Children Diversity Reading Challenge

Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing by Leda Schubert Pictures by Raul Colon


You probably grew up singing a Pete Seeger song or you sang along with him. Tell me if you remember: Abiyoyo or Skip to my Lou or This Land is Your Land?

If you did, then you were singing with Pete Seeger. Seeger sang for justice, up until he died a few years ago, at 94, he was still singing. For peace. And we could sure use some peace today, couldn’t we? To be sure, the songs from the early and mid 20th century may seem trite and full of treacle but I believe the sentiment is there. Pete Seeger fought against racism in the 60s at a time when it was convenient to be racist.

This sweet biography and beautifully illustrated pages depict the diversity of Seeger’s message. He sang, “we shall overcome…one day.”

I sure hope so.


2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Adult Fiction

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s Time for Beyonce: Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story

So, I snagged this Beyonce biography on a whim. I’m not big into biographies but seeing as Beyonce is such a big star I thought perhaps there might be a few nuggets of wisdom about her work ethic.

Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story

I was not wrong. While this biography was informative, it did not feel like it was properly sanctioned from Beyonce’s camp nor did it feel like you were listening to the whole story. What it felt like was information gleaned from speculation, court documents, and old stories from people who knew here when.

And that gives me mixed feelings. But here’s what I learned from Beyonce:

  • You have to believe in yourself
  • You have to work hard
  • You can’t trust everyone (not even your father)
  • You can be nice to people
  • Sometimes it’s best not to look back

Not rocket science, for sure, but certainly interesting. While I’m kind of out of the Beyonce loop, I respect the brand that she’s built and the following she has. Her fans (the B hive…?) are crazy, love her unconditionally, and come from all walks of life.

And she’s worth like 400 skajillion dollars.

Not too shabby. Perhaps when her real biography comes out I’ll read it too. After all, we both lived in Houston at about the same time.H-town in the HOUSE!!

This book is suitable for teens, although there are a few f bombs as the author recounts conversations with various hip hop and rap artists. Full of diversity, Becoming Beyonce should inspire little girls of any color to follow their dreams.


THE ART OF NEIL GAIMAN by Hayley Campbell

When you hear the name Neil Gaiman, what do you think of:

  • Coraline
  • Good Omens
  • Chu’s Day
  • Fortunately the Milk
  • Ocean at the End of the Lane

or the countless other titles that the prolific writer has penned? In the bookstore I work in, when you hear the name Neil Gaiman, you will prolly hear a shrill OH MY GAHWWWWW followed by a whole lot of other unintelligible squibbles.  We’re kinda keen on Neil. That’s what so great about books and Neil, specifically. When you find one you like, you are instantly connected to any of a number of people from all walks of life who also like Neil Gamain’s work! It’s like making instant BFFs.

When birthdays and holidays come around, I want you to consider gifting The Art of Neil Gaiman to them.


You know what? Scratch that. The Art of Neil Gaiman is a book for everyone! Neil Gaiman fans will swoon over it.


Who doesn’t love Coraline and “Other Mother” (I’ll admit it creeps me the heck out)?

Music lovers will love Neil cuz he used to be in a band with the Beetles or someone else English. I forget their name.


Not THEM. He wasn’t IN Duran Duran.

Was he?

So, music isn’t your schtick? Do you have a Goth friend?


Maybe they’ll like the Death Gallery.

No matter what you’re into, The Art of Neil Gaiman has got something for you. The best thing about the book, however, aside from the cheeky one liners and wild hair is that you get the impression that Neil is a real human being who cares about his friends. And maybe, just maybe, that comes through in his books and why we all feel connected to him and to each other.

Was that last line too deep?

I thought so.

Can you believe Neil Gaiman has learned to say “poop”?

hahaha better.