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6 Books by Latina authors to add to your 2022 summer reading list! 

PSummer is just around the corner! And that means it’s time to break out that summer 2022 beach-side reading list, right? If you’re struggling to find your next read, check out some of these must-read books by Latina authors below.

Whether you’re looking for a fun piece of fiction to escape into or an empowering read, there’s sure to be a book for you!

6 Summer must-read books by Latina authors 

books by Latina authors

(Image source: Amazon)

Latina Empowerment Through Leadership: Mindful Stories From Inspiring Women by Catherine Munoz Garces and 7 others 

If you’re looking for a book about how to get your next promotion or become a so-called leader in the workplace, well this is NOT that book. But, if you’re looking for a book about courage and struggle, about rising from the ashes of failure, about stepping into your power as a woman and a leader, then THIS book is for you. In Latina Empowerment Through Leadership, 8 women of color come together to share stories, untold secrets and life lessons about what it truly means to be a mindful leader. 

books by Latina authors

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Island Affair: A Fun Summer Love Story (Keys to Love) by Priscilla Oliveras 

Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro—a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancé. 

books by Latinx authors

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Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

Cuban-Mexican author Gabriela Garcia’s debut Of Women and Salt takes place in present-day Miami, where Jeanette, who is battling addiction, seeks to learn more about her family history from her Cuban mother, Carmen, who is still wrestling with her own trauma of displacement. Eager to learn more about her family’s history and repair her relationship with her mother, Jeanette travels to Cuba seeking answers from her grandmother. Following five generations and taking place in several countries, Of Women and Salt examines the relationships between mothers and daughters.

Listen to these titles and more on Audible!

books by Latina authors

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In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez 

It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leónidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas–the Butterflies. 

books by Latinx authors

(Image source: Amazon)

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the belle époque. In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be. Part historical fiction, part fantasy and romance, this novel will surely sweep you off your feet and cast you off into a dizzying world of scandal, romance and fairytale. The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon. 

books by Latina authors

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Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros 

Every year, Ceyala “Lala” Reyes’ family—aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and Lala’s six older brothers—packs up three cars and, in a wild ride, drive from Chicago to the Little Grandfather and Awful Grandmother’s house in Mexico City for the summer. Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers and to understand her place on this side of the border and that, Lala is a shrewd observer of family life. But when she starts telling the Awful Grandmother’s life story, seeking clues to how she got to be so awful, grandmother accuses Lala of exaggerating. Soon, a multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, or shawl, that has been passed down through generations of Reyes women, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.

You might be interested: 8 Relaxing summer activities for Latinas to recharge

We hope you found some new favorite books by Latina authors here today to add to your summer reading list! Now it’s time to sit back, unwind, and fall into a great story.


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Latina career coach and author Cici Castelli shares key tips to unlock your success mindset in new book

Mindset is everything when it comes to achieving success. Whether it be climbing the corporate ladder or starting a new business or venture as an entrepreneur, your mindset is what will determine your success. 

Latina career coach and author of Mindset Unlocked, Cici Castelli shares some key insights in mindset management and how to unlock your success mindset to take you to the next level. 

Latina career coach, Cici Castelli

Certified High Performance Coach and author, Cici Castelli. (Photo courtesy of Cici Castelli)

As a first-generation immigrant, Cici came to the US from Venezuela at the age of 17 without her family because she strongly believed she wanted to succeed on her own. For ten years she lived the life of an immigrant while she put herself through school and eventually started her career as the Director of Interpreter Services in two major hospitals in the Boston area. 

After eleven years in this career, Cici decided to make a change during the beginning of the dot.com era, pivoting to the tech industry and starting over in California.  

It was a challenge, giving up her Director’s role to take on a much lower administrative position, moving from Boston to California, and basically having to start at the bottom of the ladder again in a new industry, but Cici had the right mindset and set herself to the task. 

“I had the vision that I would climb the corporate ladder again, now in the technology industry, and attain a much higher salary range and benefits than if I stayed in the medical field,” she says. 

Now, Cici is a Technology Executive in the travel and hospitality industry, a real estate investor, and a Certified High Performance Coach offering coaching services on her site www.cicicastelli.com

As a coach, she works with people that are hungry for success and are willing to change to reach their next level in their career and her experiences as  a Latina who has changed her careers while being a single mom; moved across the USA and the worlds more than once; her success in climbing the corporate ladder in different industries; being a female leader in a male dominated industry; and her strong project management background makes her a remarkable individual who can help others succeed.

Through her work, she helps clients obtain clarity, productivity and courage in order to be successful and achieve balance and personal happiness! 

“My passion is empowering my clients to live a better life by helping them discover and build healthier habits and find their individual success in their own game of life.”

Jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey with inspirational titles on Audible today!

Key tips to unlock your success mindset 

In her book Mindset Unlocked: Do What Others Can’t, Won’t, or Don’t Do for a Successful and Balanced Career, and Life, Cici teaches you how to level up your mindset and maximize your potential by unlocking your ultimate competitive advantage. 

“To succeed in every area of your life you need to unlock your mindset, be bold, be flexible, take risks and start doing what other people can’t, won’t or don’t do,” says Cici. 

As a coach, she has witnessed time and time again how a shift in mindset can produce a total transformation and help people achieve the success of their dreams. 

“I worked once with a lady that had worked as an admin for years and that is what she had in mind for herself and what those around her believed that is what she was best at because she was ‘super cooperative and helpful to others.’ After we worked together for a while, through my mentorship and guidance she received the schooling and training she needed and the right opportunities for herself. Now, she has is a senior project manager in technology earning a six-figure salary and having balance in her personal life. She has shuttered everyone’s expectations including her own! Today she is a leader herself!” Cici shares. 

You might be interested: Healing Leadership: A conversation with Dr. Ginny Baro about the need for great leaders

Stories like these are what make Cici so eager to continue to coach others. She wants to help people become successful, whether that be directly through her coaching and mentorship or indirectly through the work of others she has helped, with her book, or her soon to be published online course. 

For other aspiring minority women and Latina entrepreneurs or career women looking to kickstart their mindset shift and start unlocking their maximum potential, Cici offers three key tips. 

  1. Ditch “living one day at a time” and instead plan each day, week, month, and year for optimal goal achievement. Many people are successful for a day, a week, a year but to have sustained success you need to learn how to maintain that success for a lifetime. 
  2. Passion is the key to becoming a better leader—you need to make yourself feel passionate about every single thing you do. 
  3. Take risks, embrace challenges, and never give up. Starting a venture or taking a leap of faith can be daunting, but the key to achieving success is often doing what other people can’t, won’t or don’t do. So take that leap! Don’t accept average when extraordinary is possible—with a simple mindset shift!

“Only you can define what success looks like to you and when you figure out how to maximize your potential and unlock your competitive advantage without sacrificing it all, your whole life will be transformed,” says Cici. “You just need to start doing what other people can’t, won’t or don’t do. And being a minority is part of our competitive advantage!”


*This article contains affiliated links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. 

5 Must-read poetry books by Latinas

Here at Latinas in Business we love supporting our fellow Latinas and we also love a good book! Throughout the month we’ve been enjoying Latina poetry and have put together a list of must-reads we think you’ll love. So, before National Poetry Month ends, here are five poetry books by Latinas to check out. 

5 Must-read poetry books by Latinas

latina poets

Déjame Contarte Lo Que Dice El Corazón by Paloma Alcantar 

Synopsis:

This book is a walk through the different nuances of love. Each sentence written here is a mental note for the author, and for any heart willing to accept them. In them you will discover the fragility of life, and that sometimes it is essential to break everything to see clarity from another perspective. I wish that from the hand of poetry, you reconcile with your heart and open the door to this energy in all its forms.

Paloma Alcantar is a Mexican writer, author and poet living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently a content creator for the organizations Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Life, and Alquimia Global for Human Rights. Most recently she has studied various personal development topics as part of her own growth process.

latina poets

Corazón by Yesika Salgado

Synopsis: 

Corazón is a love story. It is about the constant hunger for love. It is about feeding that hunger with another person and finding that sometimes it isn’t enough. Salgado creates a world in which the heart can live anywhere; her fat brown body, her parents home country, a lover, a toothbrush, a mango, or a song. It is a celebration of heartache, of how it can ruin us, but most importantly how we always survive it and return to ourselves whole.

Yesika Salgado is a Los Angeles based Salvadoran poet who writes about her family, her culture, her city, and her fat brown body. She has shared her work in venues and campuses throughout the country. Salgado is a two time National Poetry Slam finalist and the recipient of the 2020 International Latino Book Award in Poetry. She is an internationally recognized body-positive activist and the writer of the column Suelta for Remezcla. Yesika is also the co-founder of Chingona Fire, a poetry collective based on highlighting Latina feminist poets. 

latina poets

Mujer de Color(es): A Poetic Experience by Alejandra Jimenez

Synopsis:

Concocted into a short collection of poems, lyrical essays, prayers, and portraits, Mujer de Color(es): A Poetic Experience is—an ode to imperfections, an ode to the divinity within the mundane, an ode to our metamorphic culturas, an ode to the reverberant voices of brown women and femmes.

It is the act of looking at your fears straight in the face and honoring them for trying to protect you but surrendering them to achieve growth. It is a reclamation of our feminine strengths: nurturing, resilience, sexuality, creativity, spirituality, and so many more. It is one path, of a billion, towards healing one person and, through it, the collective feminine consciousness; Y, esto es solo el principio.

Alejandra Jimenez, otherwise Aleja, is a self-identifying queer chicanx poeta. Aleja is the first-born, of 5 children, of two Mexican-Immigrant parents, from Zacatecas and Jalisco, MX. She grew up in Santa Ana, CA and later in the Inland Empire, epicenters of Latinx communities, as well as frequently visiting her parents’ native country, Mexico. Aleja’s writing is highly influenced by a desire to become the representation of her people, her culture, and herself she did not see growing up.

Latina poets

My Wicked, Wicked Ways by by Sandra Cisneros 

Synopsis: 

A collection of poetry by the author of The House on Mango Street attests to the author’s original passion and reveals her talent for employing the precision and musicality of language in verse both comic and sad. 

Publishers Weekly said, “This collection reveals the same affinity for distilled phrasing and surprise, both in language and dramatic development, found in Cisneros’s volumes of short stories, Woman Hollering Creek and The House on Mango Street. Of the book’s four parts, the first two immerse the reader in the Chicana homefront, including the poet’s own place in it, presumably the San Antonio familiar from her prose work. The remaining two parts leave the barrio behind, as the author’s world becomes more cosmopolitan and still more personal.”

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist. In addition to her writing, she has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two nonprofits she founded: the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. As a single woman she made the choice to have books instead of children. A citizen of both the United States and Mexico, she currently lives in San Miguel de Allende.

Latina poets

If Love Had a Name by Davina Ferreira

Synopsis:

If Love Had a Name is a collection of poems centered around self-love & womanhood. It is a lyrical whirlwind of self-love, independence, and the courage a woman needs to explore the world without a partner holding her hand and leading her through it. Ferreira has gathered up every ounce of womanly pride necessary to stand on her two strong feet and placed it here between these pages. 

Davina Ferreira is a bilingual poet, social entrepreneur, author, speaker, and  founder of Alegría Bilingual Media. Davina was born in Miami but grew up in Colombia. She is the quintessential symbol of the immigrant’s American Dream. Upon arriving in the U.S. Ferreira attended college, receiving a B.A. in Fine Arts and worked as an actress with the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts. Later on, she began a career in journalism, which led her to launch ALEGRÍA Magazine. 

Her book, Finding My ALEGRIA is an inspirational memoir,  which she hopes will motivate young entrepreneurs around the world to pursue their dreams regardless of their circumstances. 


While National Poetry Month may be drawing to a close, we definitely won’t stop reading our favorite Latina poets! We hope this list of poetry books by Latinas sparked some inspiration for your next read.

Latina poets

5 Latina poets to read this National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is here! And today we are celebrating five Latina poets who are using their writing to explore themes of Latina identity and culture, advocating for their communities, and critiquing harmful stereotypes. 

These poets are speaking their truths in a world that often wishes to silence diverse voices and marginalized identities. Let us all amplify their voices and also enjoy some incredible writing by Latina poets. 

Melania-Luisa Marte

 

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Melania Luisa Marte is a writer, poet, and speaker from New York living in the Dominican Republic. Her poetry explores topics including her Caribbean roots, intersectionality, and self-love. She gained fame with viral poem “Afro-Latina” and her work has also been featured by Ain’t I Latina, Mitu, The Root, Teen Vogue, Facebook, Telemundo, Remezcla, and People En Español. 

Melania’s chapbook “Plantains and our Becoming” focuses on the Black diaspora, nature, love, and rest.

Yesika Salgado

 

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Yesika Salgado is a Los Angeles based Salvadoran poet and two time National Poetry Slam finalist and the recipient of the 2020 International Latino Book Award in Poetry. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Teen Vogue, Univision, Spotify, CNN and many more networks and publications. 

As an internationally recognized body-positive activist her work explores the topics of body image, self-love, culture, her city and her family. 

Yesika is the author of the best-sellers Corazón, Tesoro, and Hermosa

Natalie Diaz 

 

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Natalie Diaz is a Pulitzer Prize winning, Mojave American poet, language activist, and educator. Her work weaves together her Latina and Indigenous identity in a “constellation” of work that explores themes of identity, love, culture, joy, grief, injustice, and violence. 

She is the author of the poetry collections Postcolonial Love Poem (2020), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; and When My Brother Was an Aztec (2012). 

Ariana Brown

 

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​Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from the Southside of San Antonio, Texas, now based in Houston, Texas.  She is a 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion and has been writing, performing, and teaching poetry for over ten years. Her in her work and poetry collections We Are Owed. (Grieveland, 2021) and Sana Sana (Game Over Books, 2020) she investigates themes such as queer Black personhood in Mexican American spaces, Black relationality and girlhood, loneliness, and care. 

Melissa Lozada-Oliva 

 

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Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a “Guatelombian” (Guatemalan-Colombian) American poet and screenwriter living in Brooklyn.  Her debut book Peluda (Button Poetry 2017) explores the intersections of Latina identity, feminism, hair removal and what it means to belong. Her most recent book, Dreaming of You is a novel-in-verse explores themes of Latinidad, womanhood, obsession, and disillusionment.

Melissa initially gained fame with her viral poem, “My Spanish,” exploring her experiences as a non-Spanish speaking Latina.  

When she’s not writing, she also co-hosts the podcast Say More with Olivia Gatwood Who Is a Massive Bitch, where they dissect the world through a poetic lens.

You might be interested: 10 Books by Latinx authors to read this summer 

Sonia Sotomayor, Just Help! How to Build a Better World, children's book

Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor teaches children how to build a better world in her new book

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is teaching children how to build a better world through public service and acts of kindness. 

In her new book, Just Help! How to Build A Better World, a young girl named Sonia is asked by her Mami every night: How did you help today? Since little Sonia wants to help her community, just like her Mami does, she always makes sure she has a good answer to Mami’s question.

In a story inspired by her own family’s desire to help others, Sotomayor takes young readers on a journey through a neighborhood where kids and adults all help one another to build a better world for themselves and their community.

Illustrated by award-winning artist, Angela Dominguez, this book shows how we can all help make the world a better place each and every day.

Illustrated by award-winning artist, Angela Dominguez. (Photo source: Penguin Kids on YouTube)

“People think about civic participation as just limited to being an elected official … or maybe the people who go into the military,” Sotomayor said in an interview with “TODAY” host Savannah Guthrie. “Kids, and many adults, don’t realize that public service is not just those big acts of getting elected and making changes that way. But it’s the little things each of us do every day to improve our communities.”

The book draws inspiration from Sotomayor’s early childhood and honors her own mother, Celina Baez Sotomayor, who passed away last year.

Raised in the Bronx in a housing project just blocks away from Yankee Stadium, Sotomayor and her faced hardships such as life-threatening juvenile diabetes, poverty, and being raised in a one-parent household after the death of her father. 

Still, despite these challenges, Sotomayor remembers her mother always made time to help her neighbors. 

In an interview she told People en Espanol’s Book Corner, “My mom was always busy doing a favor or an errand for a neighbor, like picking up medicine for someone or helping someone make a doctor’s appointment. She taught me that every person can make a difference in improving the lives of everyone in their communities.” 

When asked by NBC about how her mother would feel about her newest book, Sotomayor responded, “She would have been just delighted.”

This book is a great tool for parents and educators to teach children about their civil duties and show them how simple acts of kindness can create positive change in their communities. 

“Changes in the world don’t always happen in giant leaps. It takes every one of us purposely looking at the world around us and say, how do I make it better?” Sotomayor said. “If we each did that, we would be living in a better world.”

You might be interested: Ronit Shiro shares the gift of bilingualism with children through FeppyBox

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York. She earned a BA from Princeton University and a JD from Yale Law School. In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009, becoming the first Latina to ever hold such a high position. She is the author of My Beloved World, Turning Pages, The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor, Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You, and Just Help! How to Build a Better World. 

Take a sneak peak inside the highly anticipated book “Jefa in Training” by business development coach Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda

Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda is a business development coach, strategist, nonprofit founder and author of Jefa in Training—the first business-launching book for Latinas. 

The highly anticipated book covers the foundations of how to launch and grow your business and doubles as a workbook so that you can create a business plan while you’re reading. It also features tips from other successful Latina founders such as Ana Flores from We All Grow Latina, Marivette Navarrete from The Mujerista and more! 

As a development coach and entrepreneur Ashley has combined her experiences and expertise to create this must-read step-by-step toolkit for aspiring Latina entrepreneurs. 

Jefa in Training

Jefa in Training—the first business-launching book for Latinas.

A sneak peak inside Jefa in Training 

Jefa in Training is a much-needed guide for all of us who need a blueprint to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Not only does this book provide the tools, but it provides the inspiration we all need to make that first step! Bravo, hermana!” 

Eva Longoria, award-winning actress, producer, director, activist, philanthropist, and CEO of UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.

Jefa in Training

Taking the first step in your entrepreneurial journey. (Photo courtesy Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda)

Getting started is often the hardest part. Many women will hold themselves back from starting their ventures, afraid to take that first step. Ashley knows first-hand what it’s like to build a business from the ground up and the obstacles that come with it.

In 2017, Ashley launched her own nonprofit #WomxnCrush Music to help create opportunities and community for women and non-binary songwriters through programming, fundraising and marketing efforts. This project stemmed from her passion for connection. 

“I felt a need to have a support system as a woman singer-songwriter, a safe space for us to create and share resources with each other,” she said. 

Through the process of being a first-time founder, Ashley also worked on marketing and business development teams for startups and large companies. 

Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda is a business development coach, strategist, nonprofit founder and author. (Photo courtesy Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda)

“Soon after it was only natural for me to combine all of my experience and knowledge to coach other entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. That is how I began working with more and more Latinas-founded brands like The Mujerista, Cadena Collective, Bonita Fierce Candles (to name a few) in 2019 and became known as the Business Hada Madrina.”

Her own experiences launching her nonprofit and working with other Latina entrepreneurs increased her desire to help build networks and communities which were vital to her own success. 

“When I first started working with The Mujerista to build our online community (The Mujerista Network), I met so many incredible rising Latina entrepreneurs who were actively seeking guidance on how to grow their businesses. They felt the same need I did when I was starting #WCM and suddenly I felt the same feeling I did when I created my organization. The feeling of wanting to fill a need for our community. And that is how my book Jefa in Training was born.”

Covering everything from imposter syndrome to micro-aggressions and bilingualism, Jefa in Training isn’t your typical small business book. Part Latinx book, it is a conversation with a special tribe of Latina immigrants, Hispanic American generations, and women of color in financial, media, entrepreneurial, and creative spaces. It’s a Latina book by Latinas, for Latinas

Featuring first-hand experiences, guest stories from successful business women in Latinx companies, worksheets, and more, Jefa in Training is the only Spanglish project-launching toolkit and female entrepreneur planner specially made for a new generation of boss women.

A business startup planner and toolkit for women in leadership, business, and beyond, Jefa in Training offers women entrepreneurs the female empowerment needed to take a side hustle to the next level. Whether it’s learning to define your brand, set up a beta test group, or draft an LLC operating agreement, this compendium of lessons, anecdotes, worksheets, templates, and quotes teaches the next generation of women in business how to work for yourself and turn your ideas into something much bigger. —Jefa in Training

Covering everything from imposter syndrome to micro-aggressions and bilingualism, Jefa in Training isn’t your typical small business book. (Photo courtesy Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda)

Pre-order Jefa in Training today! Releases Feb. 22, 2022

“I’m eager for Jefa in Training to get into the hands of as many aspiring business owners as possible because that is how we will create change in the world. Representation in any kind of industry is important and the more of us that take that first step into pursuing entrepreneurship, the more we can build wealth, create safe spaces and provide opportunities for each other,” said Ashley.

You might be interested: Feeling like a fraud? It’s the imposter syndrome talking

Advice to aspiring Latina entrepreneurs  

“Develop your personal “why” and work towards fulfilling that mission. And don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way!” Ashley advises. 

When she was launching her own venture, one of the main obstacles she faced was finding reliable resources and not having a proper support system throughout the process. These challenges led to consistent burnout and several versions of her first venture.

“Develop your personal “why” and work towards fulfilling that mission. And don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way!” (Photo courtesy Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda)

“I’ve learned that by finding a community that aligns with my values, can support me when I’m struggling, celebrate my wins with me and can share resources – it makes all the difference. Learning to let people in and trust people with the vulnerabilities of my business did not make me weak – it allowed me to grow stronger as a founder,” she said. 

Another piece of advice is to lean into your personal strengths and always be resourceful. For Ashley, one of her strengths has always been her ability to develop connection with others easily.  

“I was able to take this superpower and create a true network of like-minded and supportive contacts who could help me as I entered the next phase of my business.”

When it comes to being resourceful, Ashley says, “Building a business can get expensive but if you can find creative ways to make an impact without a large budget, it can help you get the attention you need to get to that next level!” 

If you’re ready to take things to the next level and finally turn those dreams into reality, let Jefa in Training lead you step-by-step along this exciting entrepreneurial journey. The time to build your enterprise is now!

Latina Publishers

Latina Publishers call for cultural diversity in children’s books this upcoming Read Across America Day

As educators prepare for Read Across America Day on March 2, children’s book buyers are invited to a “Meet Latina Publishers” live virtual event Feb 10th.

— Independent publishers suggest less Seuss and more literature that reflects America’s diverse student populations —

Across the nation, shopping for books and other preparations are underway for the annual community celebration of literacy.

Three independent press owners, all mothers, and authors of color ask educators and parents to pause and ask this question: Do these books reflect the diversity of the students I serve?

Sandra Gonzalez-Mora, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, and Naibe Reynoso are all founders of independent publishing companies. They are social entrepreneurs, investing their energy, time, and money to offer children’s book buyers and communities across the USA innovative literature that more accurately reflects them, their language, their culture, and their world.

These three publishers invite curriculum directors, librarians, teachers, and parents to gather for a live Meet Latina Publishers Zoom chat on February 10th from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific to learn more about their work.

REGISTER for the event here: https://bit.ly/3GtOwNz

They are leading the impassioned, national movement demanding a shift in how school districts buy books, typically from large incumbent publishers slow to respond to the needs of a minority-majority student population.

Latina publisher and author, Sandra Gonzalez-Mora shares bilingual stories with young readers. (Photo source)

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato said, “In August 2014, in an Education Week article titled U.S. School Enrollment Hits Majority-Minority Milestone, we learned that ‘Latino, African-American, and Asian students in public K-12 classrooms were expected to surpass the number of non-Hispanic whites.’ The questions educators and parents must ask themselves are these: WHY haven’t more buyers of curriculum materials, books in classrooms and books in school libraries kept up with our schools’ demographic changes? WHY haven’t institutional buyers sought out indie publishers like us who have been ahead of the curve creating ground-breaking literature that reflects and inspires our diverse student populations?”

How can books in classrooms and public libraries across the country better reflect the diversity within the communities they serve? With Latinos accounting for about half (52%) of all U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2019, this question becomes much more critical. Latinos are the country’s second-largest ethnic group, behind white non-Hispanics, a fact not currently reflected in the children’s books that circulate in public and school libraries and classrooms.

Latina Publishers,

Sandra Gonzalez-Mora, M.Ed., award-winning author and publisher and founder of Skillful & Soulful Press. (Photo source)

“Latinx-owned publishing companies are galvanizing to change this landscape in the children’s publishing industry, it’s time,” said Sandra Gonzalez-Mora, author and owner of Skillful & Soulful Press.

2020 data on books by and about Black, Indigenous, and People of Color published for children and teens compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison state that out of the 3,115 books they received from U.S. publishers, only 212 books were written by Latinx authors and 191 books were about Latinx characters.

“Latinos are almost 20% of the population but we are largely invisible across all forms of media,” said journalist and Con Todo Press publisher, Naibe Reynoso. “This is a disservice not only to our community but it’s a missed educational opportunity for all classrooms.”

It is clear from the data collected by the CCBC year after year that traditional publishing is comfortably holding the status quo that isn’t serving all children in this country. The approach these women are taking to help children’s literature become more inclusive and reflective of U.S demographics is to write, illustrate, publish, and market their unique stories, often in multiple languages.

You might be interested: Ronit Shiro shares the gift of bilingualism with children through FeppyBox

Latina publishers call educators, librarians, and parents to action! (Photo source)

March 2 is Read Across America Day. This day is synonymous with books by Dr. Seuss, considered classics, which are created by white authors about white children and white families.

This year, these Latina creators have a call to action: they encourage more teachers and librarians across the USA to think about the young faces of students they serve and to intentionally purchase stories that represent them, reflect their communities and ambitions, and recognize their undeniable value across America.


About Gracefully Global, LLC: 

Since 2010 Gracefully Global Group LLC has published award-winning, educational literature and digital classroom content for K-12 school districts worldwide. Literary properties include the following award-winning titles: 1. Good Night Captain Mama / Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá and Captain Mama’s Surprise / La Sorpresa de Capitán Mamá -the first-ever children’s book series created in two languages where Mamá is flying a military jet, Latinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them, and for the military community B.R.A.N.D. Before Your Resumé: Your Marketing Guide for Veterans & Military Service Members Entering Civilian Life. See our offerings at https://www.gracefullyglobal.com/commerce 

About Skillful & Soulful Press:

Skillful & Soulful Press is a Latina-owned publishing company in Whittier, CA. We publish bilingual children’s books that celebrate languages and help develop children’s early literacy and language skills by introducing them to robust vocabulary words during family reading moments. Our small business is addressing the need to offer more diverse books, written and illustrated by people of color, that introduce young children to exciting new words in languages other than English. See our offerings at: https://www.skillfulandsoulful.com/shop

About Con Todo Press:

Established in 2018, Con Todo Press is a Latina-owned publishing company that creates children’s books that celebrate diverse cultures and highlight Latino leaders to help fill the gap in the publishing industry, where Latino stories are vastly under-represented. Con Todo Press has published many award-winning books including “Be Bold, Be Brave: 11 Latinas who made U.S. History,” and “Fearless Trailblazers.” See our offerings at https://www.contodopress.com

Yvette Bodden

Become an Awakened-Woman and your Best-Self with author Yvette Bodden

Yvette Bodden is the Founder and Author of Awakened-Woman, a digital platform designed to inspire and invigorate women. She is also the author of A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self. Her writing seeks to empower and encourage women searching for personal definitions of success to build strong communities through vulnerable and powerful storytelling. 

best self, awakened woman

From Yvette Boden’s website https://awakened-woman.com/2021/07/15/a-summer-reading-list-to-inspire-self-exploration/

Since its launch, Awakened Woman has amassed tens of thousands of followers, with a plethora of articles centered around celebrity profiles, relationships, love, abuse, motherhood, and Latino culture, infused with Yvette’s signature blend of pragmatism and compassion. 

Yvette symbolizes the strength of an empowered Latina woman and her passion for empowering others is endless. As a single mother based in New York City—a metropolis she credits for her open mind—, Yvette regularly channels her own growth experiences. She has contributed to outlets like SmartCoparent and DivorceHub.com that focus on personal crises.

Yvette is also a motivational speaker, channeling her own growth experiences to empower others. In 2021, she was named one of the “Bella Bosses We Admire” by Bella Magazine. 

Healing and becoming your best self post-divorce 

A Journey to Becoming the Best Self, divorce, marriage, post-divorce, Yvette Bodden

A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self by Yvette Bodden.

Yvette made her debut as an author in 2019 with her first book, A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self, published by Black Rose Writing. The book is described as “part memoir and part prescriptive fiction,” and was inspired by Yvette’s own post-divorce path from devastation to joy and received high praise from The U.S. Review of Books. 

“This is a book not just for women faced with divorce, but for anyone searching for meaning in their lives.” –Sublime Book Review

In A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self, Yvette weaves together her own personal narrative with practical advice to show other women how it is possible to find acceptance and joy after losing a marriage. 

“The word ‘divorce’ itself has a negative connotation, and rightly so. It can be one of the most painful life-changing events in anyone’s life. An emotionally crippling event for many women, initially it was nothing less than devastating for me. However, it has been the most significant growth experience in my life,” Yvette wrote. 

A Journey to Becoming the Best-Self is the story of how a woman comes out on the other side of pain much stronger and more beautiful.

You might be interested: What you should be reading and watching this Hispanic Heritage Month 

Her desire to share her own story and experiences in both her book and online platform is to show other women that they are not alone. 

“I did not set out to be an author. The intention for writing this book and creating the AW platform has been to help women feel less alone, and hopeless while empowered to go after the life envisioned. I believe sharing our stories creates connection, helps heal and learn the lessons,” shared Yvette in an Instagram post. 

Yvette Bodden, Awakened Woman

womanawakened: #tbt #ᴛʙᴛ #giselleextravaganza 2019 Book Launch Party was incredibly special. (via Instagram) 

“Awakened-Woman.com is a community built to inspire, empower and encourage you to live your best life. Hopefully, it will plant a seed in others to find their greatness, too.” 

Yvette Bodden’s debut novel A Journey to Becoming the Best Self is available for purchase on Amazon

10 Books by Latinx authors to read summer 2021 

Summer is officially here! Which means it’s time to break out that summer 2021 beach-side reading list, right? If you’re struggling to find your next read, check out some of the latest and most anticipated 2021 books by Latinx authors below! Whether you’re looking for a fun piece of fiction to escape into, a poignant memoir, or self help and empowerment, there’s surely to be a book for you on this list of vibrant and diverse novels. 

summer 2021, summer reading,

Check out these books by Latinx authors released in 2021 and add them to your summer reading list. (Book photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com)

10 books by Latinx authors to read beach-side this summer  

Fiction

books by Latinx authors

(Image source: Amazon)

  1. Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia 

Cuban-Mexican author Gabriela Garcia’s debut Of Women and Salt takes place in present-day Miami, where Jeanette, who is battling addiction, seeks to learn more about her family history from her Cuban mother, Carmen, who is still wrestling with her own trauma of displacement. Eager to learn more about her family’s history and repair her relationship with her mother, Jeanette travels to Cuba seeking answers from her grandmother. Following five generations and taking place in several countries, Of Women and Salt examines the relationships between mothers and daughters.

books by Latinx authors

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  1. What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster 

Naima Coster, the Afro-Dominican author of Halsey Street, delivers another stunning novel delving into issues of race, identity, family and legacy. Told through multiple points of view, What’s Mine and Yours centers on two families, one Black and one white, and how their lives become integrated and messy when a county initiative draws students from a largely Black town into predominantly white high schools. The story spans 20 years and centers on identity, family, and race, exploring the ways families break apart and come back together in a thought-provoking read. 

books by Latinx authors

(Image source: Amazon)

  1. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the belle époque. In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be. Part historical fiction, part fantasy and romance, this novel will surely sweep you off your feet and cast you off into a dizzying world of scandal, romance and fairytale. The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon. 

books by Latinx authors

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  1. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite 

The highly anticipated novel One of the Good Ones, by Hatian-American sisters Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, tackles issues such as police violence, racism, prejudice, and the impact of allyship, social justice, and sisterhood. Following  the death of Kezi Smith, a teen social activist, who is killed after attending a rally, her sisters Happi and Genny set out to honor her. But as Kezi is remembered as “one of the good ones,” Happi begins to question why only some people are worthy of sympathy. The book is a powerful exploration of the lasting impact of prejudice and what it truly means to be an ally in our current age.

books by Latinx authors

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  1. Thirty Talks Weird Love by Alessandra Narváez Varela 

Alessandra Narváez Varela’s debut book follows a 13-year-old girl in Mexico meeting her 30-year-old future self. Reminiscent of the film 13 Going on 30, and novels such as The House on Mango Street and The House of Spirits, Alessandra Narváez Varela takes us back in time to ‘90s Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, where young Anamaria battles what seems like depression and the mystery of stolen girls in her city. The novel teaches the importance of self-care and loving those around us in a beautifully written coming of age novel. 

Non-fiction 

books by Latinx authors

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  1. The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende 

From literary household name and New York Times bestselling author, Isabel Allende, comes a new book that has been described as “a bold exploration of womanhood, feminism, parenting, aging, love and more” (Associated Press).

The Soul of a Woman is reflection on feminism, power and family rooted in the Chilean writer’s upbringing and experiences. The autobiographical work seeks to answer the question: What feeds the soul of feminists – and all women – today? For her, it’s safety, value, peace, resources, connection, autonomy and love, but these battles haven’t all yet been won. The inspirational read aims to ignite a fire in younger generations to continue to carry the work of feminism forward.

books by Latinx authors

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  1. My Broken Language by Quiara Alegría Hude 

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes is well known for writing the book for the musical In The Heights, and now she’s sharing her story with My Broken Language. This memoir tells a coming of age story against the backdrop of a Philadelphia barrio and shares with us the beauty of her Puerto Rican family. Weaving together Hudes’s love of books with the stories of her family, this is an inspired exploration of home, memory, and belonging–narrated by an obsessed girl who fought to become an artist so she could capture the world she loved in all its wild and delicate beauty

(Image source: Amazon)

  1. Healing Leadership by Dr. Ginny Baro 

Author of the #1 Bestseller, Fearless Women at Work, Dr. Ginny A. Baro delivers her second book, exploring the secrets of healing leadership and recommends high-performance habits for improving self-leadership and developing a growth mindset and resilience.

Healing Leadership will transform the way you view your role as a leader, how you lead yourself and contribute to others. In this valuable guide based on in-depth experience, heartfelt stories and interviews with distinguished industry experts, Dr. Ginny A. Baro takes you on a delightful, thought-provoking journey to discover the critical leadership skills leaders must possess to overcome any challenges and thrive in a shifting world.​

You might be interested: Dr. Ginny Baro shares mindfulness practices for coping with Covid-19 stress

books by Latinx authors

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  1. Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History by Elizabeth Ferrer

Pieced together through more than 80 interviews, Elizabeth Ferrer introduces readers to Latinx portraitists, photojournalists, and documentarians and their legacies. She traces the rise of a Latinx consciousness in photography in the 1960s and ’70s and the growth of identity-based approaches in the 1980s and ’90s. Latinx Photography in the United States is the first book to offer a parallel history of photography, one that no longer lies at the margins but rather plays a crucial role in imagining and creating a broader, more inclusive American visual history.

(Image source: Amazon)

  1. We Are Here: Visionaries of Color Transforming the Art World by Jasmin Hernandez 

Confidently curated by Jasmin Hernandez, the dynamic founder of Gallery Gurls, We Are Here presents the bold and nuanced work of Black and Brown visionaries transforming the art world. Centering BIPOC, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ visibility featuring queer, trans, nonbinary, and BIWOC, this collection features fifty of the most influential voices in New York, Los Angeles, and beyond. Striking photography of art, creative spaces, materials, and the subjects themselves is paired with intimate interviews that engage with each artist and influencer, delving into their creative process and unpacking how each subject actively works to create a more radically inclusive world across the entire art ecosystem. 

What are some of your current favorite books by Latinx authors? Share your recommendations in the comments below or on social media! Follow Latinas in Business on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.