Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Crayons

This week we have a broad array of new crayons from ballerinas to lesbian vampires. You're sure to expand that summer reading list. Enjoy!


Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole

Here's what it means to be a tortillera.It means you're a girl who loves girls.
Which means you get kicked out of Catholic school faster than Mother Superior Sicko can say "immoral."
Which means your wacko Mami finds out.
Which means you're kicked to the curb with nowhere to go, and the love of your life is shipped off to Puerto Rico to marry a guy.
But this is Miami, and if you have a bighearted best friend and a loyal puppy at your side, and if your broken heart is still full of love, you just might land on your feet.
In a first novel as crazy, joyful, hilarious, and painful as your first love, Mayra Lazara Dole goes beyond the many meanings of tortillera to paint a vivid picture of a girl who gets kicked out of home only to find a new kind of family.

Another Way to Dance by Martha Southgate

is the story of 14-year-old Vicki Harris, an aspiring ballerina who has just been accepted into the summer program at New York City’s prestigious School of American Ballet. It will be hard work and highly competitive, but Vicki feels ready. She is totally committed to dancing. But Vicki isn’t prepared to be one of only two African-American students in the program. Nor is she expecting the racism she finds within the school. And Michael, a new friend from Harlem, takes Vicki completely by surprise. He shakes up her dream world and shows her that real life is bigger than a stage.


The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson

In 1946, Hollywood’s most famous swashbuckler, Errol Flynn, arrived in Jamaica in a storm-ravaged boat. After a long and celebrated career on the silver screen, Flynn spent the last years of his life on a small island off the Jamaican coast, where he fell in love with the people, the paradisiacal setting, and the privacy, and brought a touch of Tinseltown glamour to the West Indian community.
Based on those years, The Pirate’s Daughter imagines an affair between the aging matinee star and Ida, a beautiful local girl. Flynn’s affections are unpredictable but that doesn’t stop Ida from dreaming of a life with him, especially after the birth of their daughter, May.
Margaret Cezair-Thompson weaves stories of mothers and daughters, fathers and lovers, country and kin, into this compelling, dual-generational coming-of-age tale of two women struggling to find their way in a nation wrestling with its own independence.

Grace by Elizabeth Nunez

Justin Peters is a Harvard-educated professor of British and classic literature who reads Shakespeare to his four-year-old daughter, Giselle. A native of Trinidad and the product of a strict, English-style education, Justin and his focus on the works of “Dead White Men” receive little professional respect at the public Brooklyn college where he teaches. But whatever troubles he might have at work are eclipsed when he realizes his wife, Sally, has begun to pull away from him, both physically and emotionally.
Harlem-born Sally Peters, a mother on the verge of turning forty, is a primary school teacher who believes that joy is a learned skill, and that it takes strength to be happy. After a life of tragic losses, Sally thought she had finally found that strength when she met Justin.

But now, Sally wants something more. And Justin is angered by her uncertainty about their life and frightened by the thought that perhaps Sally never stopped loving the ex-boyfriend for whom she wrote fierce poems. Is he, Justin wonders, responsible for helping Sally find meaning in her lifea life that seems to him most fortunate? If Sally and Justins union is to survive, both must face the crippling echoes of their own pasts before those memories forever cloud and alter their future.

Set in a snow-covered Brooklyn, Grace is a thoughtful and lovely meditation on trust, redemption, and family. Elizabeth Nunezs delicate prose brings the struggles, aches, and tender moments of this contemporary urban love story into vivid focus.

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez

is a very American odyssey. Escaping from slavery in the 1850s Gilda's longing for kinship and community grows over two hundred years. Her induction into a family of benevolent vampires takes her on an adventurous and dangerous journey full of loud laughter and subtle terror.

All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann

was inspired by a true story. It is about Margaret Morgan, who was kidnapped in 1837, along with her free children, and sold into slavery. Although she fought hard to regain her freedom, Margaret endured tremendous loss and hardship. Her ordeal led to one of the most important yet least-known Supreme Court cases of the era, Prigg v. Pennsylvania.
Text books will have you believe the story of Prigg v. Pennsylvania is important because it ended in controversy and fanned the early embers of the Civil War. This book will have you believe the story is important because it began with Margaret.  


D.M. SOLIS said...

Great write-ups. Can't wait to read the books. Your usual solid approach. Thanks very much, peace and continued good things for you in writing and in life.


Helen's Book Blog said...

Great suggestions, I've added Another Way to Dance and All Different Kinds of Freedom to my "go get" list

Doret said...

Terri your books sound great, epecially The Pirate's Daughter and Grace.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I think you'll like the three "new crayons" I received in the mail this week:

Shell said...

Great recommendations. I'm going to reserve two titles now at the library.