Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Crayons (Number....)

I was curious as to how many New Crayons posts I've done but I never saw the point of including the (#). then I realized it didn't matter since I could just check the number of New Crayons labels... Anyway I'm rambling. I have even more books to share (review books from Tu Books!) but I'm trying to space them all
out in New Crayons post.

From Tricia-Thank you!

Subway Girl by P. J. Converse

He is shy. Unassuming. Inexperienced.

She is Subway Girl. Cool. Unattainable.

From the moment he sees her on a Hong Kong subway, Simon is intrigued by Amy, but he doesn't have the nerve to talk to her. When he finally works up the courage, he realizes he can't. Because Amy doesn't speak Chinese, and Simon is failing English.

But somehow, Amy and Simon connect, and they find that they understand each other. Enough for Simon to admit that he is dropping out of school. Enough for Amy to confess that she is pregnant with her ex-boyfriend's baby. Amy and Simon feel lost in a world so much bigger than they are, and yet they still have each other.

-Read this book and at the moment it's my biggest disappointment of 2011 in the YA book debut world. The summary had SUCH PROMISE. But did not deliver (not for me anyway).

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

In this enchanting tale about the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening, two hapless city boys are exiled to a remote mountain village for reeducation during China's infamous Cultural Revolution. There they meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, they find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.

-This sounds a little like Reading Lolita in Tehran which I thought was excellent so I'm really looking forward to diving into this book.

From the library

Angel's Grace by Tracey Baptise

Grace has always had wild red hair like no one else in her family and a birthmark on her shoulder that her mother told her was the mark of an angel. When Grace is sent from New York to spend the summer with her grandmother in Trinidad, she looks through the family album and discovers a blurred photograph of a stranger with a birthmark -- her birthmark -- and Grace is full of questions. No one is able to identify the man in the photo, and Grace is left with no choice but to find out who he is and what he might mean to her. What Grace does not know is that her search will lead to a discovery about herself and her family that she never could have imagined.

Tracey Baptiste's first novel is a tender coming-of-age story set on the island of Trinidad. Angel's Grace explores the meaning of identity and truth, and the unbreakable ties of a family bound by love.

-I'm reading this for the Quirky Brown Reading Challenge. I decided it's quirky because it's set in Trinidad, how many books are set there? :)

Orchards by Holly Thompson

After a classmate commits suicide, Kana Goldberg—a half-Japanese, half-Jewish American—wonders who is responsible. She and her cliquey friends said some thoughtless things to the girl. Hoping that Kana will reflect on her behavior, her parents pack her off to her mother's ancestral home in Japan for the summer. There Kana spends hours under the hot sun tending to her family's mikan orange groves.

Kana's mixed heritage makes it hard to fit in at first, especially under the critical eye of her traditional grandmother, who has never accepted Kana's father. But as the summer unfolds, Kana gets to know her relatives, Japan, and village culture, and she begins to process the pain and guilt she feels about the tragedy back home. Then news about a friend sends her world spinning out of orbit all over again.

-I did a week of Haiti reviews after the earthquake, I want to do the same thing for Japan. After I reviewed the book I linked ways people could help. This is my first book that I chose plus the issue of bullying is extremely relevant to today. I'm eager to read it (finally)!

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau

Zeeta's life with her free-spirited mother, Layla, is anything but normal. Every year Layla picks another country she wants to live in. This summer they’re in Ecuador, and Zeeta is determined to convince her mother to settle down. Zeeta makes friends with vendors at the town market and begs them to think of upstanding, “normal” men to set up with Layla. There, Zeeta meets Wendell. She learns that he was born nearby, but adopted by an American family. His one wish is to find his birth parents, and Zeeta agrees to help him. But when Wendell’s biological father turns out to be involved in something very dangerous, Zeeta wonders whether she’ll ever get the chance to tell her mom how she really feels—or to enjoy her deepening feelings for Wendell.

-This book made me want to travel so badly, my heart ached! I really enjoyed the story (big thanks to Lyn for recommending this book to me!). My review


Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

In the tradition of SHABANU, DAUGHTER OF THE WIND and THE BREADWINNER, a beautiful debut about a daughter of Afghanistan discovering new friends and opportunities after the defeat of the Taliban.

Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her--"Inshallah," God willing.

Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to the village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha--but can she dare to hope they'll come true?

-I've been wanting to read this book for awhile now because as I've said countless times I devour all the books I can find on the Middle Eastern region, it fascinates me immensely. I decided to buy it however when I read that 10% of the author's proceeds up to 10,000 would be donated to Women for Afghan Women. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing so natch I had to buy the book.

What new books did you buy/trade for/get from the library this week? Were you enticed to go to Borders as they readjusted their bargains (I sort of wish I'd waited for the 25% off BUT my books might not have still been there....)

*From August 6-10 I will be in NYC! This is my first time visiting and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. I will have limited Internet access so I will try to at least check my emails/comments.