35 Books in Spanish You Have to Read!

Over 35 of the best Spanish books for all ages- perfect for improving your Spanish or for Spanish language learning!

I’m biased, but reading is absolutely the best! It’s relaxing, informative, and just plain enjoyable. It’s my favorite pastime. (To that end… Follow me on Goodreads!)

Recently, I wanted to challenge myself to read more Spanish-language books, and I’m so glad I did! Reading in a foreign language can be a little daunting, but it’s also a fantastic way to improve your fluency while still having fun. 

From timeless classics to contemporary favorites, the canon of Spanish literature has so much to offer readers! I’ve had a great time rounding up titles to share with you all, and I wanted to make sure that I included books that all ages could appreciate.

This post is divided up into sections dedicated to classic, adult, YA, and children’s book selections, so hopefully, there’s something for everyone!

Without further ado, here are 35 of the best Spanish books I have encountered. (So far!)

Classic Spanish Novels

Pepita Jiménez by Juan Valera

A sweet and simple love story, this 1884 novel by writer and diplomat Juan Valera is easy to read and an excellent pick for intermediate Spanish language learners. 

Don Quixote por Miguel de Cervantes

An absolute classic! This iconic Spanish novel follows the (mis)adventures of an idealistic noble and his “squire” as they seek to bring chivalric justice back to a world that sorely needs it. 

La casa en mango street por Sandra Cisneros

Another beloved novel of the Spanish language canon, Sandra Cisneros’ La Casa en Mango Street tells the coming of age story of a young Chicana girl in an impoverished Chicago neighborhood.

This beautiful exploration of identity, economic disparity, and womanhood is regarded as a modern classic among the Chicano literature genre.

Relato de un Náufrago por Gabriel García Márquez

Written by Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, Relato de un Náufrago is based on the true story of a shipwrecked sailor.

Straightforward language and engaging action sequences make this an ideal read for those looking to learn Spanish.

Cien Años de Soledad (100 Years of Solitude) por Gabriel García Márquez

A masterwork in magical realism, this book follows the exploits of the Buendía family in a sweeping intergenerational saga.

Cien Años de Soledad has been celebrated as one of the best works of the Latin American literary genre. 

El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera by Gabriel García Marquez

Another García Márquez novel, El Amor en los tiempos de cólera takes a look at love in all its beauty and complexity. Great for Spanish speakers!

Rayuela por Julio Cortázar

This classic Spanish language novel follows the fragmented life of Horacio Oliveira, an Argentinian intellectual who divides his existence between Buenos Aires and Paris. 

Spanish Books For Adults

Waslala by Gioconda Bello

In this post-apocalyptic imagining of Guatemala, one woman sets out on a quest to rediscover the legendary city of Waslala. A beautiful meditation on human rights, ecological justice, and economic inequalities.

La casa de los espíritus by Isabel Allende

In her debut novel, Chilean writer Isabel Allende traces the life of the Trueba family across four generations and the political unrest to which they bear witness. 

This is the very first novel I read in Spanish and it continues to be one of my all time favorite books in any language.

La sombra del viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

This internationally bestselling Spanish novel is at once a journey through time and a love letter to reading itself. Super compelling plot format and engaging characters!

El día que se perdió la cordura by Javier Castillo

This fast-paced Spanish is packed with action, intrigue, and suspense. Perfect for fans of the romantic thriller genre!

La breve y maravillosa vida de Oscar Wao

This novel follows the short yet remarkable life of Oscar de Leon, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in New Jersey. Originally written in English, this book is a translation- but a good one.

** Note: If you happen to have an English copy of any of these titles, it can be really helpful to compare it with the Spanish language versions! 

El general y su laberinto by Gabriel García Márquez

Garcia Marquez delivers an unflinching depiction of Colombian leader Simon Bolivar in his final months. This narrative departs from the traditionally laudatory accounts of the Colombian figure’s life, and instead investigates the inner demons and defeats that lead to his early passing.

Como Agua para Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

From Mexican novelist and screenwriter Laura Esquivel, this iconic Spanish language novel tells the story of Tita, a young woman whose emotions and desires are revealed through her cooking.

El Entenado by Juan José Saer

This Spanish novel depicts the violent fallout between Spanish colonizers and indigenous people through the eyes of a young cabin boy. Highly thought-provoking, this book forces the reader to interrogate their own perceptions of cultural identity.

Señales que Precederán al Fin del Mundo by Yuri Herrera

A powerful story that is at once an examination of illegal immigration and a journey through the underworld. 

Young Adult Spanish Books 

Érase una vez y otras Mentiras by Andy Weir, Illustrated by Sarah Andersen

Alice, Dorothy, and Wendy of fairy tale fame are reimagined as teenagers at an exclusive magical boarding school. This wonderfully illustrated book makes for a fantastic dimension-hopping adventure! 

La Educación de Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

After “borrowing” her dad’s credit card, teenage Margot Sanchez is forced to work at her family’s struggling grocery store as punishment. Full of heart, wit, and humor, this is an empowering and engaging read! Great for Spanish speakers and readers alike. 

El laberinto de fauno by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Fünke

Inspired by the movie of the same name, this Spanish language novel is an engrossing dark fairytale come to life! 

Cajas de Cartón by Francisco Jiménez

This novel consists of the author’s childhood memories as a migrant worker in California. A wonderful read for intermediate level Spanish learners! 

I taught this book for years to Spanish for Spanish speakers and it was the perfect novel for natives speakers grades 6-9. This is one of three novels in the series and the continuation of a short story.

Related post: Why Do Spanish Speakers End Up In High School Spanish?

Malamor #1: Hacia el fin del mundo by Jose Ignacio Valenzuela

First in the Malamor trilogy, protagonist Angela embarks on a quest to a mythic city to rescue her estranged best friend. Mystery, action, and romance ensue!

La Ciudad de las Bestias by Isabel Allende

Another fantastic work by Isabel Allende, La Ciudad de las Bestias takes the reader on a heart-pounding journey through the Amazon. 

Esperanza Renace by Pam Muñoz Ryan

A favorite among young readers everywhere, Esperanza Renace (Esperanza Rising in English) tells the story of one girl’s resilience and determination after she relocates to the Californian farm camps during the Great Depression. 

Yo no soy tu hija mexicana perfecta by Erika L. Sánchez

Told with sensitivity and wit, this story follows Julia as she pieces together her perfect older sister Olga’s life after Olga dies in an accident.

A heartfelt tribute to the Mexican American experience and the bonds shared between family members. This novel is a translation from the original English.

El Alquimista by Pablo Coelho

Long regarded as the masterwork of Brazillian novelist Pablo Coelho, El Alquimista details the adventures of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd in search of Egyptian treasure.

Paolo Coelho is a Brazilian author who writes in Portuguese, but is renowned across Latin America for his books translated to Spanish.

Spanish Children’s Book Picks

Cuentos para niñas sin miedo by Myriam Sayalero and Illustrated by Ricardicus, Ricard Lopez

This collection of short stories centers around clever and capable heroines. Perfect for younger readers looking for a modern fairytale and intermediate Spanish language learners!

La Madre Goose by Susan Middleton Elya and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

An adorably illustrated compilation of traditional children’s nursery rhymes with a Latino twist. This dual language book is a wonderful way to introduce young readers to Spanish words and pronunciation!

Cantando de Colores: A Bilingual Book of Harmony by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein; Illustrated by Citlali Reye

This adorably illustrated children’s book teaches the reader De Colores, one of the most recognizable folk songs in the Spanish language canon. Both Spanish and English text are included.

Los tamales de Ana by Gwendolyn Zepeda; Illustrated by April Ward

A sweet and heartfelt tribute to one of the Hispanic world’s holiday traditions! Especially good for young siblings.

Malala Yousafzai: Guerrera Con Palabras by Karen Leggett Abouraya; Illustrated by Susan L. Roth

The inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai adapted for children. Translated from the original English for a Spanish-speaking audience, this book offers a richly illustrated look at the power of education. 

Mi papi tiene un moto by Isabel Quintero; Illustrated by Zeke Peña

Heartwarming and beautifully illustrated, this children’s book celebrates the bond between a father and daughter as they ride through the neighborhood together. 

¡Solo Pregunta! by Sonia Sotomayor; Illustrated by Rafael López

A gentle and compassionate examination of differences for a young audience. Created by the impressive author and illustrator duo of Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael López, this book uses the metaphor of a community garden to celebrate diversity of experience and encourage understanding.

El Principito by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Beloved for its poignancy and insight, El Principito (The Little Prince) has been translated from the original French for the Spanish-speaking audience. This is a sweet and touching story with appeal for both kids and adults and is also a great introduction to simple Spanish sentences for beginners.

¡Qué Cosas Dice mi Abuela! by Ana Galán; Illustrated by Pablo Pino

A young boy describes to readers the various Spanish language sayings of his Grandmother. 

The Life of/ La Vida de Selena by Patty Rodriguez, Ariana Stein; Illustrated by Citlali Reye

This bilingual board book tells the story of the beloved Tejana music icon, Selena. Get ready to dance!

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