Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday & I Need Recommendations! And Bloomsbury + a winner!

Waiting on Wednesday is the meme started by Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm waiting on....

The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba by Margarita Engle

Release Date: March 16, 2010

The freedom to roam is something that women and girls in Cuba do not have. Yet when Fredrika explores the magical island, she brings along Cecilia, a young slave who longs for her home in Africa. Soon Elena, the daughter of the house, sneaks out to join them. As the three women explore the lush countryside, they form a bond that breaks the barriers of language and culture.

In this quietly powerful new book, Margarita Engle paints a portrait of early women's rights pioneer Fredrika Bremer and the journey to Cuba that transformed her life.

-This book sounds amazing. I love reading about Cuba and women's suffrage, so the two combined sounds like it will be really good! I got the summary from a comment by Wendy left here (Wendy got an ARC, I'm jealous!).

Bloomsbury News: Continuing the fight but I'm going to try and have reviews for the rest of the week as well and only post Bloomsbury updates. A recap of posts I've done here

My first, very angry response: Really Bloomsbury? I'm Done. The Publishing World Needs to Take Note. Read this post to read the comments and excerpts to other blog posts as well as links to the full posts. Thanks guys and I'm sorry it's not completely up to date!

My calmer, Open Letter to Bloomsbury (To clarify: Of course I emailed this to Bloomsbury)

Next Step: What Are We Going to Do? To Boycott or Not to Boycott-The problem has been identified now how are we going to keep it from happening again? Read the post that lists the pros and cons of boycotting, comments from other bloggers with suggestions and my own suggestions.

Giveaway news: I've hit 200 followers (currently 207) which is super cool. So be ready for another giveaway in celebration. I never thought I would hit 200. Thank YOU so much guys!

The winner of The Ring, Flight to Freedom AND The House on Mango Street is....


Congrats Mindy you have 48 hours to reply to my email. Thank you all for entering =)

Finally, I need GLBT recommendations! POC obviously. I went to the library and got Fat Hoochie Prom Queen by Nico Medina. Except the main character isn't GLBT (I thougth she was) her best friend is. This wouldn't be a problem except her best friend is white and I really want to read a book about a lesbian POC. I have a huge backload of Male Monday reviews to do, so I don't need any guy suggestions. Just girls. So leave me a comment or email me with recommendations. Thank you in advance :)


  1. Hmm, I'm really not big on reading poetry ATM but it does sound fascinating.

    Huh, the only Lesbian POC titles I know are all Adult novels. =/ But will list authors/titles anyhow: Dionne Brand (What We All Long For), Larissa Lai (Salt Fish Girl), and Fan Wu (February Flowers). OH! And if you want a short story, N.K. Jemisin now has a short story up for A Story For Haiti The Effluent Engine (I don't think that's YA either but this has more crossover appeal and EEEEEEE STEAMPUNK!! *-*)

  2. I just read a novel whose main characters are lesbian POC: The Necessary Hunger by Nina Revoyr. It was excellent. I heard about it on Justine Larbalestier's blog; it's about high school girl basketball players.

  3. Jacqueline Woodson's The House You Pass on the Way has a biracial lesbian/questioning main character.

    My other recs would all be adult lit. But White is for Witching is about 18-year-olds, and one of the characters (not the main one, but she narrates a good portion of the story) is a lesbian Nigerian British girl.

    Oh! I haven't read it yet, but Down to the Bone is a YA novel w/ a Cuban lesbian protagonist. I bet you already know about that one though!

    I made a list of GLBT books last year, and I include descriptions that mention the race and sexual orientation of the's mainly adult books, but in case it would help:

  4. The only lesbian POC that I know of is in Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Doyle (link goes to my review). I wasn't a big fan of the book, but the main character is latina (I just re-read my review and I didn't get more specific-my bad there)

  5. Ah! And while I was typing Eva came up with Down to the Bone, lol.

    I also wanted to add that The Firefly Letters sounds very interesting - I'm always a big fan of books that openly address feminism :-) I'll be interested to see if, since Fredrika is accompanied by a slave, this book is going to look at some of the less savory aspects of suffrage movement (ie, they were quite racist sometimes)

  6. Ari, have you read this post?

    I think you'll find it interesting!

  7. For GLBTQ rec' contact Lee Wind

    and also check Daisy Porter website. She's a librarian, and has all the categories you can possibly look for:

  8. I suggest What Night Brings, by Carla Trujillo. It wasn't originally published as YA, but it has been embraced by many YA librarians and high school media specialists. The language is powerful, as is Trujillo's depiction of Latina protagonist Marci, struggling to come to terms with her lesbian identity in the face of a physically abusive father and religious school teachers who assure her she is going to Hell.

    I have a copy if you need one.

  9. Ari - I've got an ARC of The Firefly Letters. I've read it, I think it's quite well done (and nice note on what's true and what's fic at the end) and I'm happy to send the ARC your way. I need to write my review still however - and I'm beyond backed up right now. So it would be about 2 weeks. When I'm done I'll send you an email and see if you still need it.

  10. I'm not sure what ethnicity the main character is, but have you read Ash by Malinda Lo? I might not have spelled her first name right. It's supposed to be pretty good, and it's YA.

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  12. Down to the Bone has been recommended thricely I see, that was my main go to title. You could try 'What they Always Tell Us' by Martin Wilson, the main gay character is white, but the guy who he's attracted to is mixed race (Indian British American if I remember rightly). I'm not sure if it's quite what you're looking for because race is not an issue examined in the book, but it was lovely to see someone write a gay, mixed relationship as if it was not a big deal, as if it was an everyday occurence.

  13. Hey, Ari--this link was just posted on the Carl Brandon Society listserv:

    More than 50 books by Queer People of Color

  14. I haven't read Orphea Proud but I *think* the main character is of color. I wasn't a fan of Down to the Bone. What Night Brings is fantastic but fairly intense. Notebooks of Melanin Sun by J Woodson is about a boy with a gay mom. How Beautiful The Ordinary is a collection of short stories, some of which have protags of color. I wasn't a huge fan of Love & Lies: Marisol's Story but I *think* she's latina. It's the sequel to Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger. I haven't read Babyji yet, and it's coded as an adult book, but it's a coming of age book about a girl in India. And Dykes to Watch Out For, while usually shelved as adult graphic novel, I think has a lot of appeal to older YA readers. Oh, also, Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties is also a fantastic novel about chicana women, but it's usually seen as an adult novel.

  15. Hi Ari,

    here's an update, thanks to a tweet from LaVora Perry.

    Bloomsbury just issued a statement on its website:
    Bloomsbury is ceasing to supply copies of the US edition of Magic Under Glass. The jacket design has caused offense and we apologize for our mistake. Copies of the book with a new jacket design will be available shortly.

    The link is here:

  16. I just finished the book HARD LOVE by Ellen Wittlinger. The point-of-view character is white (and straight), but the other central character in the book, Marisol, is a Puerto-Rican (by birth; raised in US by white mom and Puerto-Rican dad) lesbian. The author wrote another book from Marisol's PoV, but I haven't read it. HARD LOVE was great, though.

  17. DBS, I'm glad you liked What Night Brings and that it's getting some attention, since it was small press-published. I'll agree that it's intense, which is probably why it was originally marketed as an adult novel, but I love intense stories as long as they ring true, which this one does.

  18. @Lyn-I'm adding What Night Brings to the list. Intense I believe I can handle.

    @revolutionsheep-Hard Love is on my list as is Love & Lies: Marisol's Story

    @Nathalie-Thanks I blogged/tweeted.

    @DontBoxSarah-Thank you I added Babyji, it sounds interesting and she's so teen so I'll take it. Oh and Orphea Proud! Wow it sounds really good. She's black I believe, and hte cast is described as multicultural.

    @Zetta-I'm about to check out that link. Thankyou!

    @Jodie-What They Always Tell Us sounds good.

    @Mardel-I've read Ash. Check out my review :) Loved it!

    @Colleen-Oh wow, thank you! Whenever you can, I'll email you :D

    @Nathalie-I'll check out the link. I follow Lee Wind and Queer YA.

    @Eva-The House You Pass On the Way is on my list. I'll go follow the link, thank you :)

    @LaurieAB-the Necessary Hunger sounds awesome, thank you! Added to the list.

    @Angela-I've read and reviewed Down to the Bone, I liked it.

    @Ah Yuan-Thank you for the recs. I've heard good things about February Flowers. I'll see if the mc are teens at least.

    Thank you everyone for the recommendations! Check out my GLBT challenge list to see the books I plan on reading (it's been updated)

  19. Oh - also Empress of the World by Sara Ryan. There are so many things about this book I love, from the romance to the friendships to the cool academic summer campish setting and the family dramarama.

    It's just an excellent coming of age title all around that also has two girls fall in like. Fab.

  20. I second (with both hands) Necessary Hunger by Nina Revoyr. I loved it. Its so so good.


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