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Adult Fiction Diversity Reading Challenge

I Did NOT Want to Finish Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

I’m such a goober when it comes to this book. Ok, not just this book but lots of books. I’ve been wanting to read Another Brooklyn for a while and put off scooping it because of this dilemma: once you read a book for the first time you can never read it again for the first time.

Weird, right? So that first time is magical. It’s like opening up a present you’ve been waiting for and you can never get that euphoria back. I purchased Another Brooklyn from Busboys & Poets in DC a few months ago and I promptly put it on my desk promising myself I wouldn’t read it.

I wanted to read it, mind you. It’s just that once you read it, you can never read it again for the first time (see above). l put it off and put it off until I couldn’t wait any longer and I finally cracked the spine. Now I warn you this book is not a YA book but older teens could certainly handle it. There are mature issues inside but I’ve read rape scenes in YA books that are more chilling than the facts within this  beautifully written novel. And to be sure, there are no rape scenes in Another Brooklyn. It’s the tale of one young woman who grows up learning to lean on a circle of girlfriends as they all mature into womanhood.

As the girls grow, there are perhaps your typical scenarios that you might encounter in an inner city neighborhood: drug use, dating, sex, unnecessary advances from older men, school, hunger, homelessness, etc. Written in prose, though, the story unfolds so beautifully  that I literally DID NOT WANT TO FINISH THE BOOK.

I dragged the story out as long as I could, which is difficult because the book is short, a mere 177 pages.  I loved reading the book, getting lost in the prose as if Woodson were writing a poem just for me. As my own son now lives in Brooklyn I like to imagine what the town looked like in Woodson’s 1970s Brooklyn, before cell phones, and iPhones, and Uber.

I will definitely revisit Another Brooklyn, because books can be enjoyed more than once. Another Brooklyn also qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge.

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Diversity Reading Challenge

Where to Look for Diversity Books: Lists and Lists

Where to Look for Diversity Books: Lists and Lists

Are you looking for your next book containing diversity?Do you like book lists? I’ve scoured the internet and found lists that might help you. It’s a list of lists! So meta!!

Want books containing Asian American characters? Try: 30 Asian & Asian American Children’s Books for ages 0 to 18

Want to delve into sharing the life of refugees? Start here:  12 CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT REFUGEES (PICTURE BOOKS)

Looking for books about poverty or homelessness? Try Picture Books that Illuminate Hunger, Poverty, & Homelessness in America

Families wanting to understand the Autism Spectrum might try these books: 10 Great Books for Families of Kids with Autism

That’s it for now. I hope you’ll find a book or two that interests you. Any of these books could also apply to the Diversity Reading Challenge too. Happy reading!

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Diversity Reading Challenge

2017 Diversity Reading Challenge: How’d You Do in March?

So March has come and gone; let’s check in and see how we did in the Diversity Reading Challenge, ok? Here’s what I read:

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. My review is here.

Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin; illustrated by Meilo So. You’ll find my review here.

The Rock Maiden: A Chinese Tale of Love and Loyalty by Natasha Yim Illustrated by Pirkko Vainio. Find the review here.

Bud Not Buddy counts as a book written by or for African American young men. Adoption, unfortunately isn’t one of the topics of this year’s Diversity Reading Challenge but since the family depicted in the book are brown skinned we will assume they are people of color; so it counts. I also think adoption counts as diversity. And finally, a book containing an Asian main character is satisfied with Rock Maiden, which is about a Chinese family.

How’d you do? Share your titles with me, I’d love to hear them.

 

 

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Bibliographies, Information, General Diversity Reading Challenge Lists

2017 #DIVERSITY READING CHALLENGE January Suggestions

It’s January; What do I read?

So you wanna read some diverse books this year? Don’t know where to start? I can help. Following are a few suggestions if you want to get one diverse read in this month.

COURAGE TO SOAR by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford

COURAGE TO SOAR by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford

This Olympic gymnast soared her way into my heart. I had all the feels watching her.

or

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon

Then Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

I like the idea of this book because the author and the main character is Jamaican. And we need more Jamaica in our lives. Now that we’ve got YA covered, need something for a younger kid? Have you read

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I know there are younger kids growing up so surely someone somewhere needs a copy of this book. Who doesn’t want to be a better person after reading about Augie? Already read it? How about

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

You’ll look at homelessness differently. And for the littles, I suggest

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by my buddy Phil Binder

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Binder

Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans and the wonderful garbage man who loved his city.

There. Is that enough to get you going? Let me know what book or books you chose!

 

Categories
Books Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

Discover Black History Month with Alice Walker & The Color Purple

Discover Black History Month
with Alice Walker

The Color Purple

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men. But I never thought I’d have to fight in my own house. She let out her breath. I loves Harpo, she say. God knows I do. But I’ll kill him dead before I let him beat me.”

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“She look so stylish it like the trees all round the house draw themself up tall for a better look.”

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

I have been wanting to read a book by Pam Munoz Ryan (Hey we have the same first name!!) for a while now.

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Echo is a delight. The book is mildly complicated so it’s probably best for older tweens. By complicated I mean that there are several stories interwoven with one common thread. If your reader is not able to follow a story like this, it will seem like work.

I’ll admit, it was tough for me to adjust to each different characters’ story after I had just gotten emotionally connected to them. The payoff, of course, in the end was so worth it! If your reader loves history, music, people of color, good triumphing over evil, etc, kind of stories, then this is the book for them.  As a former musician, the music references within the story take you deep inside yourself and you’re able to connect with the characters so much more.

The fact that each child overcame difficult life situations will also uplift the reader. I was so sad the book had to end.

And OH how I want a harmonica! Also book 1 of the 2016 Diversity Reading Challenge! One of the main characters is a young Hispanic girl.