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.
THANK YOU READERS!
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 Amazon.com