seeping back into focus


I have become quiet when it comes to my Concenter page. This is in part due to how few on the list make it to the local Library.* And you’ve likely noticed I tend to read from Library shelves. Also, admittedly, some of the books do not interest me, so I’m not highly motivated. Yes, I have the makings of a terrible activist. My goal of review one a week waned. I think next year, I will at least try to compensate by reading past books by these authors as well, at least to keep the issue and its support in the blog’s consciousness. There are very few excuses, really, especially in light of the fact that some of my favorite books of this year and last are from authors who are on these lists.

The Concenter page, for those unaware, is where I keep a list of books written by marginalized U.S. writers in middle-grade and young adult fiction. In 2010, I had a list of authors of African-descent and one for Hispanic-descent. This year, I borrowed a list that included both authors of color and books featuring people of color. Even that list is embarrassingly small considering the numbers. The wonderful Ms. Elliott at “Fledgling” and Doret at “The Happy Nappy Bookseller” have posted their updated lists on their blogs recently. From Doret comes the Latino list traditionally, and Zetta has been compiling the African American one. This year Doret  “will be looking at all the books published by authors of color who are not Black and comparing the total of authors published to Elliott’s list.” I’m pretty excited by this. I will be updated my own lists from these.

*notably, I haven’t a hard time finding books by the listed Asian authors. In fact, the Library here carries most all the books these authors have ever written, so while I may have to wait for it to be acquired, I feel sure I will eventually find it. I will keep Doret and others’ lists in mind, but I feel I should mind the Hispanic- and African-descent lists a bit more.

Doret at “The Happy Nappy Bookseller” List:

2 American Indian authors published
1.Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, Aug. 23)
2.Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac (Tu publishing, Sept 15)

28 Asian authors published
1.The Great Wall of Lucy Lu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (Scholastic, Jan.1)
2.Clara Lee & Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han (Little Brown, Jan. 4)
3.Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger (Self Published, Jan. 10)
4..Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda (Hyperion, Jan. 25)
5.Tall Story by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling, Feb.8)
6.Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhhai Lai (Harpercollins, Feb.22)
7. Lost and Found by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine, March 1)
8. Warp Speed by Lisa Yee (Arthur A. Levine, March 1)
9. Rocket Girls by Housuke Nojiri (Viz Media, March 15)
10. Odd Girl In by Jo Whittemore ( Aladdin, March 22)
11.Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon (Greenwillow, March 29)
12.Huntress by Malinda Lo (Little Brown, April 5)
13.The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami ( Atheneum, May 24)
14.Level Up by Gene Luen Yang ( First Second, June 7)
15.The Detention Club by David Yoo (Brazer+Bray, June 21)
16.Bestest Ramadan Ever by Medeia Sharif (Flux, July 8)
17.Vanished by Sheela Chari (Hyperion, July 26)
18.Stir it Up by Ramin Ganeshram (Scholastic, Aug 1)
19.Island’s End by Padma Venkatraman (Putnam Juvenile, Aug. 4)
20.Money Boy by Paul Yee (Groundwork, Aug. 23)
21. Drawing from Memory by Allen Say (Scholastic Press, Sept 1)
22.Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances by Lenore Look (Schwartz & Wade, Sept. 13)
23.Dragon of Silk by Laurence Yep (Harpercollins, Sept. 13)
24.Sita Ramayana by Sita Brahmachari (Groundwood, Sept. 27)
25.There Is No Long Distance Now by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow, Oct. 11)
26.Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow by Daniel Nayeri (Candlewick, Oct. 25)
27.Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi ( Harpercollins, Nov. 15)
28.Legend by Marie Lu (Putnam Juvenille, Nov 29)

17 Latino authors published
1.The Trouble With Half A Moon by Danette Vigilante (Putnam, Jan. 26)
2.Hidden by Tomas Mournian (Kensington, Feb. 1)
3.SkateFate by Juan felipe Herrera (Rayo, Feb. 22)
4.Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt and Co. March 15)
5.Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez (Simon&Schuster, April 29)
6.You Don’t Have A Clue edited by Sarah Cortez ( Pinata, April 30)
7.If I Could Fly by Judith Ortiz Cofer (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, May 24)
8.The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Spain) (Little Brown, May 31)
9.Tomas and the Magic Race Cars by Ramon Mesa Ledesma ( Two Harbors, July 1)
10.Stolen Girl by Yxta Maya Murray (Razorbill, July 7)
11.Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada (Atheneum, July 12)
12.Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garica (Simon&Schuster, July 12)
13.Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia Mccall ( Lee&Low, Sept 9)
14.How Tia Lola Ended Up Starting Over by Julia Alvarez (Knopf, Sept 13)
15.What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez (Carolrhoda, Sept 29)
16.The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Deedy & Randall Wright (Peachtree, Oct. 1)
17. Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel by Xavier Garza (Cinco Puntos, Oct 18)

2 authors of Mixed heritage published
1.Illegal by Bettina Restrepo (Katherin Tegae, March 8)
2.Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson (Flux, July 8)

“49 MG/YA authors of color (excluding Black authors) published in 2011. Since a few of the authors listed released two titles in 2011, the heading of each purposely states the number of authors published as opposed to novels written.”

Do read the rest of her post on how her list was compiled, the margins for error, etc. Doret did an excellent job.

Zetta Elliott at “Fledgling” List:

  1. All the Wrong Moves by Nikki Carter (Kensington; January/YA)
  2. Famous by Simone Bryant (Kimani TRU; January/YA)
  3. Camo Girl by Kekla Magoon (Simon & Schuster; January/MG)
  4. Joseph’s Grace by Shelia Moses (Simon & Schuster; January/YA)
  5. Eliza’s Freedom Road by Jerdine Nolen (Simon & Schuster; January/MG)
  6. Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves (Simon & Schuster; January/YA)
  7. Drama High: The Meltdown by L. Divine (Kensington; January/YA)
  8. Dear America: A Picture of Freedom by Patricia McKissack (Scholastic; January/YA)*
  9. Mystify (Mystyx #2) by Artist Arthur (Kimani TRU; February/YA)
  10. The Clone Codes 2: Cyborg by Patricia McKissack et al. (Scholastic; February/MG)
  11. Kick by Walter Dean Myers & Ross Workman (Harper Teen; February/MG)
  12. How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy by Crystal Allen (Harper Collins; February/MG)
  13. Glitz by Philana Marie Boles (Penguin; February/YA)
  14. Act of Grace by Karen Simpson (Plenary; February/YA)
  15. Upgrade U by Ni-Ni Simone (Kensington; March/YA)
  16. Playing for Keeps by Veronica Chambers (Hyperion; March/YA)
  17. Getting Played by Celeste Norfleet (Kimani Tru; March/YA)
  18. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Penguin; April/YA) 
  19. Carmen by Walter Dean Myers (Egmont BooksApril/YA) 
  20. The Break Up Diaries by NiNi Simone (Dafina; April/YA)
  21. Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pickney (Hatchette Group; April/MG)
  22. So, So hood (Drama High) by L. Divine (Dafina; May/YA)  
  23. Dork Diaries 3: Tales from a not so talented pop sta by Rachel Renee Russell (Aladdin; June/MG)
  24. Doing My Own Thing (Fab Life #3) by Nikki Carter (Dafina; June/YA)
  25. Dear America: I thought my soul would rise and fly  by Joyce Hansen (Scholastic; July/MG)*
  26. Mayhem (Mystyx #3) by Artist Arthur (Kimani TRU; July/YA)
  27. Silhouetted By the Blue by Traci L. Jones (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; July/MG)
  28. Boyfriend Season by Kelli London (Kensington; July/YA)
  29. Putting Make-up on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright (Simon and Schuster; July/YA)
  30. Checkmate (Cruisers 2)  by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic; August/MG)
  31. Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri (Candlewick; August/MG)
  32. Dreaming in Color  by Fiona Lewis (Bella Distribution, August/YA)
  33. Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes (Bloomsbury; September/MG)
  34. Shadow of Cesar’s Creek by Sharon Draper (Simon and Schuster; September/MG)
  35. Ambitious  by Monica McCayhan (Kimani Tru; September/YA)
  36. Bronxwood by Coe Booth (Push; September/YA)
  37. My Own Worst Frenemy  (Chanti on the Case series) by Kimberly Reid (Kensington; September/YA)
  38. Point Me to Tomorrow by Veronica Chambers (Hyperion; September/YA)
  39. Dear America: with the Might of Angels  by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Scholastic; September MG)
  40. Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods (Nancy Paulsen Books; September/MG)
  41. Break Up Diaries vol 2 by Nikki Carter and Kevin Elliott (Kensington; October/YA)
  42. Dork diaries 3 1/2: how to dork your diary by Rachel Renee Russell (Aladdin; October/MG)
  43. Maya’s Choice by Earl Sewell (Kimani Tru; October/YA)
  44. On The Come Up by Travis Hunter (Dafina; October/YA)
  45. Playground  by FiftyCent (Razorbill; November/YA)
  46. Uptown Dreams by Kelli London (KTeen Dafina; November/YA)
  47. Download Drama  by Celeste O. Norfleet (Kimani Tru; December/YA)

*these two Scholastic titles are reissued books

One Comment Add yours

  1. Carl V. says:

    I can certainly relate to the thought of being a bad activist. I would make a poor one as well because with all the many books that I know for sure that I want to read it is hard for me to be motivated by the idea of trying out books that otherwise would not have captured my attention just because the author is of a certain sex or nationality or is unjustly forgotten or neglected or for any other reason. I fully support those who have the passion to do so, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just not wired that way when it comes to my reading choices and thus I am a poor activist.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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