New Releases: January 2015

A late post for a slow starting year for authors of color.

Please, let me know what I’ve missed.

Emeralds and Ashes by Leila Reshad (Disney Hyperion)
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum)
X A Novel by Ilyash Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
Stella by Starlight by Shapon Draper (Atheneum)
Chasing Freedom : The Life Journeys Of Harriet Tubman And Susan B. Anthony, Inspired By Historical Facts by Nikki Grimes and Michele Wood (Orchard Books)
Tech Jacket vol 3 by Emilio Lopez; Image Comics

They’re on Pinterest

Lists and Piles

Piles and piles of books!!!

piled on my coffee table

Some have been piling up on my coffee table. I won one from Cynsations, received some from Lee and Low and bought others.

Thank you, Goosebottom Books!!

I also received a wonderful pile from Goosebottom Books!! I’ll be reviewing these over the next few weeks and interviewing the publisher as well. I don’t have a copy of their newest books (yet!) but it is one of the absolutely coolest books I have seen! It’s featured in this YouTube video.



The BrownBookShelf has begun collecting author suggestions for the 2013 28 Days Later list. They are looking for African American children’s authors and illustrators they’ve not yet featured. Visit their site for a reminder of who they have interviewed over the years and then add a few. They’re accepting names through 3 November.

Liz B over at a Chair, Fireplace and Teacozy recently sparked a conversation about gender balance and YA. I found the post particularly interesting as I’ve recently proposed a presentation on the topic myself. Liz B asks what really is the question, what is driving all the discussion about male vs. female authors/ protagonists/authors in YA fiction and she leads her readers to lady business’s post Gender Balance in YA Award Winners Since 2000. There are so few male writers of color in YA! Does this influence young men of color and their interest in reading? Is it the lack of male protagonists, or do these things not matter? Is the male voice of consequence in YA literature?



POC March Releases

Take what you can carry  by Kevin Pyle; Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks; March  MG/graphic novel

In 1977 suburban Chicago, Kyle runs wild with his friends and learns to shoplift from the local convenience store. In 1941 Berkeley, the Himitsu family is forced to leave their home for a Japanese-American internment camp, and their teenage son must decide how to deal with his new life. But though these boys are growing up in wildly different places and times, their lives intersect in more ways than one, as they discover compassion, learn loyalty, and find renewal in the most surprising of places.

Power Hitter  by M. C. Higgins; Darby Creek Pub, March

Sammy Perez has to make it to the big leagues. After his teammate’s career-ending injury, the Roadrunners decided to play in a wood bat tournament to protect their pitchers. And while Sammy used to be a hotheaded, hard-hitting, home-run machine, he’s now stuck in the slump of his life. Sammy thinks the wood bats are causing the problem, but his dad suggests that maybe he’s not strong enough. Is Sammy willing to break the law and sacrifice his health to get an edge by taking performance-enhancing drugs? Can Sammy break out of his slump in time to get noticed by major-league scouts?

Into the wise dark  by Neesha Meminger; Ignite Books, 12 March

Pammi has a Secret–she is an Able. At night, she travels through time to an ancient city called Zanum. She’s been visiting Zanum since she was seven and she’s kept it a secret from everyone–including her own mother. Especially her mother. Everything’s been fine…until now.
On the night of an important Zanum ceremony, Pammi follows her gut instinct and defies an elder’s orders, inadvertently leading evil directly to the door of the city she loves. Now the evil that plans to wipe out the city is coming after her. Can she save herself, and Zanum, before it’s too late? Or will she seal the doom of all Ables and witness the annihilation of everyone she loves?

The girl who could silence the wind by Meg Medina; Candlewick, 13 March

Worn down by the constant petitions of the villagers who think she has special powers, sixteen-year-old Sonia leaves behind her shawl covered with milagros and her mountain home and sets out to live a life of her own choosing in the capital city.

Cali boys: Boyfriend season   by Kelli London; K’Teen, 27 March

It’s a town of heartthrobs, drama queens, and bullies. Now two teens who are new to L.A. are about to get a crash course in it all–and learn that getting the guy isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. . .

Kassidy Maddox has everything–beauty, brains, and confidence to spare. Fresh off the New York A-list, she knows what she wants: Shooby, Romero, and Carsen, three extremely fine, must-have boys. And she isn’t about to choose between them–until she meets Diggs. He’s a hot property–and he doesn’t like to share. Will Kassidy finally have to give up the spotlight?

Jacobi Swanson is a late bloomer with a major crush on her neighbor, Malone. He’s got a serious case of the perfects–perfectly popular, perfectly smart, and perfectly rich. Determined to break out of her shell and into his heart, Jacobi turns to Kassidy for beauty and boy tips. But when Jacobi finally captures Malone’s attention, she’ll have to figure out whether he’s for real–along with everything else in la-la land. . .

Be sure to visit the HappyNappyBookseller for a listing of all ages of POC books released in March.

New Books: January, 2012

I hope you’ve resolved to diversify your reading in 2012! Me? I’m just resolving to read more! And, to get my best of 2011 post up! Lists are so very hard to make! Even this one that listst all the new MG and YA books I’ve found for 2012. I know I’ve missed some, so please put them in the comments for me. Thanks!

You can find more upcoming books on my 2012 Booklist.

  1. Living Violet by Jaime Reed; Dafina, 1 Jan
  2. Irises  by Francisco X. Stork; Authur A. Levine; Jan 2012
  3. Dumpling Days by Grace Lin; Little Brown Books for Young Readers; 2 Jan
  4. Black Indians a hidden heritage  by William Loren Katz; Atheneum Books for Young Readers,  3 January  NF
  5. Stars in the Shadows by Charles R. Smith; Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 3 Jan
  6. The mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis; Wendy A. Lamb Books, January MG
  7. Superman vs. the Ku Klux Klan: The story of how the iconic superhero battle the men of hate  by Rick Bowers; National Geographic Books for Children, 10 Jan MG/NF
  8. Stolen into slavery: The true store of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Frandin; National Geographic Books for Children; 10 Jan
  9. The whole story of half a girl by Veera Hirandandani; Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 2012
  10. The Flava Girls vs. the Principal by Kelly Kenyatta; William H. Kelly Publishing; 12 Jan
  11. Lovetorn by Kavita Daswani; HarperTeen; 17 Jan
  12. Marching to the mountaintop  by Ann Bausum; National Geographic Press, January NF
  13. Facts of life: stories by Gary Soto; Graphia, January
  14. Going the distance (Alec London series) by Stephanie Perry Moore and Derrick Moore; Lift Every Voice, January MG
  15. The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards; HarperCollins, 17 Jan
  16. Mesmerize  by Artist Arthur; Kimani Tru, January
  17. No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; Carolrhoda Books; 31 Jan

November New Releases

New POC releases for November. What?!! I missed a book? Please post it in the comments!

Don’t call me a hero by Ray Villareal; Pinata Press 31 October
“After saving the life of a famous model, a 14-year-old Mexican-American boy learns the pressures of popularity and the definition of true heroism. The third-person narration follows Rawley s journey as he learns who his real friends are and the difference between comic-book and real-world heroes. A good story with some unexpected twists.” ––Kirkus Review

Black and white  by Larry Dane Brimner; Boyds Mill Press, 1 Nov

My name is not easy. My name is hard like ocean ice grinding at the shore . . . Luke knows his Iñupiaq name is full of sounds white people can t say. So he leaves it behind when he and his brothers are sent to boarding school hundreds of miles away from their Arctic village. At Sacred Heart School, students Eskimo, Indian, White line up on different sides of the cafeteria like there s some kind of war going on. Here, speaking Iñupiaq or any native language is forbidden. And Father Mullen, whose fury is like a force of nature, is ready to slap down those who disobey. Luke struggles to survive at Sacred Heart. But he s not the only one. There s smart-aleck Amiq, a daring leader if he doesn t selfdestruct; Chickie, blond and freckled, a different kind of outsider; and small, quiet Junior, noticing everything and writing it all down. They each have their own story to tell. But once their separate stories come together, things at Sacred Heart School and the wider world will never be the same. Review copy received from publisher

The wavering of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa; Little, Brown Books for Young Children, 14 Nov

In Book 6 in the series, readers take a step into a time warp in five short stories. Head back to events from the previous books, and previously unseen scenes and perspectives to uncover mysteries that had been left unanswered.

Playground  by FiftyCent; Razorbill, 1 Nov excerpt   

Loosely inspired by 50 Cent’s own adolescence, and written with his fourteen-year-old son in mind, Playground is sure to captivate wide attention – and spark intense discussion. This devastating yet ultimately redemptive story is told in voice-driven prose and accented with drawings and photographs, making it a natural successor to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  Available in my school library

Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi;  Harper Collins; 15 November

“Mafi combines a psychological opener with an action-adventure denouement in her YA debut. This is a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” (Publishers Weekly )

Luka and the fire of life by Salman Rushdie; Random House, 16 Nov

With the same dazzling imagination and love of language that have made Salman Rushdie one of the great storytellers of our time, Luka and the Fire of Life revisits the magic-infused, intricate world he first brought to life in the modern classic Haroun and the Sea of Stories. This breathtaking new novel centers on Luka, Haroun’s younger brother, who must save his father from certain doom.

Legend  by Marie Lu; Putnam, 29 November

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.  Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Uptown Dreams by Kelli London;  KTeen Dafina, November 29, 2011

At the prestigious Harlem Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, students are destined to realize their uptown dreams—as long as friends, haters, and crushes don’t trip them up…

La-La Nolan’s killer voice could make her a superstar, but she’s more focused on scoring the attention of Ziggy Phillip—the cute Jamaican boy in her class. But a singing competition against her arch rival could cost her both Ziggy and her spot at the Academy…

The daughter of the school’s director and voice coach, Reese Allen has to work harder than everyone else to prove herself. But all Reese wants is to be a hip hop producer—a path her mother will never approve of…

Even though it’s clear that Ziggy loves the ladies, he has to keep his passion for dance a secret from his father. But then his brother discovers Ziggy’s ballet shoes and threatens to tell all—unless Ziggy gets him into the Academy too…

No one’s a better actress than Jamaica Kincaid Ellison. She’s even acted her way out of the boarding school her parents think she’s still attending and into the Academy. She’ll do anything to achieve her dream—unless her lies destroy everything…

If that weren’t enough drama, rumor has it that the Academy may close at the end of the year. Can these gifted students put their talents to the test to save it?

Round and round together: Taking a merry go round ride into the Civil Rights Movement by Amy Nathan; Paul Dry Books, November

On August 28, 1963—the day of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech—segregation ended at Gwynn Oak amusement park in Maryland when eleven-month old Sharon Langley, her dad beside her, became the first black child to ride the park’s famous merry-go-round. As Amy Nathan tells the story of how individuals in Baltimore integrated one amusement park in their town, she also gives an overview of the history of segregation and the civil rights movement. Round and Round Together creates a new civil rights symbol—the Gwynn Oak carousel is now the Smithsonian Carousel which thousands of kids enjoy each year.

Round and Round Together is illustrated with archival photos from newspapers and other sources, as well as personal photos from family albums of individuals interviewed for the book and a timeline of major civil rights events.