Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reading in Color's 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

I've noticed more and more that people are asking for book recommendations for themselves and loved ones. This led me to the decision that I will post a list of books that I would recommend people give. Most of these are from 2009, however, some books I reviewed and loved weren't published in 2009 and I'm including them on the list. I also included some books that I haven't read yet, (they have a *) but I've read great reviews about them, most of those books are all from 2009. I've linked all the titles to Amazon so you can read the summaries and linked to my own reviews, when applicable. So without further ado, here's my list of books with poc that I highly recommend

Reading in Color's 2009 Holiday Gift Guide for Teens

1. Ash by Malinda Lo*-I'm currently reading and loving this book! ETA 12/31: Stunning. Read my review

2. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkes*- This book actually came out in Dec. '08 but it sounds so good and I think any readers of romance will love this book. I own it and I can't wait to read it!
ETA: Click the title for my review. One of my favorite novels of 2009!

3. Great Call of China by Cynthia Liu*- We definitely need more books with Asian protagonists out there and I love the S.A.S.S. series, I wish I could travel to China! And the main character loves anthropology. How cool!

4. Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith-For all paranormal/romance fans. And for those who aren't, this book may be the one that turns you into a fan. Read my review

5. Liar by Justine Labalestier-GoandBuy. Read my review here

6. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott-LOVE. Read my review. originally self-published, it's now being republished by amazon Encore so you have to pre-order but it is SO worth being a belated Christmas present!

7. Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger-Why don't I own this book? Read and loved. My review

8. Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia by Cindy Pon-Great book! Read my review here

9. Jumped by Rita Williams Garcia. I've read it, but haven't reviewed it yet. I really liked it, review coming soon.

10. Gringolandia by Lyn Miller Lachmann- A wonderful novel about the effect torture has one family. Read my review here

11. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork-One of the Best.Books.Ever. Beautiful and brilliant. Read my review

12. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher-Another one of the Best.Books.Ever. Read my review here. Funny and deep, I firmly believe all guys will love this book (and girls too!) Heart-wrenching

13. Who Will Tell My Brother? by Marlene Carvell. Read my review here- For anyone who fights against injustice and prejudice.

14. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie- So funny and eye opening about life on a reservation. Read my review

15. Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole-Wow. Really, really good. My review

16. Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah-For anyone whose ever wondered why Muslim girls wear the hijab. Hilarious and poignant. My review

17. The God Box by Alex Sanchez*-It sounds so good. It forces you to ask the question; can you be a Christian and gay? ETA 12/31: Amazing. Read my review by clicking on the title.

MG readers

1. Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown-Good intro to the Civil War for young readers through the eys of young children. Read my review

2. Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino-Thoughtful book about a time in history in a country that many people (including adults) don't know about. My review

3. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia-Pre-order. About the Black Panthers as seen through the honest and innocent eyes of children. Read my review

4. The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis-Funniest.Family.Ever. I still love to re-read this book today, I will never be too old for it! I'm going to review it eventually.

5. I Wanna Be Your Shoebox by Christina Garcia-I wanna read this before December is over! ETA 12/31: So cute and heartwarming. Read my review

Off-Color YA (i.e. books with a non-poc)

1. Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher-Chicago+dance+historical fiction=love. Read my review

2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart-A wonderful testimony to girl power!

3. Forever by Judy Blume-Great book for all teens (high school and up) about your first time and first love.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins*-I own it and keep meaning to read it. I've only read fantastic things about this book. ETA 12/31: As fantastic as everyone says it is. Click the title for my review.

5. Graceling* by Kristin Cashore-I really want to read this one!

Let me know if this list is helpful and feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments :D Happy Holidays!


  1. Nice Group of Books, I ave been meaning to read Ash, it sounds really good. Liar also seems really really good. Thanks for the list!!!

  2. I have looked for Meminger in every library and B&N and never ever found it. I'm going to have to order it from Amazon but it makes me mad that nobody carries it! And some of the others on your list: I have looked for them ever since your reviews! But I don't exactly live in a city that caters to "multiculturalism" - except many Hispanic culture, but even that is deficient, I think.

    I just read Alexie's book and wrote a review for next Sunday. I had forgotten you had reviewed it, and when I looked just now I saw that I used the same quote you did, about being poor! Wasn't that a great book?!!

  3. @iluvhersheys-Your welcome and I hope it helps!

    @rhapsodyinbooks- What, no Shine Coconut Moon anywhere? that's awful, you simply must order it from Amazon! It was so good!! I say speak up, start requesting 'multi cultural' books. Haha how cool that we used the same quote, it's a great one :) The Absolutely True Diary was amazing and I'm looking forward to your review!

    @color online- :D Hope I didn't miss any really great books, I tried to be extensive, but not list too many books.

  4. Thanks for including Gringolandia on the list, Ari!

    And rhapsodyinbooks, you should request Shine Coconut Moon at your library. It has gotten very good reviews, so if a library patron requests it, they pretty much have to buy it. Same with the other books on the list, because all of them have gotten multiple favorable reviews in the sources libraries use to select books. (I used to be a librarian, and that's how it works--a book has to get at least two positive reviews in major review sources to be a candidate for the library's collection.)

    By the way, here's my review of Shine Coconut Moon, along with an adult book on a similar theme, for the Albany Times-Union's web site:

  5. =OOO I had noooooo idea that Marcelo in the Real World had POC in it!! *is now intrigued*
    I loooooooooove Whale Talk, read it way back in... Middle school, I think? Early years of high school? Sooo good. =D
    I keep meaning to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Down to the Bone. One day...

    Read I Wanna Be Your Shoebox! Too cute for words!
    Hunger Games is such an adrenaline rush, very fun read.
    And I'm gonna be reading Graceling sometime in the next two weeks. *excited*

  6. Hunger Games is worth making time for.
    I loved everything I've read on this list except Black Angels. I did not care for that one.

  7. The perfect list to keep me busy these holidays. Thank you for the suggestions. *Happy*

  8. @Lyn-Gringolandia desrves it! Great review of Shine, Coconut Moon, as always. Your reviews rock :)

    @Ah Yuan-READ MARCELO!!!! LOVE <3 to the max. And Whale Talk is also LOVE, most derserving of all caps 8) I read it in middle school too, One of my favorite re-reads, I cry every time too. I'm going to read Hunger Games and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox over break, that's my goal!

    @Doret-why didn't you like Black Angels? I will definitely make time for the Hunger Games.

    @Nathalie-YAY! Stop by again and let me know what books you've read after the holidays :D

  9. Great list! Most of these I've read or wanted to read.

    I'd nominate BAD KITTY and KITTY, KITTY by Michele Jaffe for the list. I seriously love those books, with their smart protagonist and wacky hijinks. (Although it was my fifth re-read or so when I realized the mc wasn't white. Really showed me how much I expect the mc to be white, considering Jaffe wasn't being subtle about it or anything.)

    But dude, WHALE TALK! I'm a huge Crutcher fan and that's probably my favorite. (Maybe CHINESE HANDCUFFS. Maybe. WHALE TALK's more uplifting.)

  10. I loved Bad Kitty! I tried to stick with more 2009 reads for this list as well as books I reviewed, but I'm defintely reviewing Bad kitty at least sometimes soon. I didn't like Kitty,Kitty as much :( It was still good, but not as funny for me. I need to read more Chris Crutcher, Chines Handcuffs is next up on my list of Crutcher books (I'm so reading them all anyway) or Angry Management

  11. Wulfette-I just got those book and I'm eager to read them, but I tried to stick to 2009 books (I failed a few times).


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