Remember when you were a kid and getting new crayons was a big deal? Getting new books holds the same kind of magic for some of us big kids. Every week on Sunday, I post what's new in our box. I think crayons is a pretty cool metaphor for multicultural lit. Don't you? Do you mind if I simply say what's on our shelves and not from where this week? My notes are crazy. This week's loot:
Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid. Classic. Love it.
Annie John "is a haunting and provocative story of a young girl growing up on the island of Antigua. A classic coming-of-age story in the tradition of "The Catcher in the Rye "and "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, "Kincaid's novel focuses on a universal, tragic, and often comic theme: the loss of childhood. Annie's voice--urgent, demanding to be heard--is one that will not soon be forgotten by readers.
We Just Want to Live Here by Amal Rifai' and Odelia Arnbinder. I attend Friends meeting in a college town. We have both Middle Eastern and Jewish members. Did you know there's a Friends school is Ramallah?
Palestinian Amal Rifa'i and Israeli Odelia Ainbinder are two teenage girls who live in the same city, yet worlds apart. They met on a student exchange program to Switzerland. Weeks after they returned, the latest, violent Intifada broke out in the fall of 2000. But two years later, Middle East correspondent Sylke Tempel encouraged Amal and Odelia to develop their friendship by facilitating an exchange of their deepest feelings through letters. In their letters, Amal and Odelia discuss the Intifada, their families, traditions, suicide bombers, and military service. They write frankly of their anger, frustrations, and fear, but also of their hopes and dreams for a brighter future.
Bang! by Sharon Flake. I'm a huge Flake fan. Her, Who Am I Without Him?, was an instant, often missing hit in our library.
After the shooting death of his little brother, 13-year-old Mann tries to escape his emotions. To toughen Mann up and prevent him from becoming a statistic, Mann's father draws from African tradition and abandons Mann and his friend Kee Lee in the woods, leaving them to find their own way home.
What did you get in the mail, at the bookstore or from your library this week? Drop a link with Mr. Linky.