Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Shooting Kabul & I Need Recommendations! Again

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted every week by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week I'm waiting on

Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai
Simon& Schuster
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Fadi never imagined he’d start middle school in Fremont, California, thousands of miles away from home in Kabul. But, here he was, half a world apart from his missing six year old sister who’d been lost because of him, as they'd fled Afghanistan. Adjusting to life in the United States isn’t easy for Fadi’s family and as the events of September 11th unfold, the prospects of locating Mariam in a war torn Afghanistan seem slim -- impossible. Desperate, Fadi tries every hare-brained scheme he can think of to find her. When a photography competition with a grand prize trip to India is announced, Fadi sees his chance to return to Afghanistan and find his sister. But can one photo really bring Mariam home?

Based in part on Ms. Senzai’s husband’s experience fleeing Soviet controlled Afghanistan in 1979, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance.

From the author's website.

I think there is a huge lack of novels set in or about the Middle East for young readers and I want to read more about that partiuclar region. This book is middle grade and it sounds really cute and I have a feeling it may tug at my heartstrings :)

Wanted: Global Recommendations for YA/MG POC set in Europe
I'm participating in the 2010 Global Reading Challenge. I kinda sort of forgot about it. So I need some recommendations so I can list the challenge in my sidebar. I was going to do easy but now I think I'll try and do medium (it depends on how many recommendations I get!) because this is a hard challenge ( on the expert level you have to read 2 book about Antartica. I'm pretty sure there are no MG/YA books about POC set in Antartica. We haven't gotten that far yet!)
ETA: I do not need Anatartica recommendations (that would be for expert which I'm not doing. Sorry for the confusion). Thanks though! Also if you have time check my lists for other challenges (sidebar) to make sure I don't already have the book you are about to recommend a book already on there. And please make sure the book is about a POC (if you're not sure that's ok, but if you know there are no POC in the novel, don't recommend it here).
The Medium Challenge
Read two novels from each of these continents in the course of 2010:
North America (incl Central America)
South America

Try to find novels from twelve different countries or states
Here's my preliminary list (I don't want to crosspost with any other challenges, I just love to make things harder for myself!). I need help with Europe and South America especially but feel free to give me any recommendations for any country that has a blank. Just needs to be YA/MG about POC set in the country listed. Thanks!
1. Aya by Marguerite Abouet, Clement Oubrerie
2. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
1. Guardian of the Spirit by (Moribito) by Nahoko Uehasi
2. Sold by Patricia McCormick
1. Deadly Unna? by Phillip Gwynne
2. The Pearl of Tiger Bay by Gabrielle Wang
1. The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo (MG)
2. Lila Says by Chimo
3. The Black Canary by Jane Louise Curry (MG)
Why are all the POC books for YA/MG readers set in England, instead of other parts of Europe? I would prefer YA recommendationss for the Europe category so that's still open!
North America (includes Central America):
1. Grease Town by Ann Towell (off-color)
2. Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon
3. Raining Sardines by Enrique Flores-Galbis
South America
1. Exposure by Mal Peet
2. The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau (is the main character a POC?)


  1. A couple of suggestions of books from South America. Have you read City of the Beasts, a YA fantasy by Isabel Allende (born in Peru, grew up in Chile, and lived in Venezuela for several years after going into exile after the military coup in 1973). While City of the Beasts doesn't take place in any of those countries, it's set in the Amazon rain forest. For the second choice, you should try to find The Honorable Prison by Lyll Becerra de Jenkins. She grew up in Colombia and the YA novel is loosely based on her family's house arrest in the 1950s, as a result of her father's criticism of the government.

    And POC titles in Europe: Refugee Boy, by Benjamin Zephaniah, about an Ethiopian refugee in London. He has some other books too.

  2. This isn't about a POC in Antarctica, but The White Darkness by Geraldine Mccaughren takes place in Antarctica, and is fantastic! For a South American book, The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau stars Zeeta, who I believe is a POC, and is a beautiful book.

  3. I'll think about the books you need - nothing is jump out to me.

    As for Shooting Kabul - I got a copy for review and I can't wait to read it. It sounds fantastic!

  4. It's late and I could have come up with more titles but check these out and mabey my brain will work later(hope this helps)
    Two YA books set in Antarctica(although neither are POCs)
    Surviving Antarctica : Reality TV 2083 by Andrea White
    Emperors of the Ice : A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13 by Richard Farr
    Set in South America:
    The Penalty by Mal Peet
    Set in Asia(India)-
    Sold by Patrica McCormick(get your tissues)
    Climbing The Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
    Set in Europe(England)
    Yoruba Girl Dancing by Simi Bedford
    Gifted by Nikita Lalwani
    set in Australia-
    One of my favorite books by Randa Abdel-Fattah is Does My Head Look Big In This?
    Set in Africa
    I loved Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu other book Shadow Speeker which I recently did a review for:
    let me know what you think!

  5. An excellent Europe book is The Black Canary, by Jane Louise Curry; it's a time travel story that takes a biracial boy first to modern London, and then back to the early 17th century-- here's my review--

    Another possibility would be a book by English author Malorie Blackman, who consistantly writes books with POC.

  6. Oh, and I totally second the Indigo Notebook, and also add Red Glass, by the same author. She is an anthropologist, as well as a writer, and that background shines in her writing. I interviewed her about the interesction of anthropology and writing, and how an outsider approaches making fiction out of the culture of other people, here --

  7. Two London-centred YA writers to consider Benjamin Zephaniah (mostly a poet, but Face is fabulous for basically contemporary London, although the main character isn't a POC, and I'm on the waiting list for Refugee Boy), and S.I.Martin's Jupiter Williams series - a historical London adventure.

  8. Hi, Ari!

    Have you checked out books from Yen Press? It's under Hachette (if I'm not mistaken) and it specializes in English translations of Japanese graphic novels. Are graphic novels allowed in the challenge?

    Also, Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell is set in Southeast Asia. =D

    I can't wait to read Shooting Kabul!!! Thanks for letting me know about it!

  9. Have not yet read it but 'Anila's Journey' by Mary Finn is set in Bengal - a young girl travels with a naturalist and searches for her father (historical). What I ahve read and recommend tons is 'Across the Nightingale Floor' by Lian Hearn (not a Japanese author though, this is a pen name) which is fantasy set in an alternate feudal Japan.

  10. There are a series of YA books about Indian teens living in England by Narinder Dhami. The first is called Bindi Babes. I haven't read it so I don't know much about it but I remember seeing them at my library.

    I can't think of any other titles at the moment but if I do, I will post them later. By the way, here is an award for your blog.

  11. The problem with POC in other European countries is partially that of translation. The books have to make it to the publisher and then they have to make it to the English markets. So, there are two hurdles for POC books from France, Netherlands, Germany... When I was in France this past summer I saw many, many historical books (fiction and nonfiction) that I really wanted but I couldn't have read more than the titles. You may find books by Afican authors who have gone through France. I'll give this some thought.

  12. I'm looking forward to Shooting Kabul too. =D

    Why not try reading Twelve Kingdoms? The English translation's definitely one of the best Japanese light novel translations I've come across (Moribito, in contrast, was a bit clunky for me) and while I didn't like it much personally, I can see why people love the series (the worldbuilding is most excellent, and epic adventures, etc).

    No advice for Europe or South America, though. =/ All I could think of was 'Mal Peet' and you already have that, so yeah... =X

  13. Aya is so good! The next two books are also out, Aya of Yop City and Aya: The Secrets Come Out. I don't know if you've been able to get a hold of a copy yet, but I hope you enjoy the beautiful cloth hardcovers and full-color pages. I would love it even if it was black and white printed from a home printer, but the absolute gorgeous-ness of the books is icing on the cake! They are such a pleasure to read.

  14. I'm pretty sure the protagonist of The Indigo Notebook is not PoC. And I think you'd like The Honorable Prison. I can loan you my copy, which has been sitting on my shelf of honor for 20 years now. There's also Red Palms by Carla Haycak, which is set in Ecuador. She's part Ecuadorian; the novel is based on her grandmother's life.

  15. Chiming in to second the recs for Climbing the Stairs and Yoruba Girl Dancing. The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi is not YA, but I think you'd enjoy it. Will keep thinking...


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