Sunday, April 25, 2010

YA Community Thanksgiving

Adele over at the Persnickety Snark has proclaimed April 20 YA Community Thanksgiving Day. So I'm a little late to the party, but better late than never! This is a day in which we readers share what we are thankful for in the YA community.

I love the YA community. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, why I love the YA community so much and there are so many reasons. In no particular order I love and am immensely grateful for;

1. Being able to be myself. I don't get to discuss books with my friends. They don't like to read, or if they do, they hide it. Which is ok most of the time, because we always have a ton of other stuff to talk about. But I love to read and sometimes I want to be able to chat with my friends about the latest YA book, or even an old classic. Getting a Google Account that allows me to comment on blogs (and eventually starting a blog), gives me the opportunity to leave comments on posts about my favorite books, my least favorite books, books I want to add to my tbr pile, etc. I love seeing how into books people can get; choosing teams, casting characters from the book into a movie and so much more. I've always felt that I'm not being completely true to myself or my friends by not telling them that I love to read (I just don't want to be called oreo anymore. But that's another post for another day) and the YA blogging community allows me to freely express myself. There's nothing better than passionately defending a book you love, recommending a book that is relatively unknown but you think it's amazing (and then someone picks it up based on your recommendation and they love it too) and discussing books you've read with other people.

2. (As an extension of #1), I especially enjoy being able to discuss books and book-related issues and events with people my own age or a little older. Maggie, Ah Yuan, Angel/ninefly, Steph and Kristi make up the core of this group. I know that I can email them to discuss a book, to vent (as a teenager I feel slightly immature when I vent to my older blogging buddies, haha) and if necessary, ask for some advice about issues that we teenagers go through. Also, while some of my older blogging friends may not have liked a certain book, they may have liked it and can provide me with a different perspective on it.

3. I have mentors (who I think of as blogging/reading godmothers and Book Fairies). Colleen, Doret, Lyn, Heather, Jill, Justine, Kaz, Neesha, Nathalie, Olugbemisola, susan, Vasilly and Zetta are the people I constantly turn to for advice and wisdom. They counsel, console and give me great ideas. They are also extremely well-read and if I ever have a question about a book (is it good? Does it have any POC in it?), chances are they will know the answer. They also help me out technologically. When I can't figure out how to fix something on my blog, they usually know the answer. Besides technology and books, they also offer me life advice. I am so grateful to them, especially as I prepare for my junior year and beginning the college process *gulp*, I know their insights are (and will be) invaluable.

(#s 2 & 3 are usually the people you will see the most emails from in my inbox or I talk to them on Twitter a lot. lol).

4. It's international, baby! I get recommendations about books published not only in the U.S., but in Canada, Australia, Japan and the UK. I also love seeing what's being read in other countries. Lauren (England), Kaz (England), Ah Yuan (Canada), and Justine (Australia) always have recommendations of books that I would not have heard of in the U.S.

5. The Authors. I love that I'm able to 'talk' to an author in the comments on their blog or on Twitter. I enjoy reading their blog posts about their WiPs, books they've recently read and loved and whatever else pops into their heads. I think YA authors are the sweetest and friendliest (and a little odd. Kidding!) of authors. I'm so grateful for the Internet giving us the opportunity to directly communicate with each other. Also, I'm thrilled to be able to read the works of all the aspiring writers. You guys are really talented and I can't wait to read all your books! Especially the people who leave me comments telling me that while they may not be a POC, they are writing a character who is a POC and they have done their homework. This means so much to me.

6. My Followers, because you Read in Color and want to expand your reading horizons and that's awesome! You guys are enthusiastic about the books I get each week, always eager to try the ones that I love, patient when I seem to have fallen off the face of the earth and always ready with recommendations.

7. Free Books. I love giving books away, especially if I loved them. Being able to pass on a book you love, to another book-lover is a wonderful feeling. And hey, I love seeing if I won a book or two :) Or when a blogger sees that I REALLY want a book and they kindly send me their own copy (which makes me feels super guilty, so don't do that!)

8. I'm a better person. The advice I get, learning how to really utilize technology, improving my writing skills (being able to better express myself through writing), reading people's various opinions on different topics which provides food for thought and reading a book that leaves an impact on me, these things are helping to make me a better person.

I have a lot more reasons, but I have homework and exams to focus on so I'll stop now.


New Crayons is hosted by susan at Color Online. In this meme, I share what new book(s) I got this week. Crayons is a good metaphor for multicultural lit :)

Also, I'm currently looking for some recommendations of YA books by UK authors that have POC. I don't care if the author's not a POC, but the main character or important secondary character should be. I know of Love, Shelley, Noughts & Crosses (trilogy), Growing Yams in London (series) and the Bindi Babes (series). Suggestions?

Stringz by Michael Wenberg

Life hasn t been easy for Jace Adams, a mixed-race teen whose mom moves them from one place to another so often that sometimes he's been in four schools in a single year. To cope with all that instability, Jace has vowed to never let himself get attached to anyone or anything--other than his beloved cello. But when his mom takes them to Seattle, where they're living with tough, sassy Aunt Bernice, Jace wonders if this time things might really change. Because money is tight, Jace plays his cello on the street in downtown Seattle, and one evening, someone throws a folded $100 bill with a business card attached into Jace s open cello case while he's serenading. That card changes everything; it's from a famous cello instructor who offers to take him on, giving Jace a shot at winning a large cash prize. Will he make the grade?

-Sent to me from WestSide books. It's good so far. I like how it's about a black guy who plays cello and surfs. It's different.

As always, summary from


  1. You had me at #1! I think the YA blogging community is so strong precisely because there is, unfortunately, still such a stigma against YA lit as "literature." There seems to be two extremes when it comes to reading: what I will call "Reading Lite," those mostly girls who read Twilight, bestsellers, and all that mainstream stuff and think they're the best thing ever. Then there are the pompous literary snobs who look down on anything that's not a classic, or so modernist and abstract that only 1% of the population can understand it. We YAers are in between, and until the day YA gets accepted as a legitimate and important genre, that's what we're all here for! :)

  2. It's currently sitting in my huge TBR pile so I can't tell you whether or not I enjoyed it but The Tribe by Valerie Bloom is a YA historical, that is published in the UK by an author living in the UK, it is about a Taino girl set at the same time as the Royal Diary about Anacaona.

  3. I have two things to say:

    1) This post rocks out loud!

    2) So do you. :)


  4. Thank you for the wonderful post, and for the mention. Since I'm going back to school to study YA lit--as both a writer and a critic--I expect to have more time for blogging and commenting. I like what Steph said about the contributions of YA lit bloggers--many of us are looking for books that are accessible but also have something to say, and where the author put some thought into structure, literary devices, and language.

  5. Great post! And thanks for saying "godmothers" instead of "grandmothers"! LOL

  6. You are wonderful!! Remember high school is such a quick blip on your life journey. Those folks calling you oreo will probably one day be asking "do you want fries with that?" while you are taking the world by storm.

  7. This sounds like a good book I will be anxious to read your full review.

  8. I'm so thankful for YOU, Miss A! You've introduced me to great books AND great bloggers, you have such a gracious, generous spirit...our community's lucky to have you!

  9. Aw, what a great post! You've echoed so many of my reasons for blogging too. :)

  10. Stringz looks SO GOOD! There are very few books that I actively wait for (rather than just hoping I'll remember that I wanted to read them by the time they come out), and this is one of them! I'll be looking forward to your review and I hope you like it (as much as I'm anticipating that I will)!

  11. @Steph-So true. I don't have time for the literary snobs who look down on YA, pulez. It's so much more than light and fluffy. But not all chick lit is bad, sometimes we need happiness! Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, I love that the YA community is so caring and committed. I think it's only a matter of a time before YA is truly a recognized genre.

    @Lawrl-It's pretty decent. Glad to hear you're so excited for this one :) It comes out on the 28th.

    @Rebecca-the tribe is in my TBR pile (virtually that is). I'll be looking for your review to see what you think.

    @Kaz-*big hug* Thanks! You are part of the inspiration for it, without authors like yourself, the YA community would not exist.

    @Lyn-I'll be very glad to see you around more in the blogging world! What's so great about the YA community is the discussions.

    @Jenny-Yay. You should write up your own reasons as well, I so enjoy reading the various answers.

    @rhapsody-Haha, not a problem. I would never do that! You guys are too technologically savy to be grandmothers ;)

    @Jeannine-LOL thank you! I don't wish ill on any of them, just that POC stop tearing each other down for trying to be themselves and get ahead.

    @Jan-It is good. Different.

    @Zetta-Aww thank you! I'm lucky to have such a receptive community. You have introduced me to so many interesting topics; gentrification and CANADA!

  12. Stringz sounds like an interesting story; thinkin' about adding it to my Amazon cart. And, oh yeah, my son surfs. Didn't even know it; I just found that out about a week ago.

  13. I love this post. I can't believe I missed it. And I was even mentioned. *serious blush*

    Trust me, you've taught me a lot more than I could ever teach you. Your tenacity and drive is simply inspiring. I'm just the fanatic reader/writer/friend who is avidly jumping up and down to tell you about the new POC book I've just discovered. :)

  14. @Katrina-It was good. My review is coming tomorrow (Monday). Haha, what a coinidence. Surfing would be so cool, maybe he'll teach you!

    @Heather-OF course you were mentioned. You've had a big impact on me :) Thank you so much, now you've got me blushing :o I love you for always telling me about the latest POC book that you've discovered and that I must read. And I'm definitely going to be all "I knew Heather back in the day.." once you get published :D


I love to hear from you!! Thank you for sharing :) And don't be Anon, I try to always reply back and I like to know who I'm replying to ;)