Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Crayons: What's New On Our Shelf

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.

It's been a light week. To all authors and publishers, our staff has grown which means we are capable of reviewing more and sooner so if you're looking for a little promotion, feel free to send us a copy. The loot:

Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi- I got this on trade. Currently reading it for Women Unbound. My freshman year in college I took Sociology. My professor was Akbar Muhadi (Someone correct my spelling if it's wrong). He was dynamic. Taking his class meant having my first relationship with someone Iranian. He was married to Nina, my math professor and they had a young son. Sociology was easily a favorite class, and I liked Nina very much (I was impressed that Iranian women didn't change their names when they married). I didn't know it at the time, but meeting Akbar (he told us to call him by his name and not title) was a meaningful connection and it shaped how I viewed Iran and its citizens. Because of Akbar, I couldn't listen to news about Iran and think nameless, evil people. Iran is a country and it is more than its government and its politics. While reading this, I kept wondering how this time had been for Akbar and his family. I took his class in '83. That means he had family and friends at home during a war. His wife was able to teach when women in Iran were being stripped of their freedom and careers.
Found a great review from Ana at things mean a lot.
is Shirin Ebadi’s account of her life in Iran, and of her work as a lawyer and activist who specialized in children and women’s rights—and which earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

Shirin Ebadi begins by telling us the story of her childhood – she was raised in a progressive family who never taught her that she was inferior because she was a woman.


Last Night I Sang To the Monster by Alire Saenz. Picked this up because of Doret. The woman has yet to steer me wrong. See her review here.
In rehab Zach must admit he has a problem with alcohol and begin putting his life back together. This novel was intense, beautiful, strong and believable. I finished this novel awhile back, Zach is still with me. I remember Zach worry about where his monster comes from (maybe his brother) or what God tattooed on his heart.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes. Illustrated by E. B. White Discovered a new blog today- Book Kids. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't know about this site. You all are going to have to do a better job of informing me. Anyhoo, I picked up this title because of the award winners and while I'm talking about award winners, almost none of the award winners announced this month were available at my library. This is why we must nominate POC books because they win they are listed and promoted and then they are read.

Each image is rich with wonderful detail and the raw, emotive power of Hughes’ writing translates beautifully int Lewis’ art. Read Emily's review at BookKids.

What did you get this week in the mail, at the bookstore or the library?

Happy Reading.


Rasco from RIF said...

New rule in my house (where I am the only inhabitant): must finish a book and send it somewhere (loan it at a minimum) before a new book can enter. In effect 5 days...can't believe I will obey my own rule for five more days, we shall see. So, no new books at home this week...but I do want now so much The Negro Speaks of Rivers; wow, the cover alone. At work I am concentrating on the Cybils finalists in NF Picture Books. Have a great week!

susan said...

It's hard to resist a book. :-)


Elizabeth said...

The Langston Hughes title: illustrated by E. B. Lewis, not E. B. White. ;-)

...and the cover art on that is gorgeous.

Sandra said...

Those first two sound like powerful stories, each in their own way. The children's book cover is magnificent. I can imagine a child cherishing it for a long time.
I just three from the library yesterday that I am excited to read: The Housewife and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, Jade Peony by Wayson Choy, and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I look forward to your thoughts on those novels.

Tasha said...

I loved both Last Night I Sang to the Monster and The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Two great reads!

MissAttitude said...

Need to get my post up. I got Fledgling by Octavia Butler. It wil be slow reading with school but I was so annoyed because my library only had this book by her! I meant to talk to the librarians but I had to go :( I also got Orphea Proud and Absolutley Maybe. Does anyone know if aboslutely Maybe is about a poc?

Jessie Carty said...

i've very interested in the first book. one of my uncle's married a woman from Iran so i have 3 cousins who are half Iranian. When i would hear of people being profiled at the airport and all I couldn't help but think of them and wonder if they received looks from people because of the color of their skin?