I decided to include summaries of all the books I mentioned and link to the author's website and their list of books. Most of the authors I've included have written sequels to books I've mentioned or several other books. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of authors I've discovered.
Teacher's Dead by Benjamin Zephaniah
A teacher is dead, murdered by two of his students in front of the school. He was a good man. People liked him. So how could this happen? Why? It just doesn't make sense to Jackson, and he is determined to investigate the case until he understands. Benjamin Zephaniah has, once again, chosen a topical and hard-hitting subject - and he deals with it in his own uniquely empathetic and edgy way.
-Read the synopsis. Doesn't this book sound crazy edgy?!
From Somalia With Love by Na'ima B. Robert (ETA: Thank you Miss Alice for pointing out that I had the wrong author listed!)
My name is Safia Dirie. My family has always been my mum, Hoyo, and my two older brothers, Ahmed and Abdullahi. I don't really remember Somalia - I'm an East London girl, through and through. But now Abo, my father, is coming from Somalia to live with us, after 12 long years. How am I going to cope?" Safia knows that there will be changes ahead but nothing has prepared her for the reality of dealing with Abo's cultural expectations, her favourite brother Ahmed's wild ways, and the temptation of her cousin Firdous’s party-girl lifestyle. Safia must come to terms with who she is – as a Muslim, as a teenager, as a poet, as a friend, but most of as a daughter to a father she has never known. Safia must find her own place in the world, so both father and daughter can start to build the relationship they both long for. From Somalia With Love is one girl's quest to discover who she is – a story that, while rooted in Somali and Muslim life, strikes a chord with young people everywhere.
-I love that Safia has to come to terms with so many parts of her life, sounds like an intriguing read.
City of Ghosts by Bali Rai
It's 1919 and Amritsar is a city on the brink of rebellion. Riots, violence and tension spill onto the streets ...Bissen Singh fought bravely for the British Empire during World War One. Now he waits patiently for news from England. Gurdial, a young orphan, is desperate to marry Sohni, the daughter of a rich and evil man. And Jeevan, Gurdial's oldest friend, is swept up in the revolution and changing beyond all recognition. Bissen, Gurdial and Jeevan are looking to the future whilst trying to escape ghosts from the past. But as the fight for Amritsar reaches a terrifying climax, their lives will be changed for ever. This is an epic story of love and life, war and death from multi-award-winning author Bali Rai.
-Guess whose blurb is on the first page of the author's website? Lauren's!
Bindi Babes by Narinder Dhami
Three feisty, fun-loving Anglo-Asian sisters rule the roost over their dad since their mum died. They've got a reputation at school for being the coolest, most sorted babes in town - and what they certainly don't need is an interfering Auntie-ji from India inviting herself over to England and cramping their style. Which is exactly what their dad organizes - The girls decide the only way out of this nagging-adult dilemma is an arranged marriage - for their auntie! Enter Mr Arora, the dream boat teacher who just might whisk Auntie off in his arms and into the sunset. (They hope!)
-This author is perhaps best known for her book Bend It Like Beckham which became a movie. This series sounds adorable. Probably more MG than YA.
Takeshita Demons by Cristy Burne
Miku Takeshita and her family have moved from Japan to live in the UK, but unfortunately the family's enemy demons have followed them… Miku knows she's in trouble when her new supply teacher turns out to be a Nukekubi - a bloodthirsty demon who can turn into a flying head and whose favourite snack is children. That night, in a raging snowstorm, Miku's little brother Kazu is kidnapped by the demons, and then it's up to Miku and her friend Cait to get him back. The girls break into their snow-locked school, confronting the dragon-like Woman of the Wet, and outwitting the faceless Nopera-bo. At last they come face to face with the Nukekubi itself - but will they be in time to save Kazu?
The winner of the first Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Award, this is the first of a new trilogy, Takeshita Demons, with the second, Takeshita Demons: The Filth-Licker due to be published in 2011 and Takeshita Demons: Monster Matsuri in 2012.
-Japan + fierce heroine + supernatural elements=WIN (plus I love that there is a Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Award)
It’s a hot summer afternoon. Tension is in the air. A gang of youths on bikes gathers outside a chip shop. A teenage boy is stabbed and left bleeding on the street. The boy’s mother wonders how this could have happened to her son. She is full of questions, but when the answers lie so close to home, are they really what she wants to hear?
Hello Mum by Bernardine Evaristo
-It's interesting, the book is only 96 pages but I bet it packs a punch. And look a male of color on the cover!
Possessing Rayne by Kate Cann
Rayne couldn't wait to get away from everything: her mum, her boyfriend, the estate. But the solitude of Morton's Keep isn't all she thought it would be. It's eerie and more than a little creepy. When she meets St John, Rayne forgets her worries; he's like no one she's ever met. So why is everyone warning her away from him? She knows there's something people aren't telling her. But how can she find out the secrets everyone wants to keep hidden ... and more importantly, know who to trust?
-The main character is biracial and I'm ticked that the U.S. cover does not express that fact. If you've read this one is it really scary? I'm a real coward, no horror movies or scary crime thrillers for me.
Where I Belong by Gillian Cross
There are guns and bandits in this story. And supermodels. And there's drought and starvation too. Are you wondering how they can all come together? Well, that's how life is these days. Things don't happen neatly, in separate little places. We're all caught by the great spider's web of media that spans the world. That's where this story is set. The world. It's the story of Abdi and Khadija and Freya (that's me) and what happened to us because of Somalia....
-This cover is GORGEOUS. If I constantly had money I would buy the book for the cover alone. Fortunately the synopsis sounds amazing so I can justify buying this book.
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
Be careful what you wish for ...Andi is short. And she has lots of wishes. She wishes she could play on the school basketball team, she wishes for her own bedroom, but most of all she wishes that her long lost half brother, Bernardo, could come and live in London, where he belongs. Then Andi's biggest wish comes true and she's minutes away from becoming someone's little sister. As she waits anxiously for Bernardo to arrive from the Philippines, she hopes he'll turn out to be tall and just as mad as she is about basketball. When he finally arrives, he's tall all right. But he's not just tall ...he's a GIANT. In a novel packed with humour and quirkiness, Gourlay explores a touching sibling relationship and the clash of two very different cultures.
-Just admit it right now, this book sounds nothing like anything you've ever read before (except for someone short wishing they were tall). A GIANT??
Love, Shelley by Kate Saksena
When Shelley decides to share her problems, both problems with her mother and problems at school, she chooses to share them with a pop star she has never met. She writes to him: a letter a month, and with each letter a powerful and moving story unfolds. A story in which Shelley has a lot to deal with and a story that proves that while she may be tested she will not be beaten! Shelley is a remarkable girl with a big heart and a brave spirit. She comes out triumphant.
My review-Great read!
Noughts & Crosses by Marjorie Blackman
Sephy is a Cross - a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought - a 'colourless' member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that's as far as it can go. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools...Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum - a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger.
-I'm currently reading this and well, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Interesting premise though,
Growing Yams in London by Sophia Acheampong
Makeeda is a fourteen-year-old Ghanian whose love of all things western causes her family to despair. She is always being compared to the dutiful and obedient Afua, her Aunt Grace's daughter. But it seems that whatever Makeeda does, it ends up in trouble. She just wants to hang out with the fit Nelson and her mates, and forget about the Ghanaian stuff. But when she has to do a school project, she begins to understand the depth of her cultural heritage and wonders if she can honour her culture and enjoy life as a London teenager.
I've read this one and it's charming, if not a bit predictable and sometimes vague.
Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Fifteen-year-old Billi SanGreal never meant to make history. Dragged at the age of ten into the modern-day Knights Templar by her father, the Grandmaster, Billi's the first girl ever to be a Templar warrior. Her life is a rigorous and brutal round of weapons' practice, demon killing and occult lore – and a lot of bruises. But then temptation is placed in Billi's path – an alternative to her isolated life. But temptation brings consequences. In this case – the tenth plague – the death of all first borns and so Billi must choose her destiny. And as she soon discovers, death isn't even the worst . .
-I just finished this book and my reaction was :0 This was such an intense read. I'm not sure if it counts as paranormal but if so, it's my first paranormal read and I can understand why people love the genre. It was INTENSE. Review won't be up for awhile but this was a fantastic read. Billi is an awesome heroine plus all the supernatural, scary creatures combined with various religious beliefs. *happy sigh* Thank goodness I have friends in high places (ahem really great friends!) because I'm getting the sequel sent from the UK. There's no way I could have waited till 2011 (US release date).
My list is obviously incomplete (Kaz is wonderful about sending me emails with titles of books she's discovered that deal with POC published in the UK) so leave your own recommendations in the comments. Have you read any of the titles I mentioned? Link up your reviews!
All summaries from Amazon.co.uk unless otherwise mentioned