INFO College recommends books that acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month and Banned Books Week.
National Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated from September 15th through October 15th. This four week long event celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of the Hispanic/Latin American community.
Banned Books week is recognized from September 18th to September 24th. This 7 day long event allows for the recognition of books that have been banned or have had the most requests to be banned from school and public libraries.
In honor of both of these, the UMD INFO College has selected three suggested readings that are banned books authored by Hispanic writers.
One Hundred Years of Solitude – by Gabriel García Márquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude was published in 1967 and was frequently challenged due to its language and content. In 1986, it was even removed from required reading lists at Wasco Union (CA) High School. School officials called the novel “garbage being passed off as literature”, despite its award winning status.
Mexican WhiteBoy – by Matt de la Peña
This Young Adults Top Ten pick – was banned in Tucson, Arizona during the elimination of the school system’s Mexican American Studies Program. The author became a known advocate for intellectual freedom. The 2012 Tucson incident received a great deal of attention that included coverage in the New York Times. Critical race theory in school sustains the relevancy of this book even though the Mexican American Studies Program has been re-established.
The House on Mango Street – by Sandra Cisneros
This book is a collection of works that tell the story of a young Mexican American girl and her Chicago neighborhood. This book was a part of the same dismantled Mexican American Studies Program that Matt de la Peña faced in Tucson. Additionally, an Oregon school board removed the book from its middle school curriculum in 2012 due to “concerns for the social images presented”. Fortunately, this decision was overturned following a student activism campaign.
One of the most noteworthy points in time when books were banned was in 2012. The Tucson Unified School district banned these books because they “promote the overthrow of the US government.” These books include Negocios by Junot Díaz (his Spanish translation of the English language Drown), Zoot Suit and Other Plays by Luis Valdez, and The Magic of Blood by Dagoberto Gilb.