These two volumes offer an in-depth look at a select group of Latino icons, figures whose lives and careers have pushed cultural boundaries and effected social change. The series forward describes the criteria used when selecting whom to include: the subjects must “challenge the status quo, influence millions and impact history.” In the preface, Ilan Stavans points out that most of the subjects represent popular culture-actors, musicians and athletes, rather than physicians, chemists, economists-or U.S. presidents. This is a “thermometer of our health,” Stavans states. “Not necessarily bad news, just a reminder for Latinos of where improvement is needed.” With that in mind, the set’s twenty-four alphabetically arranged biographies offer insight into the power and influence of these Latino personalities. Many of the essays open with intriguing stories, such as how the golfer Lee Trevino, an eventual winner of the U.S. Open, rose to prominence in an elite sport despite his impoverished upbringing, or how the midnight release of Selena’s last record, issued shortly after the Tejano singer’s tragic murder, drew four thousand fans. Accounts vary from the description of the stir the writer Sandra Cisneros created when she painted her house purple to the deplorable living conditions that Cesar Chavez experienced while growing up as part of a migrant worker family. A few inanimate objects are featured, too-Mexican food, for example, has an iconic status of its own. Most high school students will find the language accessible and the sidebars that accompany the profiles add interest to the text. A timeline provides a helpful framework to both volumes, while each essay concludes with suggested reading that teachers and students can use for further inquiry: websites, relevant movies, recordings and books are listed. A selected bibliography and an index round out the text. Recommended for high school and public libraries.