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Gary Soto is one of the most influential Hispanic writers and poets, and has written several books for young adults. A Mexican-American born in 1952 and raised in Fresno, CA, Soto started writing poetry in college. His book, Buried Onions, is on required reading lists in high schools and universities across the country.The sequel, called The Afterlife, is on my list to purchase. I read Buried Onions in college, and it opened my eyes to the beauty, agony and danger of life in the barrio.
In 2011, the Gary Soto Literary Museum opened at Fresno City College. Check out some photos here
Other notable Hispanic authors who have written for young adults include Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street), Matt de La Pena (Ball Don't Lie), and Isabel Allende (City of the Beasts).