{diversity in lit} Friday #05: (re)sources

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Reading by Nakamura Daizaburo (1898-1947)

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There are some brilliant blogs and challenges out there that provide lists, reviews, or linking hubs for reviews regarding Diversity in Literature. I am going to list & link a few resources every Friday, as well as ome reviews of div/lit fiction for the grown-up shelf as I encounter them through the week. Just thought to do this yesterday, so I know I missed a few from blogs I already follow. Anyway:  If you posted a review or interview that should interest adult readers featuring an author or protagonist of the oft marginalized due to color, sexual orientation, sex/gender, ability, etc. since last Friday, please share in comments. Do feel free to share your favorite resources in comments, I will share them in future Friday posts

Book Reviews & Author/artist Interviews for Grown-ups:

–Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith (Spiegel & Grau 2014) will be released April 2014.  “Violet Kupersmith has woven together culture, tradition, family, and ghosts to create a series of short stories that are as fresh as they are mesmerizing. These stories will haunt you long after the last words have drifted off the page.” -Lisa See

Based on traditional Vietnamese folk tales told to Kupersmith by her grandmother, these fantastical, chilling, and thoroughly contemporary stories are a boldly original exploration of Vietnamese culture, addressing both the immigrant experience and the lives of those who remained behind. Lurking in the background of them all is a larger ghost-that of the Vietnam War, whose legacy continues to haunt us.Violet Kupersmith’s voice is an exciting addition to the landscape of American fiction. With tremendous depth and range, her stories transcend their genre to make a wholly original statement about the postwar experience.–publisher

–Crystal at Reading through Life reviews Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Running Press 2013) which sounds like a good cross-over from YA.”I was inclined to enjoy this book because Emily Dickinson has been one of my favorite poets for as long as I can remember. Frenchie really clinched it though. I was drawn into her emotional struggles. She has a snappy humor, but she is stuck in a dark place that she is struggling to escape even as she wants to just give up the fight. In spite of the dark subject matter, Sanchez provides enough humor to keep the reader periodically smiling and laughing. There is a lot in this book that inspires deep thinking. It is one that I will be recommending and will likely re-read.”

–Joanne at Little Queen Rules shares Every Last Secret by Linda Rodriguez (a first book in a series). “I really enjoyed this story.  It was well written. […] I think we have a new mystery author to love!”

Half-Cherokee Marquitta “Skeet” Bannion thought she was leaving her troubles behind her when she fled the stress of being the highest ranking woman on the Kansas City Police Department, a cop ex-husband who didn’t want to let go, and a disgraced alcoholic ex-cop father. Moving to Brewster, Missouri, a nearby small college town, to be chief of the campus police force, she began to build a life outside of police work with a house and yard, pets, and women friends who were not cops. She might even begin a new relationship with the amiable Brewster police chief and his sweet little girl.–publisher.

S.L. reviews American Spector by Rasheedah Prioleau (Rocket Press 2014). “A book with a lot of potential, but is missing the last polish to make it shine. The premise is an interesting one: Imagine that there is a town where the spirits of the deceased and recently-dead are commonplace. Where they live and work along side your everyday, average human. Now imagine that, in this town, there is a series of murders and some of the clues hint that the murderer might be one of those very specters. What sort of motive would drive a ghost to kill someone else? What sort of secrets might be hiding in a town like that?

–All the Broken Things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer (Random House Canada 2014) reviewed by Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea. “an incredible story about love, acceptance, and the differences that both separate and connect us.  Based in the real world of the Ontario bear wrestling circuit of the 1980’s and haunted by the fact that Agent Orange was also produced right here in Ontario, this novel takes on heavy themes that are so beautifully written.”

It is 1983 and fourteen-year-old Bo has arrived in Canada with his mother Thao and his four-year-old sister.  Bo and his family are refugees from Vietnam and his sister is nicknamed Orange for the severe and disfiguring effects she has received from being exposed to  Agent Orange in utero.  As they try to adjust to a new country, Thao keeps Orange hidden away while Bo spends his days getting into fights at school and on the street.

–Alison at An Un-Calibrated Centrifuge reviews Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Cinco Punto Press 2012). “The characters are all compelling. The writing is readable. The stories are short (I have no patience for short stories that are 50+ pages long, I’m looking at you James Joyce). […]The stories are poignant without becoming saccharine and thought-provoking without being preachy.”

–another from An Un-Calibrated Centrifuge who also review Citizen 13660 by Mine Okubo (Univ. of WA Press, 1983). “I like the illustrations and the matter-of-fact writing. The style is very easy to read and the timeline of Okubo’s internment is easy to follow. I wish there were more personal details and I wish Okubo had gone into more detail with some of the stories, but all in all it’s a very good book and a great account of camp life.”

DiL re_sourcesBlogs & Tumblrs:

American Indians in Children’s Literature tumblr. “A tumblr where I (a Pueblo Indian woman) share stuff that challenges the status quo in children’s and young adult literature.”

Kristi’s Book Nook “takes pride in sharing stories that feature people and characters of color. As more writers of color are being recognized for their efforts, hard work and dedication, our children will be able to truly see themselves in stories they read and share. This is my dream, and I invite you to share and celebrate with me.”

Black Children’s Books & Authors tumblr  “This blog posts fiction and nonfiction board, picture, chapter, YA, and (some adult) books by black authors and authors whose books feature black characters or subject matter that may be of interest to the black community.”

CBC Diversity “The CBC Diversity Committee is one of five committees established by the Children’s Book Council, the national nonprofit trade association for children’s trade book publishers. We are dedicated to increasing the diversity of voices and experiences contributing to children’s and young adult literature. To create this change, we strive to build awareness that the nature of our society must be represented within the children’s publishing industry.” Their goodreads shelves

Challenges & Articles & more Lists:

David F. Walker at The Nerds of ColorWhy an African American Human Torch is Important, or Comic Fans are Kinda Racist

Little Pocket Books Diversity on the Shelf’s Approved Books: Part 1” AND Diversity on the Shelf’s Approved Books: Part 2” “To help the participants of the Diversity on the Shelf 2014 Reading Challenge (and to spread some diverse book love), I thought I would give you all a few titles each month to check out.  All of these books will fit perfectly into this reading challenge.  I will try to add a variety of genres (YA, Non-fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery) for you to cross challenges as well.”

Kristi’s Book NookMulti-Cultural Books to Get Your Kids Moving” “Take a look at these great books that will have your readers learning and moving!”

Julie Danielson for KirkusGender Non-Conforming Picture Books.” “Books like this are what many people would call message-driven. The Hoffmans’ book even closes with a note from the two of them about raising a gender-nonconforming child, includes a note from an advocate for gender and sexuality education, and has a slogan of sorts on the back cover: “There are lots of different ways to be a boy.” 

Lee & Low: “Diverse Dystopias: A Booklist” “For the purposes of this list, our definition of diversity is: 1.) A book with a main character of color (not just secondary characters), or 2.) A book written by an author of color.”

One Comment Add yours

  1. Alison says:

    What a cool idea! Thanks for including a couple of my reviews. I’ve never heard of some of these books before, but I’m excited to check them now.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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