South End Scoop: Books & More From KCLS — National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month


The King County Library System (KCLS) and the South Seattle Emerald are teaming up to bring you the “South End Scoop.” Dig into this community-centered column each month for great book, music, movie, and event recommendations from your local librarians.

Photo depicting a female-presenting individual with curly hair assisting a youth with cropped dark hair use a laptop in a library setting.
Photo courtesy of the King County Library System.

National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month (NHHM) runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic and Latinx Americans who have enriched our nation.

The national observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover the 30-day period that exists now. Visit KCLS’ NHHM webpage to learn more about Hispanic and Latinx Americans’ achievements and contributions, and read on for a selection of books, music, and events to help you celebrate NHHM!


LOCAL LIBRARIAN PICKS

Kids (ages 3 to 7)

El Cucuy is Scared, Too by Donna Barba Higuera 

When Ramón’s family moves from Mexico to the United States, the family cucuy (or bogeyman) hitches a ride with them. But El Cucuy soon realizes that his typical scare tactics have been outmatched by the fear that can come with moving to a new place. After all, what’s so scary about glowing red eyes in your closet when you have a whole school of new classmates to worry about? With vibrant color illustrations and bits of Spanish language sprinkled throughout, this funny and relatable story will be a bedtime hit for both kids and grown-ups.

Book cover depicting an illustration of a Latino- and male-presenting youth comforting El Cucuy who is hiding in a yellow planter-pot of a cactus.
“El Cucuy is Scared, Too!” by Donna Barba Higuera, illustrated by Juliana Perdomo

Teens (ages 14 to 17)

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

Camila is a fútbolera, a magician with a ball at her feet. When Camila’s team qualifies for the Sudamerica tournament, accompanied with the chance to play before U.S. talent scouts, two halves of her life threaten to unravel. Will she throw her soccer dreams away for love and family, or take her place en la cancha for a ticket to a better life? With humor, tension, and a touch of romance, Argentine American author Méndez scores with Furia, her first novel for young adults.

Book cover depicting an illustration of a Latino- and female-presenting youth against an orange background.
“Furia” by Yamile Saied Méndez

Adult (ages 18 and older)

Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda

In an English-language debut described as “Edgar Allan Poe meets a few of the mean girls,” Ecuadorian writer Ojeda transports us to a macabre version of Catholic school, where best friends Annelise and Fernanda bond over their mutual love of internet horror culture. When the school’s literature teacher begins to lose her tenuous grip on reality, the girls enter into a kind of danger even they couldn’t conjure up in their darkest dreams.

Book cover depicting two female-presenting faces stitched together along with other collage-type imagery. The book's title and author name are scratched on.
“Jawbone” by Mónica Ojeda

All-Ages Music

Dharma by Sebastián Yatra (2022) (streaming on hoopla)

Fresh off his success with the hit song “Dos Orguitas” from the Encanto soundtrack, Colombian Latin-pop sensation Sebastián Yatra is back with his third studio release. Whether you’re trying to hold onto the light-hearted feeling of summer with “Tacones Rojos” or are embracing your moodier fall side with “Melancólicos Anónimos,” there’s something for everyone to enjoy from 17 genre-bending tracks that draw from synth-pop, flamenco, vallenata, reggaeton, and more! And with a wealth of contributing guest artists, including Rauw Alejandro, Natti Natasha, and Daddy Yankee, these bops and ballads will simply make you want to dance.

Album artwork depicting a male-presenting individual's shattered reflection. The artist's name and album title are at the top of the artwork in orange text.
“Dharma” by Sebastián Yatra (2022)

For more reading recommendations, check out the NHHM booklist.

Recommendations courtesy of KCLS Librarian Hope Yeats. Hope is a children’s services librarian at the Tukwila Library. When she’s not rhyming and singing at Story Time, you’ll find her picking garden tomatoes, backyard bird-watching, playing video games, or chanting and singing at Seattle Sounders and OL Reign matches. Stop by her Garden Story Time at the Highline Botanical Garden and say hello!


UpComing Events

We offer a variety of programs for all ages! Visit KCLS.org/Events for a full list of in-person and online events and activities.

Opening Celebration of the Makerspace at the Federal Way Library

Saturday, Sept. 17, 10:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Federal Way Library

Celebrate the opening of the Makerspace at the Federal Way Library with live music, activities, and demonstrations. KCLS Makerspaces provide hands-on learning opportunities for all ages to explore emerging technologies — from engineering, robotics, coding, and 3D printing, to sewing and music production. Watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and check out the new space with a self-guided tour from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Author Voices With Dr. Jessica Hernandez (presented in English) 

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7:30–8:30 p.m.
Online

Hear from Dr. Jessica Hernandez, transnational Indigenous scholar, scientist, and community advocate based in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Hernandez will discuss her book, Fresh Banana Leaves, which looks at healing Indigenous landscapes through Indigenous science with stories that center the voices of Latin American women and land protectors. Poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna will moderate.

Author Voices With Reyna Grande (presentado en español)

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 7:30–8:30 p.m.
Online

Join us for a discussion with Reyna Grande, award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. Grande will talk about her memoir, A Dream Called Home/La búsqueda de un sueño, which recalls her harrowing journey to find home and family. Dr. Alina R. Méndez from the University of Washington will moderate.

Art Workshop: National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
Makerspace at the Federal Way Library

Make a 3D art project with cardboard, old book paper, metal bottle caps, markers, and colored pencils. Bilingual instructor Maria G. Casey of The Fat Brush will give a demonstration with different Latinx artists and celebrities.


NEED A LIBRARY CARD?

Residents in the KCLS service area (in King County, outside the city of Seattle) can sign up instantly for a physical card to access our full collection or a digital eCard to access our digital collection. Visit KCLS.org/Library-Cards to get started. Contact Ask KCLS if you need assistance with your account, or call (425) 462-9600 or (800) 462-9600.


📸 Featured Image: South Seattle Emerald and the King County Library System (KCLS) are teaming up to give you book, media, and event recommendations each month via the South End Scoop.

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