Sunday, June 27, 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:

Don't Know Where, Don't Know When by Annette Laing
Hannah and Alex move from San Francisco to boring Snipesville, where they meet Brandon, a dorky kid who is plotting his escape from the Deep South. Suddenly, the kids are catapulted to World War Two England. They encounter a world of bomb blasts, dragon ladies, painful punishments, and non-absorbing toilet paper. But they can't go home unless they find George Braithwaite, whoever he is, and whatever it is that he has to do with Snipesville.
The Agency: The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee
July 1859. A bricklayer falls to his death from the Clock Tower of the Houses of Parliament – the most recent horror in a string of scandals that plagues the building site. With the British people eagerly watching the installation of Big Ben, Mary Quinn disguises herself as a 12-year-old boy laborer to uncover the grim truth. Her fellow workers are suspicious. Mary’s secret past distracts her. And then James Easton returns…
Losing My Cool by Thomas Chatterton Williams
A pitch-perfect account of how hip-hop culture drew in the author and  how his father drew him out again-with love, perseverance, and fifteen thousand books.
Williams is the first of his generation to measure the seductive power of hip-hop against its restrictive worldview, which ultimately leaves those who live it powerless. Losing My Cool portrays the allure and the danger of hip-hop culture like no book has before. Even more remarkably, Williams evokes the subtle salvation that literature offers and recounts with breathtaking clarity a burgeoning bond between father and son.

Moonshine by Alaya Johnson
 Imagining vampires at the heart of the social struggles of 1920s, Moonshine blends a tempestuous romance with dramatic historical fiction, populated by a lively mythology inhabiting the gritty New York City streets Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, Zephyr agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity worker cover to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss. What he doesn’t tell her is why. Soon enough she’s tutoring a child criminal with an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir’s request—not to mention attempting to resist his dark, inhuman charm.

Address: House of Corrections by Monice Mitchell Simms
Award-winning writer Monice Mitchell Simms' engrossing debut novel, "Address: House of Corrections" seamlessly shifts through time and locale to follow the empowering, entertaining journey of Merry, a stubborn 32-year-old ex con and recovering addict, who moves to 1947 Detroit as a spunky twelve-year-old with her estranged mother and comes full circle as Merry fights to stay sane, stay straight and make peace with her children and her torrid past. Gritty, yet hopeful, Mitchell Simms ingeniously births refreshing characters in this, her first book in a trilogy series, and elevates what could have easily become a stereotypical hard luck tale into a literary triumph.

Overcoming Speechlessness by Alice Walker
More by Austin Clarke
Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo by Ntozake Shange
No Sweetness Here by Ama Ata Aidoo
Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki

What books have you received this week? What are you looking forward to reading?

1 comment:

Nathalie said...

It sounds exciting! Not sure when I'll get to them but I'm looking forward to the reviews.