Virtual Book Club – #OwnVoices Alternatives to American Dirt

While the book American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins has had its share of success – debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list, selected for Oprah’s book club – it has also had a quite large (and justified) share of controversy. It is a novel about the experiences of a Mexican migrant, written by a white American woman, praised by many review sites for being an ‘authentic’ novel about the border crisis.

What this novel actually does is steal the spotlight from books written by Latinx and Mexican authors. For more information on the controversy, click here. In light of this, as our patrons are starting to come back to the library and may want to read Cummins’ book, we thought we’d share some excellent alternatives that are written by members of the Latinx community.

For all of the books below, click on the cover to be taken to our catalog, where you can place the book on hold with your library card number and PIN. Links to our ebook services have been included where available.

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

An award-winning poet chronicles his experiences of growing up undocumented in the United States, describing how his family and his attempt to establish an adult life were heartbreakingly complicated by racist policies. 

Overdrive link



Where We Come From by Oscar Casares

Where We Come From by Oscar Cásares 

Moving to his godmother’s volatile Texas border town after his mother’s sudden death, a 12-year-old Mexican-American boy discovers a young illegal immigrant taking shelter in his godmother’s home before their shared desire for independence puts all of them at risk. 



Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras 

Follows a sheltered girl and a teen maid, who forge an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both amid the violence of 1990s Columbia. 

Overdrive link



Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine  

A debut story collection about female relationships and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands features Latina protagonists of indigenous descent who cautiously navigate the violence and changes in a Denver, Colorado community. 

Overdrive link



With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Navigating the challenges of finishing high school while caring for a daughter, talented cook Emoni Santiago struggles with a lack of time and money that complicate her dream of working in a professional kitchen. 

Overdrive link


All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Join us next Sunday for the next installment of the virtual book club!