When I was a child, I was reminded that sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me. It was the playground bully who told me that I don’t look Puerto Rican because I have “chinky eyes,” and it was Esmerelda Santiago’s book, When I Was a Puerto Rican, that told me I am in fact Puerto Rican enough. Whether we are talking about non-fiction, memoirs or fictionalized accounts of true tales about strong women, we relate to these characters and their stories of struggle. As we relate and become more interested in their lives, we undergo a bonding experience that helps us understand our own potential. We then feel empowered and confident to challenge life’s unexpected moments. That is when words of disparagement and ignorance cannot harm us. Iconic women such as Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Guererro know that they are given an opportunity to inspire the world, and they have decided to channel their actions, thoughts and emotions into words. Here’s a list of stories from inspiring Latinas.