Sunday, January 10, 2010

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.

We're back! We received two books in the mail and I found some great reads at the library. Here's our loot:

Thanks to Chronicle Books for sending us Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes and thanks to one of our resident poets, January O'Neil for a copy of Underlife. This collection will remain in our book loan program so many will have an opportunity to read it. Tortillia Sun will be placed in our Prize Bucket.
Underlife is a smart debut collection published on beautiful recycled paper. O'Neil has a fine, imagistic lyrical voice well worth reading for its many layers of meaning as hinted at by the title, Underlife. You can easily divide the title up into two lists: under, referring to the burial ground, sexuality, the child under the power of the parents, the man under the power of the woman, the woman under the power of the man.. see full review at Boston Area Small Press.

I purchased a few books for our Prize Bucket including Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins and Roglia's House of Magic by Jamie Martinez Wood.
I really enjoyed Rogelia's House of Magic. Wood's has created three very different and believable characters in Marina, Fern and Xochitl. I enjoyed their friendship.

From the library:

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Doret recommended this. See her review at Happy Nappy Bookseller.
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 Prince of Fenway Park by Juliana Baggott, a Cybils shortlist title.
If this book was a pitch it would be a wicked knuckleball that buckled my knees. As a reader and baseball lover all I can do is tip my head in thanks to the author for writing such a wonderful story.

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, saw this at Reading in Color. I read it for my YA challenge and South Asian Challenge, Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan. Another Doret recommendation.
While reading Beneath My Mother's Feet, Wanting Mor (see interview with author, Rukhsana Khan at Paper Tigers.) and Climbing the Stairs, I couldn't stop asking myself how do we impart to our girls in this instance, a love for education, to get them to understand that an education not a man or fame is the means to opportunity, personal choice and freedom? The main characters, all young girls in each book, were desperate to complete their education and they knew their chances at a life beyond servitude, abuse and dependence were inscrutably tied to being educated. For so many women outside of our country, education means an independent life. See my challenge update at Black-Eyed Susan's. Read these for YA and Women Unbound.

Read Faith by Maya Amjera and 14 Cows by Carmen Agra Deedy, Thomas Gonzalez, Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah for Reading Around the World at Papertigers.
Both books are beautifully illustrated. They inspire and remind us that we our faith and hope in our children is well placed.

What did you get in your mailbox, at the bookstore or the library?

Happy Reading!


MissAttitude said...

Looking forward to hear what you think of Tortialla Sun. I can't wait to start Climbing the Stairs :)

My New Crayons post is up.

Color Online said...

I thoroughly enjoyed Climbing the Stairs. I'll get a review up this week. I think you'll love the history and cultural lesson in the read as well as the romance.

Lenore said...

I've been meaning to get Climbing the Stairs. Better go add it to my cart now before I forget again!

Jessie Carty said...

you always have such great suggestions and i have to 2nd "Underlife" which I reviewed on my blog. Just a wonderful read!