Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Power Girls: Young Women of Color who Kick Ass

Power Girls: Young Women of Color
who Kick Ass

You didn’t ask for it but here it is. A list of books featuring young women of color. They are strong, they are powerful, they are smart, they make friends. They are more than the stereotypical “pretty” girl.

Here we go:

Marjane

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Sunny

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

 

Sierra

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Julia

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L Sanchez

 

Sandra

How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

 

Starr

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 

Sonia, Tara, Shanti, Anna

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

 

Xiomara

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

Patty

Patina by Jason Reynolds

Zelie

The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

 

Zuri

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

 

Bri

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Layla

Internment by Samira Ahmed

 

Need a role model for a book report? That’s  about a dozen POWERFUL young women to choose from. Hey! That’s one Power Girl for every month of the year! And they’d all qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Have any power girls to add? Let me know here or hit me on Twitter: @pamlovesbooks

Categories
Books Young Adult

Here’s My #FridayReads: Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart

FridayReads Steelheart (1)

This is a blast from the past. What are you reading today?

Categories
Books Diversity Reading Challenge

An Unconventional Librarian’s Holiday Guide: Speculative Fiction

 

Speculative Fiction is my FAVE fiction!

Warcross by Marie Lu

 

Sovereign by April Daniels

The Door at the Crossroads by Zetta Elliott

 

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

 

bonus: many of these books contain diversity. WINNING!

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Have you read Wild Seed by Octavia Butler?

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler is gripping on so many levels. It’s not an easy book to read to be sure. Octavia Butler may be one of the first African American speculative fiction writers, but her books are from an African perspective, which is difficult to digest depending on your knowledge of African history.

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

I’ll admit I had never read Butler’s work, which as a POC and an avid reader felt like a failure on my part. But after speaking with friend Carol Binta, author of Civilized Blacks, I made a mental not to get a book of Butler’s read.

Civilized Blacks by Dorrance Publishing

It may have taken me a year to read it, but I did it! I listened to it on audio and I think for this type of book, audio really works: you don’t have to struggle with the pronunciation of unfamiliar words and your imagination can still see images in your mind’s eye.

What is so AMAZING about Wild Seed isn’t the African bits. The amazing bit is that if you like spec fic or sci-fi or dystopian reads or anything like that then this book is for you. There are two main characters: Doro, who is a spirit who can inhabit anyone’s body and live in it. Anyanwu is a shapeshifter! Is there any more I need to say about that? Imagine a book that is so forward thinking that in the 80s Butler was writing about shapeshifters which is now a commonly used trope.

For the shapeshifting alone you should read Wild Seed. Once you get used to it you will love it! Older teens and adults only, please. This title qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge.

Categories
Books

I’m a Round 2 Speculative Fiction Cybils Judge!

I’m a Round 2 Speculative Fiction
Cybils Judge!

I love being a CYBILS judge! It’s so fun to see what the Round 1 judges have narrowed down as the best picks of 2016. That said, I’ll be a little bit busier than usual reading these extra  books so I might be a bit silent. But just know that I’ll still be curating books containing diverse characters for you.

For more information about Cybils go to Cybils.com.

Categories
Books

The Expatriates by Corinne O’Flynn

The Expatriates by Corinne O’Flynn

The Expatriates by Cornne O'Flynn This book was fun. It took me a while to get into it, especially after the scene at the carnival. I thought it was just going to be about a boy who spoke to animals and I thought "traveling circus and talking animals"? I'm here for that. So after THE SCENE I figured out it was a different book entirely.

 

They told him his world was destroyed.
And they were the last to escape.
They thought he was safe.
They were wrong.

Seventeen-year-old Jim Wales can communicate with animals, but that’s not why he lives with a traveling carnival. Turns out his family’s been hiding him there since he was little, since someone started hunting all the scholars. Jim is a scholar–someone who can manipulate energy using magic–and he has no idea.

When a message arrives from Jim’s father–who supposedly died twelve years ago–Jim’s whereabouts are discovered, their carnival is attacked, and his mother is kidnapped. On the run with a strange glass map and a single coin, Jim finds himself racing to reclaim the father he thought he’d lost, plotting to save his mother, and discovering the truth about who he is.

But going home isn’t the same as being safe, and trust is everything.

This book was fun. It took me a while to get into it, especially after the scene at the carnival. I thought it was just going to be about a boy who spoke to animals and I thought “traveling circus and talking animals”? I’m here for that. So after THE SCENE I figured out it was a different book entirely. For fans of The Maze Runner and maybe Percy Jackson, who like boy adventures with reluctant heroes.

Did I mention talking animals? Yeah throw in a bit of Dr Doolittle. I need a talking tiger. “Jim ok?” “Bak hungry.”

There is language so if you’re concerned about that, I’d say ages 13/14+.

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Have you read Wild Seed by Octavia Butler?

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler is gripping on so many levels. To be sure, it’s not an easy book to read. Octavia Butler may be one of the first African American speculative fiction writers, but her books are from an African perspective, which is difficult to digest depending on your knowledge of African history.

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

I’ll admit I had never read Butler’s work, which as a poc and an avid reader felt like a failure on my part. But after speaking with friend Carol Binta, author of Civilized Blacks, I made a mental not to get a book of Butler’s read.

Civilized Blacks by Dorrance Publishing

It may have taken me a year to read it, but I did it! I listened to it on audio and I think for this type of book, audio really works: you don’t have to struggle with the pronunciation of unfamiliar words and your imagination can still see images in your mind’s eye.

What is so AMAZING about Wild Seed isn’t the African bits. The amazing bit is that if you like spec fic or sci fi or dystopian reads or anything like that then this book is for you. There are two main characters: Doro, who is a spirit who can inhabit anyone’s body and live in it. Anyanwu is a shapeshifter! Is there anymore I need to say about that? Imagine a book that is so forward thinking that in the 80s Butler was writing about shapeshifters which is now a commonly used trope.

For the shapeshifting alone you should read Wild Seed. Once you get used to it you will love it! Older teens and adults only, please. This title qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge.

Categories
2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

Andrew Smith Month: Grasshopper Jungle

Hey yall. It’s Andrew Smith month around here and *all* I’m reading is Andrew in June! I’ve been trying to get through Grasshopper Jungle. My youngest graduated from high school (yay!)  so we’ve been a little busy and I’m a little behind in my reading but BOY OH BOY am I glad I picked this book up first.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
morguefile

If this photo doesn’t scare you then there is no hope for you.  Travis Pope is chewing on Ollie Jungfrau’s body, yall! Run, run!

Run for the hills!!

Many people have compared Grasshopper Jungle to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. While there’s no time travel there is that speculative fiction weirdness to it.  While we’re getting all erudite (huh huh?) lets throw in Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange because really, we are talking good and evil.

Believe it or not folks, add this to your Diversity Reading Challenge cuz the main characters are homosexual or bisexual.

BOOM POW.

p.s. i know the difference between a praying mantis and a grasshopper. but these guys were so cuuuuute.

Categories
Young Adult

Coming Up: Changing June to Drewne. Drewvuary? Drewly?

If you’re like me, your to be read list is a mile long. How will you ever get through all those books? One way to achieve that feat is to dedicate one month to reading a particular author. I’ve decided to dedicate the month of June to Andrew Smith.

andrew smith

I’ve heard so many good things about his books and the Twitter kerfuffle a while back, prompted me to get to know Andrew Smith sooner rather than later. My boo Amy at Lady Reader Bookstuff loves her some Andrew Smith, so I figure maybe I should check dude out.

So I’m dedicating June to Andrew Smith. I hereforth announce that June will be called Drewne. Or Drewvuary. Or Drewly. I’ll hafta work on the name.  Drewvember?

I’ll be reading and reviewing every Smith book I can get my grubby hands on.  It will border on obsessive, but so what, right?

What’s your fave? Grasshopper Jungle? Winger?

Categories
Young Adult

CYBILS Award Speculative Fiction: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

CYBILS Award Speculative Fiction:

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by AS King is one of those books that you see on the shelf and you think: I HAFTA read it, the cover is SO awesome!

When you do, you’ll be glad.

 History of the Future by Glory O'Brien

Glory O’Brien is spec fiction for people who don’t need flying grasshoppers, sexy vampires, or talking wolves. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with those things. Glory O’Brien draws you into her realistic world and before you now it, you’re believing a weird kind of altered truth. So far as you’re concerned, maybe she CAN read people’s minds?

That’s not the only reason to love Glory O’Brien, though. She’s just a regular kid. A kid who lost a parent and somehow got lost in her grief. There isn’t a kid out there that can’t relate to loss, or mourning, or sadness, or lack of direction. Glory O’Brien is Everykid. She can’t understand why her bestie (and I use that term loosely) is interested in sex. She can’t figure out what makes people get up and function every day.  Until she finds a reason to figure things out. I’m being evasive on purpose because I don’t want to spoil the book.

I loved it. It makes me want to live in a commune. Well, in theory, anyway.  And makes me want to take up photography. And it makes me remember how awkward being a teen is and makes me remember how great it was to have just one good friend.

The only thing I didn’t love about this book is that there aren’t any diverse characters. Glory and Ellie live in middle of America Whitebread Pennsylvania which is not very diverse. But once I got past that very glaring error, I was hooked.

This isn’t your typical romance novel. It’s for girls with brains who want to use them. Wait I take that back; it IS a romance novel. Glory learns to love herself and her life.

And the life that she will have one day.

Which will be pretty darn cool.

Now about that commune…

Check out what the other CYBIL’S judges are saying!