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Arts and Humanities Library
2nd Floor, West Pattee
Penn State University
Phone: 814-865-3616
Fax: 814-863-7502

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Music and Media Center
2nd Floor, West Pattee
Phone: 814-865-3616

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21 W Pattee (ground floor of Pattee Library, West Entrance, near MacKinnon's Cafe)

Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library
111 Stuckeman Family Building
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Collection Promotion

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month:

Highlights from the Latina/o Collections at the Penn State University Libraries.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Selected by Manuel Ostos, Humanities Librarian for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latina/o Studies, these recommended books celebrate diversity and pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans and Latinos who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. 

Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes

Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes.
This novel follows the life of thirteen-year-old Estrella and her family, all Hispanic immigrants workers, as they struggle to survive under dangerous conditions in the California Grape fields.




The Rain God: a desert tale by Arturo Islas

Rain God by Arturo Islas.
Set in a fictional small town on the Texas-Mexico border, this breathtaking masterwork of contemporary fiction tells the saga of the children and grandchildren of Mama Chona, the Angel family matriarch. This novel illustrates the family members’ struggle to cope with racial and ethnic prejudices and the social and political exploitation in their new surroundings.


So Far From God by Ana Castillo

So Far from God by Ana Castillo.
Set in the tiny village of Tome in New Mexico, this novel employs magical realism to examine the life of Sofia and her four daughters at the crossroads between Chicano, Mexican, Spanish, and Native American cultures.




Loosing My Espanish by H.G. Carrillo

Loosing My Espanish by H. G. Carrillo.
This evocative novel addresses the complexities of Latino immigration, religion, homosexuality, and lower class struggles from a Cuban American perspective. Oscar Delossantos is about to lose his teaching job at a Jesuit high school in Chicago. As his last semester comes to an end, he delivers a daring final history lesson that reinterprets the Cuban American experience.


House of Forgetting by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The House of Forgetting by Benjamin Alire Saenz.
Seven-year-old Gloria Santos is kidnapped from a barrio in El Paso, Texas by Professor Thomas Blacker, a prominent conservative scholar at the University of Chicago. Raised under his tutelage, Gloria becomes a refined and educated woman with an appreciation of literature, music, and fine cooking. When Blacker is found stabbed 23 years later, a story of kindness and brutality is unveiled.


The Brief Wonderous Life Of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
An overwhelming critical success, this novel tells the story of Oscar de Leon, an overweight Dominican nerd growing up in Patterson, New Jersey, and the curse that has plagued his family for generations.



Randy Lopez Goes Home by Rudolfo Anaya

Randy Lopez Goes Home by Rudolfo Anaya.
Like many other Chicanos, young Randy Lopez leaves his hometown in northern New Mexico, Agua Bendita, searching for fortune and a better life. After spending a lifetime among the Anglos, Randy returns home trying to reconnect with his heritage. Richly allusive and uniquely witty, this novel narrates an allegorical journey that artfully explores the ultimate meaning of life.


Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia.
This evocative novel is about politics, exile, history, and memory. Dreaming in Cuban tells the family story of Celia del Pino from the mid-1930s to 1980. Set between Cuba and the United States, Celia's story mirrors the realities and consequences of the Cuban Revolution.



How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez.
When Doctor Carlos Garcia part in a coup attempt is discovered, the Garcias, one of the Dominican Republic’s prominent and wealthiest families, had to flee to the United States. This coming of age novel addresses the impact of starting over in a new country and the attempt to understand the past in a time when the Garcia sisters lose their innocence and accents.


The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
Esperanza Cordero lives on Mango Street in Chicago. This remarkable novella tells the story of her coming of age and growing up in the barrio providing a detailed account of Hispanics and Latinos in the urban world.




Chango's Fire by Ernesto Quinonez

Chango’s Fire by Ernesto Quiñonez.
Julio Santana is an arsonist who burns down buildings looked upon as unseemly by investors trying to transform the face of the Spanish Harlem neighborhood. This remarkable novel is not only an analysis about cultural politics but also a discussion about gentrification and identity in world where everything seems to be falling apart.