2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Non Fiction Young Adult

Taking the Mystery out of Black History Month: Harlem Hellfighters

Looking for something for another nonfiction read?


The Harlem Hellfighters

Did you know that African Americans played a big part in the war?

 Don’t forget to count it toward your Diversity Reading Challenge!

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Non Fiction Young Adult

Taking the Mystery out of Black History Month: Harlem Hellfighters

Looking for something for another nonfiction read?


The Harlem Hellfighters

Did you know that African Americans played a big part in the war?

 Don’t forget to count it toward your Diversity Reading Challenge!

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Non Fiction Young Adult

Taking the Mystery out of Black History Month: Freedom Summer

Don’t know what to read during Black History Month?


Why not try

The Freedom Summer Murders

A non fiction read for teens and young adult readers

Also qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Have you ever imagined a horror book for tweens? Prior to seeing Neil Himself, I never would have really considered it. Sure, I know kids like to be scared but I guess I never thought of the books as part of the horror genre.

That is, until I met Tracey Baptiste. And when I say met, I mean, I heard her speak at KidLitCon in November. To be sure, I had the book on my shelf just waiting to be read. The cover is kinda sceeery and I’m a big old chicken and don’t like to be sceeered.

But will ya look at this cover??


It screams nightlight, doesn’t it??

Yeah. And that’s just the cover.

What’s especially great about The Jumbies, which are as real as the boogeymonster, is that the cast in the book contains all diverse characters. Every single person in the story is a person of color! There are island people of all shades of brown, one family that is possibly Southeast Asian/Indian, and the White Witch. I’m not sure what her ethnicity is but whatever.

Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They’re just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

And as we soon find out, these Caribbean scary things torment Corinne and her little friends all over the island. All kinds of scary creatures with all kinds of scary names will keep kids on their toes the whole book. What I love about the characters is that sure, they are kids of color, but they are kids first. The color of their skin is not an issue. That way, readers of any color or ethnicity can read the book and

a) be equally terrified, and
b) see themselves in the story.

I personally see myself hiding from the soucouyants and the lagahoos until it’s safe to come out.

Thanks Tracey, for the good fright. It’s just right. But don’t read the book at night.

teee heee heee, I made a rhyme.

Diversity is for everyone, even kids who like to be sceeeered!

So much fun!


2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Adult Fiction

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When I heard that this book was going to be required reading for all 16 year olds in Sweden I decided to give it a go. The book is short, should take you about 3o minutes to read it so there’s really no excuse to not read it. You’re probably a feminist and don’t realize it.

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is not the bra burning, marching in the streets feminism of your mom’s. I mean, ew, who wants to think about your mom and her bra???

But what you should think about is the fact that women still aren’t being treated equally and that while things are better here in the US, they are by no means the way they should be. Also? In other countries they are worse. So really, if you have a mom, a grandmom, a sister, or an Auntie, do yourself a solid and become a feminist. One day you will probably have a daughter or a sister or an Auntie or a grandma or a mom and you will be ticked off if they aren’t treated fairly.

Or maybe you’re just a selfish person who doesn’t care about anyone other than themself?

Naw, you’re better than that. Women are awesome people and need to be treated better all over the world cuz when one group suffers, we all suffer.

If you’re not sure how women are treated less than men, ask one. They’ll tell you.

And then, you can BOTH be feminists.

And then we can all have cake.

Feminist Cake.

Cuz equality tastes good.

Hey, guess what? This title can count toward the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Totally clean for kids too!

P.S. I want to hang with Chimamanda: Call your bestie PammyPam!

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge

Diversity Reading Challenge Check up: How’d You Do?

There is still a week left in this year, that’s plenty of time to finish up strong for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Diversity Reading Challenge Check up: How'd You Do?

If you’re winding down from Christmas and have a few quiet moments, why not compile your list? What did you miss? What did you read too much of? I’ll be doing the same. I am lacking in a book  that contains parents of the same sex. Tango Takes Two is about two make penguin parents but I didn’t read it this year. I also think I’m lacking a book about growing up in the Middle East; I read Malala in 2014.

Also? Planning for 2016 Diversity Reading Challenge is in full swing.

Stay tuned for a recap!


2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

Be Your Own Shero. At Christmas and Always

I love it when friends inspire me by writing books for me! Books with strong female characters especially move to the top of my reading list. That’s why I want to remind you to support indie authors; these people are taking charge of their lives and being their own (s)heros.  My fave Shero’s journey is from my friend Nicole Cutts.

The Adventures of Isabelle Book 1 by Nicole Cutts

Click here to read my book review to be EMA (even more awesome)! Be your own Shero.


2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Non Fiction Young Adult

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

I know Oprah has been promoting this book for a time and I finally had the chance to check it out!6596

As with all self help books, I suggest you read with a keen eye; what works for one person might not work for you. That said, there were things about The Four Agreements that I found helpful. Although the examples were rather repetitive and sometimes over simplified, there is good stuff inside.

Occasionally a little too woo woo for me, but still good advice. Be impeccable with your word and Dont take anything personally are the two agreements that stuck with me. Now that I’ve finished the book I”m going to go back and review the bits that I highlighted. I’m also going to go back and review my notes from Rising Strong by Brene Brown to see how I can keep improving myself in the new year.

This is a quick read so if you know someone who likes self help, this might be a good holiday pressie for them!

Have you read the Four Agreements? What did you think?


And because the author is Hispanic, this counts toward the Diversity Reading Challenge. Non fiction too!

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Lists

Three for the Tree

Three for the Tree

Here are three books with female heroines

that your tree will love.

threefortree Collage

The Yearbook by Carol Masciola

Misfit teen Lola Lundy falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library and wakes up to find herself 80 years in the past. The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, and there she makes an instant connection with the brainy and provocative Peter Hemmings, class of ’24. His face is familiar, and she realizes she’s seen his senior portrait in a ragged old yearbook in the storage room. By the end of the dance, Lola begins to see a way out of her disastrous Twenty First Century life: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But major mental illness lies in Lola’s family background. Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into an elaborate, romantic hallucination based on the contents of an old yearbook?

Who doesn’t love old yearbooks? Time Travel? Count me in!

Half in Love with Death by Emily Ross

It’s the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline’s life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She’s invisible to her parents, who can’t stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish. The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister’s older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline’s desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her.

Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess’s disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we’ll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again.

Inspired by a true story. Thriller = Must Read

 Night on Fire by Ronald Kidd

Thirteen-year-old Billie Simms doesn’t think her hometown of Anniston, Alabama, should be segregated, but few of the town’s residents share her opinion. As equality spreads across the country and the Civil Rights Movement gathers momentum, Billie can’t help but feel stuck–and helpless–in a stubborn town too set in its ways to realize that the world is passing it by. So when Billie learns that the Freedom Riders, a group of peace activists riding interstate buses to protest segregation, will be traveling through Anniston on their way to Montgomery, she thinks that maybe change is finally coming and her quiet little town will shed itself of its antiquated views. But what starts as a series of angry grumbles soon turns to brutality as Anniston residents show just how deep their racism runs. The Freedom Riders will resume their ride to Montgomery, and Billie is now faced with a choice: stand idly by in silence or take a stand for what she believes in. Through her own decisions and actions and a few unlikely friendships, Billie is about to come to grips with the deep-seated prejudice of those she once thought she knew, and with her own inherent racism that she didn’t even know she had.

Kids and civil rights? Sign me up!

Three good books for book lovers!

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Children

FEATURE FRIDAY: OMG I Did it…Again? by Talia Aikens-Nunez

Last year or so I reviewed a book by Nunez about a girl who inadvertently discovers she’s a witch and turns her annoying little brother into a puppy or something. I always thought that it was a good thing my pumpkin wasn’t first because she would for sure turn her brother into a toad or a newt or something creepy and disgusting! Nunez’ follow up to OMG Am I a Witch? is OMG I Did It..Again?

OMG . . . I Did It Again by Talia Aikens-Nunez

So, April’s witchcraft is at it again and this time she brings elephants into the neighborhood! Naturally, hilarity ensues as she and her squad try to figure out how to get the elephants to go back home.

What’s especially interesting about Nunez is that her very first book is a bilingual picture book called Escucha means Listen. How many times have you wished you had words in Spanish for every day words? How great is it to speak a second (or third) language? How awesome would it be if your child could speak to others in their language?

Escucha Means Listen by Talia Aikens-Nunez

In Escucha Means Listen Talia gets our littlest friends to stop chattering for a minute and listen to the sounds around them and then names these sounds in Spanish.

How adorable is that??

Bilingual books for the win! Two thumbs up for diversity with these books!