Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Crayons


New Crayons is a metaphor for multicultural lit. The excitement of getting a new book is kind of like the excitement felt as a child opening a new box of crayons.


This week we got




Efrain's Secret by Sofia Quintero
Ambitious high school senior Efrain Rodriguez dreams of escaping the South Bronx for an Ivy League college like Harvard or Yale. But how is his family going to afford to pay for a prestigious university when Moms has to work insane hours to put food on the table as it is? And Efrain wouldn’t dare ask that good-for-nothing father of his who has traded his family in for younger models. Left with few options, Efrain chooses to do something he never thought he would. He embarks on a double life—honor student by day, drug peddler at night—convinced that by temporarily capitulating to society’s negative expectations of a boy like him, he can eventually defy them.

Sofia Quintero makes a stunning debut writing for young adults with this gritty, complex, and real exploration of the life of an urban teen whose attempt to leave one world behind for a better one could cost him everything.


Foxy: My Life in Three Acts
by Pam Grier

Some may know her as hot, gutsy, gun-totin' Foxy Brown, Friday Foster, Coffy, and Jackie Brown. Others may know her from her role as Kit Porter on The L Word. But that only defines one part of the legend that is Pam Grier.

Foxy is Pam's testimony of her life, past and present. In it, she reveals her relationships with Richard Pryor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Freddie Prinze Sr., among others. She unveils her experiences as a backup singer and a blaxploitation star. In particularly candid and shocking chapters, she shares-for the first time-her view of those films and the persecution that blacks, especially women, needed to endure to make a name for themselves . . . including how it felt to be labeled one of the most beautiful women alive, yet not be permitted to try on clothes in a department store because of the color of her skin. And in words sure to inspire many, she tells the story of her ongoing battle with cancer.

From her disappointments to her triumphs, nothing is held back. With FOXY, Pam wishes to impart life lessons to her readers-and hopes to touch their heartsSome may know her as hot, gutsy, gun-totin' Foxy Brown, Friday Foster, Coffy, and Jackie Brown. Others may know her from her role as Kit Porter on The L Word. But that only defines one part of the legend that is Pam Grier.

Foxy is Pam's testimony of her life, past and present. In it, she reveals her relationships with Richard Pryor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Freddie Prinze Sr., among others. She unveils her experiences as a backup singer and a blaxploitation star. In particularly candid and shocking chapters, she shares-for the first time-her view of those films and the persecution that blacks, especially women, needed to endure to make a name for themselves . . . including how it felt to be labeled one of the most beautiful women alive, yet not be permitted to try on clothes in a department store because of the color of her skin. And in words sure to inspire many, she tells the story of her ongoing battle with cancer.

From her disappointments to her triumphs, nothing is held back. With FOXY, Pam wishes to impart life lessons to her readers-and hopes to touch their hearts.

Bitch is the New Black by Helena Andrews

Meet Helena Andrews, sassy, single, smart, and, yes, a bitch—but Tina Fey said it best, bitch is the new black!

When Helena Andrews heard this declaration on Saturday Night Live, her first reaction was How daaare you? But after a commercial break and some thought, she decided to poke at the stereotype that says "successful" and "bitch" are synonyms. Unafraid and frank, she comes to realize that being a bitch is sometimes the best way to be—except, of course, when it's not.

Bitch Is the New Black follows Andrews—sexy, single, and a self-described smart-ass—on her trip from kidnapped daughter of a lesbian to Washington, D.C., political reporter who can't remember a single senator's name. Told in Andrews's singular voice, this addictive memoir explores the roller coaster of being educated and single while trying to become an "actual adult" and find love.

In these candid yet heartfelt essays, she chronicles that ride from beginning to end: a childhood spent on an all-white island, escaping via episodes of The Cosby Show; being set up with Obama's "body guy" Reggie Love by Maureen Dowd; and the shocking suicide of a best friend. Through it all, Andrews and her gang of girlfriends urge each other to "keep it moving." But no one can stay strong all the time—not even the women we believe do so without trying.

As Andrews says, "Despite the fact that the most recognizable woman in the United States is black, popular culture still hasn't moved past the only adjective apparently meant to describe us— "strong." She is also flawed, tired, naive, greedy, gutsy, frightened, and kind: secret sides that come out in honest detail here.

32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter (ARC)

Davie—an ugly duckling growing up in small-town Mississippi—is positive her life couldn’t be any worse. She has the meanest mother in the South, possibly the world, and on top of that, she’s pretty sure she’s ugly. Just when she’s resigned herself to her fate, she sees a movie that will change her life—Sixteen Candles. But in her case, life doesn’t imitate art. Tormented endlessly in school with the nickname "Monkey Night," and hopelessly in unrequited love with a handsome football player, James Farrell, Davie finds that it is bittersweet to dream of Molly Ringwald endings. When a cruel school prank goes too far, Davie leaves the life she knows and reinvents herself in the glittery world of Hollywood—as a beautiful and successful lounge singer in a swanky nightclub.

Davie is finally a million miles from where she started—until she bumps into her former obsession, James Farrell. To Davie’s astonishment, James doesn’t recognize her, and she can’t bring herself to end the fantasy. She lets him fall as deeply in love with her as she once was with him. But is life ever that simple? Just as they’re about to ride off into the sunset, the past comes back with a vengeance, threatening to crush Davie’s dreams—and break her heart again.

With wholly original characters and a cinematic storyline, 32 Candles introduces Ernessa T. Carter, a new voice in fiction with smarts, attitude, and sassiness to spare.


Release Date: June 22, 2010

Summaries from Amazon.com

What new books did you get this week? Leave a link to your New Crayons post in the comments :)

2 comments:

Cassy said...

"Call Me Maria" by Judith Cofer arrived in the mail this week. It's a mix of memoir and poetry. I loved it, as it made me think of the kids I teach, and of their first experiences in this country.
I'm also about to start "The Cry of the Dove" By Fadia Faqir.

Ernessa from 32 Candles.com said...

Thanks for the mention. I hope you enjoy 32 CANDLES.

Best!
etc