Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Crayons + Blogaversary Help!

New Crayons is a meme created and hosted by susan at Color Online. In this meme I share what new multicultural books I got for the week. This week was an amazing week of books!

Also, I've got a pretty good idea of what I'll be doing for my blogaversary (I have no idea how that's spelled). Are there any bloggers or authors who want to do guest posts? Please email me willbprez at aol dot com your ideas for a guest post. Try and stick it to the general theme of my blog =) Great example If there any authors who want to be interviewed, email me as well (please don't ask me to interview you unless I've read your book or am currently reading your book). finally if anyone wants to donate prizes, let me know! I don't have any award for donating prizes except I will be so grateful =D

*Ahem* Back to New Crayons.
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Still haunted by nightmares of her mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father’s relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder—something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother’s plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn’t do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.

But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn’t think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.

-Won from Lizzy at Cornucopia of Reviews. Thanks so much Lizzy! My WoW explains why I want to read this. I mean the gorgeous cover, setting of Indonesia? Sounds like a win!

Keesha's House by Helen Foster
Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just can’t make it on their own. They are Stephie – pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about; Jason – Stephie’s boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career; Dontay – in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system; Carmen – arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention center for a judge to hear her case; Harris – disowned by his father after disclosing that he’s gay, living in his car, and taking care of himself; Katie – angry at her mother’s loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school.

Stretching the boundaries of traditional poetic forms – sestinas and sonnets – Helen Frost’s extraordinary debut novel for young adults weaves together the stories of these seven teenagers as they courageously struggle to hold their lives together and overcome their difficulties.
-Won from Evelyn! Thank you so much :) Summary from the publisher's website. I'd never heard of this book before but it sounds really good, "stretching the boundaries of traditional poetic forms".

What Momma Left Me by Renee Watson

How is it that unsavory raw ingredients come together to form a delicious cake? What is it about life that when you take all the hard stuff and rough stuff and add in a lot of love, you still just might have a wonderful life? For Serenity, these questions rise up early when her father kills her mother, and leaves her and her brother Danny to live with their kind but strict grandparents. Despite the difficulties of a new school, a new church, and a new neighborhood, Serenity gains strength from the family around her, the new friends she finds, and her own careful optimism. Debut author Renée Watson's talent shines in this powerful and ultimately uplifting novel.
-Won from Charlotte at Charlotte's Library. Thank you so much Charlotte =) I love this cover! It's absolutely adorable. Doesn't seem to fit the tough subjects this book will address (her father kills her mother!). Also, the book is published by Bloomsbury. See Bloomsbury I don't only point out your mistakes ;)

From April at Good Books and Good Wine. April is someone everyone should know. Go check out her blog and you will understand because she is beyond awesome (she picked these up at BEA). big thank you to April!
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Chiko isn't a fighter by nature. He's a book-smart Burmese boy whose father, a doctor, is in prison for resisting the government. When Chiko is forced into the army by trickery, he must find the courage to survive the mental and physical punishment meted out by the training facility's menacing captain.

Tu Reh can't forget the image of the Burmese soldiers burning his home and the bamboo fields of his oppressed Karenni people, one of the many ethnic minorities in Burma. Now living in a Karenni refugee camp on the Thai border, Tu Reh is consumed with anger and the need for revenge. He can't wait to join his father and the other resistance fighters in their efforts to protect the Karenni people.

Chiko and Tu Reh's stories come to a violent intersection as each boy is sent on his first mission into the jungle. Extreme circumstances and unlikely friendships force each boy to confront what it means to be a man of his people.

Set against the political and military backdrop of modern-day Burma, Bamboo People explores the nature of violence, power, and prejudice as well as the healing power of tolerance.
This one is going to be a tough read, I hate reading about teenagers in war. At the same time, their stories are so uplifting and filled with hope because the kids are so strong. Can't wait to read this one. And it's autographed! Did I mention that April rocks? Thank you for sigining it Mitali!

Samurai Kids: White Crane (Book 1)
by Sandy Fussel, Illustrated by Rhian James
Can a one-legged boy become a great samurai warrior? Meet some unique aspiring champions in this kick-off to an exciting new martial arts series.

Niya Moto is the only one-legged samurai kid in Japan, famous for falling flat on his face in the dirt. The one school that will accept him is the Cockroach Ryu, led by the legendary sensei Ki-Yaga. He may be an old man overly fond of naps, but Ki-Yaga is also known for taking in kids that the world has judged harshly: an albino girl with extra fingers and toes, a boy who is blind, a big kid whose past makes him loath to fight. A warrior in his time, Ki-Yaga demands excellence in everything from sword fighting to poetry. But can the ragtag Cockroaches make the treacherous journey to the Samurai Trainee Games, never mind take on the all-conquering Dragons? In a fast-moving, action-filled tale that draws on true details of feudal Japan, Niya finds there’s no fear they can’t face as long as they stick together — for their friendship is more powerful than a samurai sword.
-This is the Australia/UK cover where the book was originally published. I have an ARC so the cover is different but I can't find any pictures of it. I've never heard of this book but it sounds really cool, a group of kid samurais with some interesting characteristics.
For Review
Manifest by Artist Arthur
When fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley moves to Lincoln, Connecticut, her mom's hometown, she assumes her biggest drama will be adjusting to the burbs after living in New York City

But Lincoln is nothing like Krystal imagined. The weirdness begins when Ricky Watson starts confiding in her. He's cute, funny, a good listener-and everything she'd ever want-except that he was killed a year ago. Krystal's ghost-whispering talents soon lead other "freaks" to her door-Sasha, a rich girl who can literally disappear, and Jake, who moves objects with his mind. All three share a distinctive birthmark in the shape of an M and, fittingly call themselves the Misfits. They set out to learn what really happened to Ricky, only to realize that they aren't the only ones with mysterious powers. But if Krystal succeeds in finding out the truth about Ricky's death, will she lose him for good?

-Check out my WoW for more info on why I want to read this one. The cover is very pretty, I love the flowy font, it reminds me of a ghost/spirits and I really like the M on the back of the girl's neck. As for the inside of the book, we need more POC in YA paranormal so I hope this is a start to filling the void. Thank you Lisa!

The Pack by L.M. Preston

Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little do they know that she is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals most unlikely weapons against them the very kids of which they have captured. In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens, her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. But in order to save her brother's life, she is willing to risk it all.

-I know people always want to see more sci fi/fantasy reviews around here so these two books are a good start! I've read good reviews of The Pack and I think it will help me get over my self-publishing funk. I've never read anything set on Mars so I'm eager to see how the author portrays Mars.

Bought-Good news These sound amazing. Bad news: I'm so broke, I need to stop buying books!

Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins Mysteries, Book 1) by Walter Mosley

Los Angeles, 1948: Easy Rawlins is a black war veteran just fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend's bar, wondering how he'll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs....

-I'm beyond excited to read this. Everyone raves about the Easy Rawlins books and my mom said the movie of this book is fantastic. I can't wait to read and watch it! It's set in the '40s and is about Black detective. I'm in heaven :D

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Fifteen-year-old Kambili's world is circumscribed by the high walls and frangipani trees of her family compound. Her wealthy Catholic father, under whose shadow Kambili lives, while generous and politically active in the community, is repressive and fanatically religious at home.

When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili's father sends her and her brother away to stay with their aunt, a University professor, whose house is noisy and full of laughter. There, Kambili and her brother discover a life and love beyond the confines of their father's authority. The visit will lift the silence from their world and, in time, give rise to devotion and defiance that reveal themselves in profound and unexpected ways. This is a book about the promise of freedom; about the blurred lines between childhood and adulthood; between love and hatred, between the old gods and the new.
-I went to Printers Row yesterday and the highlight was hearing and meeting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie! She is such an amazing speaker, hypnotic. She's funny (someone asked why her endings were so open ended and she said she hacked off the last paragraph of each book to annoy the readers) and full of stories. I wish I had recorded what she said, but I'm not sure it would have been allowed and I got there late. She had this great quote and I'm not sure if it's hers but she said "I refuse to apologize for my ideas", that really stuck with me. She also talked about how she is "happily black" and "happily feminist." She talked about how Africans can look down on African Americans (so true!) and how many Africans don't know about the rich African American history. She wanted to learn about the history of Black people in America so she began reading African American literature and history books. There was Q&A and someone asked her about her favorite African American literature and she said James Baldwin is her favorite and she also really likes Toni Morrison. It was amazing and so informative, she also talked about her nonprofit where she gives writing workshops to people in Lagos, Nigeria. After she spoke, she did signings. While she signed Purple Hibiscus, I summoned the courage to ask her if she's ever considered writing for children/teenagers. She said she had thought about it and even tried but that she didn't have a childlike mind, her topics and words would be too rough for children. I haven't read any of her books yet but from what I've heard about them, I would agree that it's not for children but I bet teenagers could handle it. She said that she encourages writers in her workshops to write for young people, she's a big believer in making children's literature more diverse (obviously, just listen to her "Dangers of a Single Story" speech). I managed to stammer out that i hoped she would think about writing for teenagers and she laughed and said maybe. I then fled, feeling so embarrassed! But at least I got to hear her, the autograph and question was a welcome bonus. Although I forgot to tell her that I love her Single Story speech =/ Regardless, I just wish I hadn't been late but it was a fantastic experience!

Did anyone else go to Printers Row today or yesterday?

All summaries from unless otherwise noted.
What books did you get this week? Any books featuring a POC? Share in the comments and happy reading!


  1. Manifest sounds so good. I really enjoyed Keesha's house when I read it. Happy Reading!

  2. Alright, you've convinced me: I just put Purple Hibiscus on hold at the library. Thanks for bringing the book, and the author (who sounds wonderful!), to my attention.

  3. I got Manifest and Bamboo People at BEA! I also was able to listen to Mitali at the author breakfast... wow. So inspiring! hope you enjoy your books! happy reading!

  4. lol looking forward to what you think of Purple Hibiscus. I always considered that a YA read though (well, it's catalogued as YA in my library lololol) so I say Adichie can totally do a YA voice. And omg I can't believe you got to meet AND talk to her, soooooooo jealous! You're so lucky! 8D

    looking forward to your review of Manifest too. I hope it ends up being good! 8D

    And omfg Bamboo People, how come NO ONE told me about this book, huh!?!??! All you'd have to do is say to me 'YA book set in Burma' and my SEAsian bias will fire in. al;fjj;af I want this book like, now.

    Congrats on your upcoming Blogoversary (sp!?!??!) I'd offer a guest post, but I don't feel inspiration coming for what to guest post on so far. =X Hopefully I'll come back to you with more ideas later, but yeah...

    Anyhow, happy reading~

  5. @BrittLit-I'm glad you liked Keesha's House, looking forward to it. Happy reading to you as well! Manifest review will be up late July/early August to go with the release date so stop by later :)

    @Cass-Haha I'm glad I convinced you before I even wrote a review! Seriously though, if I hadn't already heard of her, I would have bought a book of hers asap after hearing her speak!

    @thestorysiren-I need to go look up Mitali's speech, I bet it was great! I was jealous at first that Bamboo People and Manifest would be at BEA and I couldn't go and get them, but it's ok now =)

    @Ah Yuan-I think it could be considered YA since the protagnist is so young but then again check out this post, maybe it should be adult fiction after all.

    Hey, hey, Bamboo People is going to be my WoW books this week! (even though I'm not really waiting, it's a you-should-be-waiting-on post). Did you read/like Sea? Cuz if you liked it, it must be fantastic ;)

    Blogoversary, blogaversary, I don't know or really care how it's spelled. lol. Maybe guest post on your favorite genre or talk about YOU and your reading experiences. I would so love to have you guest post!

  6. @MissA,

    lol I actually haven't touched Sea... Mostly because the summary hit too close to the white-tourist-in-exotic-locale thing? I know that it has a more serious vibe to the usual tourism (and those historical romances wherein british person flocks about in the colonies ARGH never reading Meredith Duran again for my own sanity) books that I despise, but I've honestly been burned too many times by those books to venture forth too enthusiastically. Perhaps I'll consider giving it a shot when I see a hurdle of positive reviews thrown my way, lol. Or if I see your review that'll end up convincing me.

    Ahahaha, talking about myself...?? I dunno, feels terribly self indulgent. I *could* talk about my favourite genre (fantasy) and how it keeps burning me even as I love it (fantasy does not have the greatest track record when it comes to depicting a non-whitewashed world) or I could talk about those asian!inspired fantasies and while there are a FEW that don't actually suck (Silver Phoenix, Shadow Magic), a lot of them I see make me want to claw my eyes out (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, EON *stabs*)... But they're not terribly happy posts, and I want something fun to write for you to celebrate your blogoversary. lol, don't worry, I SHALL PONDER THIS VERY CAREFULLY AND COME BACK TO YOU WITH (hopefully) HAPPY IDEAS.

  7. Your new blog design looks fantastic.

    I just turned in Bleeding Violet to the Library (it was about a week overdue) and picked up "The Help". I'm curious to see what it's about. I just got some Sci-Fi/Fantasy POC books that I'm excited to read. (Can't think of the titles at the moment).

  8. Awesome books! Yay for getting Manifest, and I can't wait to recieve my copy of Sea!! It's in Indonesia, and I've heard it's wonderful. Happy reading! :D

  9. @Ah Yuan-Oh dear, see this is why i'm glad you're around (well there's a gazillion other reasons but this is one of them), the idea of white-tourist-visting-exoctic locale would have never occured to me. I don't know if it will be that though becuase not only is the tsunami aftereffects dealt with but the author has first hand experience helping Indonesians rebuild. I've never heard of Meredith Duran, but that's no surprise becuase you are incredibely well-read and I've become used to completely missing your literary references. :P

    I could totally put out 100 positive reviews but that's too tiring. lol. I'll definitely be reading it with that in mind though. Ok an Asian-inspired fantasy post would be awesome, you could do both. Talk about the good and the bad. Eon has actually been recommended to me!

    @Najela-Oh thank you! I just changed it and now I'm working on the header. *eyes crossed from staring at the computer* I saw your review of Bleeding Violet and I'm so glad you liked it :) The Help was awesome and it's being made into a movie so it's good that you are reading it now! I'll be looking for your POC fantasy reviews since I don't really like the genre, I'm always on the lookout for the good ones.

    @Jenn-I've heard nothing but good about Sea so i'm excited (although some excitement has waned thanks to Ah Yuan, haha. I say that with love!)

  10. I'm glad you liked The Help, I was a little skeptical about it, but I always trust your judgment. I should start reading it now, it's sitting in my car, probably on fire from the sun.

    I like the new heading. I have a bunch of links on blog building, but unfortunately, I left my big laptop at my apt so I don't remember any of the links. Here's one I know off hand because it's my favorite link in the world when it comes decorating blogs. (this is the one I used to get the drop down menus).

    I'll try to send some more links when I get the chance. If you need any help let me know.

  11. Love the new look! And much envy about Adichie, you are really fortunate to have met her awesomeness.

    I just read and reviewed Bamboo People, it is very good. Deceptively simple, very powerful.

  12. @Najela-I know some people didn't like because of the whole "white woman having success writing about our (Black) people's struggles" and it makes you wonder, would an African American writer have had as much success if she wrote The Help? I'm not sure but I fell in love with the characters. Start reading it!

    Are you good with blog design? Because I want to fix my columns and I'm not sure if I can change their width. Most importantly, I need help with a header. So if you have any advice, share it here or email me please :) I've never heard of Blogger university, but it has so much info, thank you!

    @Niranjana-I know, I'm still in awe :D I need to get started on Bamboo People *dance of anticipation*. Did you review it on Brown Paper?

    PS i saw that HuffPo post on "how to date an Indian" and almost threw up. I can't believe they published that. This is yet another article of theirs that has made me angry, and I finally decided to stop following them. Sometimes they are just too crazy.

  13. If you go to Blogger Design Template under design and go to Layout, then Adjust Width, you can move the side bars to fit your needs. You can also adjust the blog size too. What exactly did you want to do with your header, I was a little confused.

    You bring up a valid point. I don't think there would have been as much hype (I'm sure it's warranted in this case) about a Black author writing about Black characters. I guess people just expect that. It's this sort of fascination with that "white" people doing "black" things (I mean the Eminem phenomena and whatnot). In fact, the teacher that I want to do my senior thesis with is a white author writing about ethnic characters and does so with amazing talent and skill. I don't think it matters as long as the writing is good and doesn't rely to heavily on stereotypes. I think I read a rant about that subject and it kind of made me skeptical. It's going to be my next book to read, I promise.

  14. I LOVED SEA!!! It was so beautiful, I hope you enjoy it. I also just got Manifest so I'll be looking forward to see how our opinions differ/match. Happy reading!

  15. Happy to hear you picked up a copy of my book (Samurai Kids: White Crane) at BEA. It's my first US release so I'm really thrilled (still grinning like a green tree frog!). Here's a link to the US cover which I think is the best


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 ;)