic Americans throughout history. You can find more information about Hispanic Americans through the World Book database. Search the library catalog and Libby for books by Hispanic authors. 

Interested in comics and superheroes? Read up on a few of the Latino superheroes you can find in comics. 

Learn Spanish for free with your library card through Transparent Language. The library also has a variety of language-learning books, DVDs, audiobooks, and downloadable materials for all ages available for checkout.  

Spanish Conversation Club
2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. at Millhopper Branch

Are you learning Spanish? Join us for casual conversation practice.

Family Film: Cine Para Niños
Saturday, Sept. 16 and 23, 2 p.m. at Headquarters Library

The library is partnering with the Latina Women's League to show two movies during Hispanic Heritage Month. Sept. 16th: Coco; Sept. 23rd: Encanto.

Millhopper Book Club
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m. at Millhopper Branch

Come enjoy discussing newer fiction and nonfiction titles. In correlation with Hispanic Heritage Month, this month's book is, "The Wind Knows My Name" by Isabel Allende.

Gaby's Latin American Kitchen
A Taste of Latin America

Bring Latin recipes into your kitchen with a variety of cookbooks

Gaby's Latin American Kitchen - Gaby Melian

Celebrity Chef Gaby Melian brings you into her kitchen to teach the best recipes she’s learned from all over Latin America. From desayuno (breakfast) to cena (dinner), merienda (snacks) to postre (dessert), your young chef will be a pro in no time. 

A Taste of Latin America - Patricia Cartin

Real Latin American food is unpredictable, flavorful, and a celebration of fresh tropical fruits, vegetables, and meats. Cartin presents a broad menu that will take you on a tasting tour of ten countries. All of the ingredients can be sourced at your local grocery store, so why not follow you taste buds south?

Lin-Manuel Miranda
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

Explore Gale in Context: Biography for biographical information about famous Hispanic Americans. 

My Beloved World - Sonia Sotomayor

"The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself." (Disponible en Español)

Lin-Manuel Miranda: Revolutionary Playwright, Composer, and Actor - Heather E. Schwartz

"Playwright and Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda is best known as the mind behind the smash-hit musical Hamilton. This title explores Hamilton and Miranda's other works, as well as his life off-stage."

Enrique Iglesias

Check out our Latin music collection or download an album through hoopla with your library card. 

Selena Quintanilla-Perez, known simply as Selena, was a Mexican American singer, fashion designer, and cultural icon often been referred to as the “Queen of Tejano Music." She was raised with the realities and struggles of being Mexican American where neither culture fully embraces or accepts you, and has become an icon of Mexican American and/or Chicano identity.

Ballad singer Enrique Iglesias mailed audition samples to prospective record companies under an alias while hiding his musical aspirations from his father, a prominent singer, in an effort to reach his dreams through his own talent. He signed a recording contract exclusively on his own merits, confidently settling into his career as a singer and songwriter with a personal musical style. 

La Bamba

Check out a variety of DVDs available for educational or entertainment purposes. 

"Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century."

"The life of rock and roll legend Ritchie Valens bursts across the screen in this celebrated, music-filled movie with star-making performances. Depicts the 17-year-old Mexican-American's rocket rise to fame from field laborer to rock star."

Check out music from Ritchie Valens on hoopla.

The Hacienda

Isabel Cañas

Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, dark secrets, and the woman pulled into their clutches... In the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz's father is executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solâorzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife's sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost. But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined. When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz's sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo's sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz's fears-but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark its doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doäna Solâorzano? Beatriz only knows two things for certain. Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will help her. Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrâes, as an ally. No ordinary priest, it will take Andrâes's skills as a witch to battle the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda. Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz's doom.

Disponible en Español.


Javier Zamora

When Javier Zamora was nine, he traveled unaccompanied by bus, boat, and foot from El Salvador to the United States to reunite with his parents. This is his memoir of that dangerous journey, a nine-week odyssey that nearly ended in calamity on multiple occasions. It's a miracle that Javier survived the crossing and a miracle that he has the talent to now tell his story so masterfully. While Solito is Javier's story, it's also the story of millions of others who have risked so much to come to this country. A memoir that reads like a novel, rooted in precise and authentic detail, Solito is destined to be a classic of the immigration experience.

Disponible en Español.

Mexican Gothic

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemi Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She's not sure what she will find--her cousin's husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemi knows little about the region. Noemi is also an unlikely rescuer: She's a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she's also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin's new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemi; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi's dreams with visions of blood and doom. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family's youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemi, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family's past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family's once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemi digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

Disponible en Español.

Chilean Poet

Alejandro Zambra

Nine years after their bewildering breakup, aspiring poet Gonzalo reunites with his high school girlfriend, Carla, now the mother of a six-year-old son, Vicente. Soon the three form a happy sort-of family--a stepfamily, though no such word exists in their language. After a few years, their ambitions pull the lovers in different directions, but traces of Gonzalo remain: Vicente inherits his love of poetry. When, at eighteen, he meets Pru, an American journalist literally and figuratively lost in Santiago, he encourages her to write about Chilean poets--not the famous, dead kind, your Nerudas or Mistrals or Bolaos, but rather the living, everyday poets, who are also a kind of family. By the time Pru's article is published, Gonzalo has returned to Chile. But will he and Vicente find their way back to one another?

Descriptions adapted from the publisher.
By AshleyW on September 15, 2023