Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Crayons: What's New On Our Shelves

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. Every week we receive a book is a good week. New on our shelves:

An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah. Saw this at Lotus reads. Requested it from my library and then missed picking it up. Requested it again. Was excited when I got a notice yesterday that it was in.

Petina Gappah was born in Zimbabwe and currently works as a lawyer in Geneva. This, her first published work of fiction, is a collection of 13 stories, all but one of which are set in her homeland and feature characters struggling with the hyperinflation, bureaucracy and misogyny that beset life in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. See full review at

Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse. Saw this on Paperback Swap. This is our second copy so this gem could be yours. Adding it to our Prize Bucket.

Karen Hesse is the queen of the free verse novel. When interviewed after the publication of the Newbery Award Winning Out of the Dust, Hesse said she wrote in free verse because the writing style best matched the sparseness of her characters’ lives. The same seems to hold true for the tales she also tells of girls’ lives in Witness and now in Aleutian Sparrow. While there are fewer words, they are rich, well intentioned words that affect us as they describe the setting, bring life to characters and tell the story. See full review at Crazy Quilts.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I read mostly women. I don't read much fantasy and I'm not a big audio fan. Well this easy-on-the-eyes Brit is all the reason I need to ignore my biases. I love Gaiman's voice. He's a master storyteller. A donor sent us a hardcover copy. Thank you, anonymous.

Over eight chapters, or stories, we watch Bod grow from a toddler into a young man. We watch him walk the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and gather knowledge about both. And in the end, we watch him learn the meaning of being alive. See full review at things mean a lot.

Refugees by Christine Stine. Saw this at Marjolein's. Premise sounds interesting. Requested it from PaperBack Swap.

Two teenagers on opposite sides of the globe flee everything they know. In a world turned upside down by tragedy, they are refugees. 16 year-old Dawn runs away from her unhappy foster home in California and travels to New York City. Johar, an Afghani teenager, sees his world crumble before him. He flees his war-ravaged village and the Taliban, and makes a dangerous trek to a refugee camp in Pakistan. Thanks to his knowledge of English, Johar finds a job at the camp assisting Louise, the Red Cross doctor--and Dawn's foster mother. Through e-mails and phone calls, Dawn and Johar begin to share and protect each other's secrets, fears, and dreams.

What did you get this week in the mail, bookstore or from your library? Drop us a link with Mr. Linky.


Sandra said...

I read the review of the Gappah book. It sounds powerful. I'll check my library for it. The cover we have here is awful by comparison to that beauty, someone carrying a mattress across a field. Refugees looks interesting, especially for young people to learn what some teens lives are like. My link is up.

Anonymous said...

Hey Susan!
Thanks for the warm welcome back! This post is reminding me to reactivate my online trading site and see what new books are available. AND if I post some of my books, maybe I can get out of building that bookcase. I really don't like building furniture!!

gautami tripathy said...

Wonderful books!

I gotta check those out!

Mondays: Musings/Whereabouts

Tarie said...

Hellooo, Susan and the Color Online community. :D I bought two books this week:

Owl and Friends by Carla M. Pacis, a Filipino middle grade novel in English about prejudices and friendship. It is about a Filipina girl named Amelia who meets an Aeta boy named Johnny. (The Aeta are indigenous people in the Philippines.) Like a typical Filipina, Amelia has brown skin with a yellow undertone and long, straight black hair. Johnny is much darker than Amelia and has kinky hair. It's the first time Amelia has seen anyone like Johnny.

If this book turns out to be as good and interesting as it sounds (*crosses fingers*), I hope to do a giveaway. Woot! Come on, you guys know you wanna read this too!

I also bought Only If You Can Find Me by Patricia Laurel. This is another Filipino middle grade novel in English. It's about a nine-year-old girl who was born and raised in the US and visits the Philippines for the first time. I have a feeling this book will make me cry...

I bought both books at 10% off! :D

susan said...

Tari, sounds good. Looking forward to your reviews.

Gautami, I'll be by.

Beverly said...

I have read An Elegy for Easterly and highly recommend it. it will be one of my top reads for the year. I liked it despite it being short stories as this is not my fav genre. Engaging stories - does a great job of showing how people are surviving under Mugabe. Very well written. The stories will stay with you after you have read them.

susan said...

Hi Beverly,

Sounds like my kind of read. I have a few others going on right now.

Thanks for reading and commenting.