It's doesn't have to be Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month for your kids to enjoy these terrific Latinx graphic novels. Drawing upon a diverse range of Hispanic and Latino/a/x experiences, these graphic novels include a variety of genres. Whether your readers enjoy realism, fantasy, historical fiction or folktales, everyone will find their perfect book on this list.
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¡VAMOS! LET'S CROSS THE BRIDGE (series) by Raúl the Third
The illustrator of one of our favorite graphic novel series, Lowriders in Space, has a series of graphic picture books that all begin with ¡Vamos! This is the sixth book about Little Lobo and Bernabé. They have a new, red truck and are carrying party supplies across a bridge between two countries. When they get stuck in traffic, they all come together to pass the time. I highly recommend this entire series, which is also fun to read aloud. Ages 4 and up.
BLANCAFLOR, THE HERO WITH SECRET POWERS by Nadja Spiegelman, illustrated by Sergio García Sánchez
Blancaflor is no damsel in distress; she is the fearless rescuer of others! Inspired by Latin American folktales, this exciting graphic novel takes readers on a rollicking adventure when Blancaflor completes challenges in order to save the prince from an ogre. Ages 8 and up.
MORE: Latin American Folktales
LOWRIDERS IN SPACE (series) by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Raúl the Third
You might not think that a space adventure would easily combine with Chicano car culture. Well, you'd be wrong! Lowriders is great fun and has a good message about working together and friendship. Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria are a great team when it comes to fixing cars. Together they enter a contest to turn a hunk of junk into the best car in the solar system. This was a great one for my son who is learning Spanish. A glossary in the back helps kids with the Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text. Ages 7 and up.
CHUNKY (series) by Yehudi Mercado
Hudi's parents are concerned about his weight and health and encourage him to go our for sports. Hudi's imaginary friend, Chunky, convinces him to try baseball but Hudi's talents lie not in sports. Hudi, the only Mexican-Jewish kid in his Texas neighborhood, prefers theater and comedy. An uplifting and funny graphic novel with a very likable protagonist. Ages 8 and up.
ISLA TO ISLAND by Alexis Castellanos
This mostly wordless graphic novel tells the story of Marisol, one of the "Pedro Pan" children who was sent to Florida from Cuba during the Cuban Revolution. After Castro comes to power, Marisol's life is upended when her parents put her on an airplane to a foreign country. Marisol lives with a white couple in Florida who don't speak Spanish. Slowly, Marisol and the couple start to bond. The wordless format underscores Marisol's feeling of being isolated from her former life. Ages 9 and up.
NIGHTLIGHTS (series) by Lorena Alvarez
At night, Sandy's imagination is sparked by the lights dancing in her room. She then draws them the next day. Set in Bogotá, Colombia, Sandy's experiences straddle the line between dream worlds and reality. Great for kids who love fantasy. Alvarez's illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. Ages 7 and up.
THE DRAGON SLAYER: FOLKTALES FROM LATIN AMERICA by Jaime Hernandez
This collection of three Latin American folktales is another superb offering from the TOON series publishers. The title character is a young girl who, in the first story, displays intelligence and courage. The second two tales reveal the heroism and clever wits of a old woman and a young boy. Ages 5 and up.
RISE OF THE HALFLING KING (series) by David Bowles, illustrated by Charlene Cosette Bowles
Bowles draws upon Mesoamerican mythology to tell the story of Sayam, a boy who was born from an egg and raised by Almah, a witch who lives in the Yucatán peninsula. Sayam may be the one to fulfill the prophecy that the cruel king, Kinich Kak Ek, will be overthrown by a boy not born of a woman. (Did anyone else quote Shakespeare in their mind just then?) This is the first in what is set to be a 10 book series. Ages 8 and up.
MORE: Best Graphic Novels of the Year (2021)
MILES MORALES: SHOCK WAVES by Justin A. Reynolds, illustrated by Pablo Leon
Even kids who aren't into Spider Man will love this graphic novel. Miles Morales is just a kid attending high school in Brooklyn who starts a fundraiser for victims of an earthquake in Puerto Rico. However, he finds himself delving into the connections of his friend's missing father and the corporation behind his fundraiser. Spider-Man must spring into action! Ages 8 and up.
TWIN CITIES by Jose Pimienta
12-year-old twins Teresa and Fernando are on the road to sixth grade where they will be attending different schools. Fernando is staying close to home in Mexicali, while Teresa is going to a school across the California border in Calexico.The two have very different experiences at school and with their peers, as well as engaging in familiar sibling struggles. An excellent and thoughtful graphic novel. Ages 8 and up.
PELÉ KING OF SOCCER by Eddy Simon, illustrated by Vincent Brascaglia
This graphic novel biography of Brazilian fútbol star, Pelé is fantastic. You know a book is good when it's about sports and I can't put it down. Author/Illustrator team Simon and Brascaglia convey the storied life of the greatest soccer player, from his youth, when he was nurtured to love the game by his father, to his amazing career and work as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Translated from French. Ages 8 and up.