Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Crayons + What I'm Reading

New Crayons is a meme run by Color Online. To participate all you have to do is share what new multicultural books you got for the week.

Currently I'm reading...
Sammy & Julianna in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I read this book years ago and yet I didn't remember much from it. Guys, I don't know how I could have ever forgotten any of these characters! This much love for it. Review will be up next week (not tomorrow) since I haven't finished it yet, but I'm almost there.

Recently Finished Reading...
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. I now need to see the movie. I really liked the book although I'm sure I missed a lot of the deeper meanings in the text. What did everyone else think of it? I thought it was really interesting that it included mental illness during the 1940s and while I knew Blanche was awfully suspect, I didn't expect such a scandalous (!) past ;)

The Next Books I'm Reading... (since Hispanic Heritage Month ends Oct. 15, I will continue trying to read/review all the books I own that are about Latinos)

The Surrender Tree
by Margarita Engle

Go Tell It On the Mountain
by James Baldwin (I'm going to work on reading a classic book along with a YA book)

Purple Hibiscus
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This week was a wonderful one for books. I FINALLY got to go to the bookstore and I also received some lovely books.

Haters by Alisa Valdes Rodriguez

When Pasquala Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta (Paski)'s cartoonist father returns to Taos from a business trip wearing designer sunglasses and a velour Juicy men's track suit, she knows her life is taking a turn for the worse. Paski and her father move to Southern California, where his comic strip has been optioned for a movie.

At her new high school, money is everything and the haters rule - especially beautiful and cruel Jessica Nguyen. While Paski tries to concentrate on mountain biking and not thinking too much about ultra-hot Chris Cabrera, she is troubled by disturbing visions. Her psychic grandmother warned her that ignoring her gift of premonitory visions would lead to trouble. Can Paski ever find a home in the land of the glamorous haters?

-I read this book about a year ago and I really really enjoyed it. A normal multicultural public school setting along with a female athlete and lots of high school drama. What's not to love? I look forward to re-reading it. Plus Alisa Valdes Rodriguez is nice and super awesome to follow on Twitter!
Work What You Got (A Beta Gamma Pi Novel) by Stephanie Perry Moore

Between moving off campus, gearing up to pledge a sorority, and trying to keep her faith first, Hayden Grant is about to become one very busy Beta.

College sophomore Hayden Grant and her three roommates can’t wait to join Beta Gamma Pi sorority. At least that’s the plan-until Myra, Bridget, and Chandra announce they’re each pledging a different sorority. Can Hayden and her girls hold onto their friendship as they pursue different organizations? And speaking of pursuit, Hayden’s caught the eye of Creed, a hottie she met her first year. There’s just one complication: Hayden’s ex-boyfriend heads the fraternity Creed’s pledging. It looks like it’s going to be one crazy year of trials, tribulations, and unexpected lessons-in leadership and love.

-Summary from author's website. I'm nervous about this book because I'm afraid that it will turn too preachy. I bought the first book in this series because I want to know more about sororities. I have an interest in joining, but I need more information. And while a YA book may not be the best source of information, it's a start. Especially since the author pledged (Delta, one of the best sororities for African Americans), I hope the details of sorority life will be fairly accurate.

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier

Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. Her parents are from India, and she's spent her whole life resisting their traditions. Then suddenly she gets to high school and everything Indian is trendy. To make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a "suitable boy." Of course it doesn't go well -- until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web . Suddenly the suitable boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability. Complications ensue. This is a funny, thoughtful story about finding your heart, finding your culture, and finding your place in America.

I really need to get to work on finishing my reading challenges so this will help me work on the South Asian Author Reading Challenge. But more importantly, a blogger who rocks my socks, April, raves about this book. Naturally, I had to buy it.

Received For Review

I Am Nuchu by Brenda Stanley

Release Date: November 24, 2010

Cal Burton, a popular high school senior, is half Ute Indian, but he hasn't given much thought to his heritage until his parents suddenly divorce. His Ute mother takes Cal and the rest of his family to Utah to live with their grandfather on the reservation where she grew up. Cal resents being taken away from everything that matters to him, especially his father and his friends. He's also lost his all-star status as a basketball player, and trying to ignite the perpetually losing team at his depressing new school isn't worth the trouble it causes him. Cal is angry about a lot of things, but he's especially put off by the apathy of the local tribe members, especially the teens, and he's frustrated by the poor standard of living on the reservation-- far below what he's always known. Cal is shocked when he's confronted in town with blatant racism for the first time in his life. Back in Spokane, he was called exotic and cool, with his dark skin and piercing blue eyes, but that doesn't matter to anyone here. And he's perplexed by the weird reaction whenever he tells people his name they seem to back away. Even worse, the racist local sheriff seems to have it in for Cal. As he tries to unravel these mysteries, Cal's shocked to find his own father a suspect in Aunt Jackie's murder there twenty years ago. Determined to get at the truth, Cal doesn't realize he's stirred up real danger as he digs into Jackie's death. He's reawakened decades-old bitterness spurring so tragic an act of vengeance that he vows to let nothing keep him from the truth. Suspenseful and richly layered, I Am Nuchu is a coming-of-age story about a teen struggling with his own identity and the real meaning of family as he forges his rightful place between two drastically different worlds.

-This is another book I face with trepidation. Mainly because I'm not sure if it's written by a Native American. I know that in the past, books written by non Native Americans have faced a lot of criticism. And I may not be able to pick up on why it's a problem. However, I will remain optimistic because it's a book about a Native American boy and we need more of those. Thank you Westside!

Little Paradise by Gabrielle Wang

As Mirabel watched him she couldn’t bear the thoughts creeping up on her. J J was in the Chinese army and his mission in Australia would one day be over. Then she would be just like the others, a girl left behind in the wake of war.

I‘m afraid,’ she whispered. ‘When the war ends…what’s going to happen to us? He put his arm around her and stroked her face. She knew he could not answer that question. But she wanted him to lie, to say that he would take her with him, that they would be together always.

Melbourne, 1946, and Mirabel is seventeen. She’s leaving school, designing dresses, falling in love. Then fate intervenes, her forbidden affair is discovered, and J J is posted back to China where a civil war is raging. Despite all warnings, Mirabel sets off for Shanghai to find him…

I almost cried from happiness when I saw that I had received this book. I'm in love with the summary, the true story its based on, the cover, EVERYTHING Thank you, thank you, thank you, Gabrielle! I'll give it to my sister to read first since she's been dying for a good poc romance and I think this will deliver. Although she doesn't like historical fiction. But for her, romance triumphs over everything, haha.

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. She doesn't have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya's visions show a powerful hurricane--Katrina--fast approaching, it's up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.
OK I totally did a happy dance when I saw this. Hooray! I have yet to come across anyone who does not love this book and now I have it :) Thank you so much Carol!

Dime, what new books did you get this week?


  1. I love the Streetcar Named Desire movie! so intense.

  2. Born Confused is awesome. Can't wait to hear what you think about it.

  3. I Am Nuchu is not good. While reading it, I realized subconsiously I've avoided reading books featuring Native American that are not written by Native Americans and now I know why.

    And Ari you'll be able to pick up on the problems easily.

  4. I LOVE Haters! I happened upon it at the library after it first came out and immediately bought my own copy. Maybe I'll reread it soon.


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 ;)