Monday, November 18, 2013
YA Revolution: Book Spotlight
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I put out a virtual call for volunteers to help spread the word about YA books with diverse characters. Well, 50 of you answered that call and for that I thank you very much. Today I share with you several well-written, well-researched and emotionally gut-punching books that I hope you'll share with your friends, bloggers, sisters, brothers, book clubs, schools, the lady who lives down the street. In short, everyone who reads. Why? Because if books like these get the attention they deserve, than perhaps we will get more diversity in children's literature.
Feel free to share, comment, recommend more books and, yes, even buy these books. If you'd like to join the YA Revolution and help the cause, I'd love to have your friendship and your support in promoting more diversity in children's literature. Click here for the details.
Without further ado, here are some really terrific books in the YA Revolution Spotlight this month:
An Infidel in Paradise by S.J. Laidlaw. I remember reading the synopsis for this book and counting down the days till it released. It's about a Canadian girl and a Muslim boy in Pakistan. Amid a tense political landscape and culture clashes, the girl and her family must rely on her Muslim classmates for survival. It's a very interesting, fast-paced and, yet, very teen story.
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan. This was a wow book for me. It hit all of my emotional buttons. Here's a story about a 13-year old Tanzanian boy who also happens to be albino. He's always been different--light eyes, yellow hair, white skin. People in his country either fear or belittle him because he's different, even members of his own family; others want to hunt him for body parts because albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. In order to protect his family and stay alive, he runs away. This story is so well written. Deeper themes like racism and acceptance as well as fascinating cultural issues. Impactful. I could not put it down. This story still sticks with me.
Boy Man Chief by Amy Jarecki. This was initially entitled Koicto and was originally published by a small press. It's historical YA, set in the American Southwest, and is a coming of age story about a Native boy who's a member of the the ancient Nahchee Nation. Oh, my. I loved this story SO HARD. I don't often read books more than once and I read this one twice. Not only is the story utterly captivating, but it is well-researched, making the characters and setting very authentic. You don't often find Native characters in YA books, especially ones this well-researched.
Obscura Burning by Suzanne Van Rooyen. I have not yet read this futuristic/adventure story but it comes highly recommended by several Crew members at YA Revolution Headquarters. I hope to have it reviewed in time for the December spotlight. I mention it today because it includes LGBT themes and characters, which is also an important part of diversity in YA. And how cool to find such diverse characters in a futuristic book! You don't find that very often.
Feel free to comment on these books, recommend more, BUY THEM and, of course, join the YA Revolution.
Happy Reading. Till next month!