August 16, 2009

Color Me Brown Book Challenge Update

A few weeks ago, we posted a link to the Color Me Brown Book Challenge at Color Online, and I've definitely had the challenge in my mind ever since. And finally, after getting to the end of a rather long book I'd borrowed from my mother-in-law and had to finish up (Ursula LeGuin's Lavinia--highly recommended), I started thinking about the challenge again.

The first thought that crossed my mind was, Wow, the library hasn't notified me yet about the two books I put on hold, Skunk Girl and 1001 Cranes. It's been at least two weeks. I think this is actually a good thing, if it means more people are reading and demanding books by authors of color (in this case, Asian-American authors) in my area. But even though the books I'd requested weren't in yet, I decided to go to the library anyway and see what I could find in terms of YA books by people of color. (And, yeah, yeah, I had books due!)

I've ended up with a list of one purchased book and five great library books that I'm looking forward very much to reading over the next couple of weeks, not that there's ever a bad time to read fiction by POC here at Finding Wonderland, as you all know. The book I purchased is particularly special, since it happens to be Mare's War by Ms. Tanita S. Davis herself. I'm actually almost done with it already, and as with A La Carte, I'm fascinated by the changes that took place between the draft manuscript when I last saw it and the final product. The other books on my TBR pile are:

  • Tyrell by Coe Booth

  • The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

  • Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

  • The Blood Stone by Jamila Gavin

  • Name Me Nobody by Lois-Ann Yamanaka

A few are new, a few are older; but I'm excited about all of them, and I'm especially happy that there are a few fantasy novels in there to boot. I've not read a lot of what I'm going to call, for lack of a better term that I can think of at the moment, "non-Western fantasy." I'm interested to see what, in that genre, has been considered marketable/publishable so far.

And, to conclude, I just want to put in a little shout-out of thanks to my library for, well, just for being there and being generally awesome with a great YA collection. Woot!


Doret said...

I loved Sunrise Over Fallujah and Tyrell. I've heard great things about The Conch Bearer, a co-worker loves the author's adult fiction.

Sarah Stevenson said...

I've only read Divakaruni's adult fiction, so I'm looking forward to this one. I'm glad the other two you mentioned are good, too!!

As for Jamila Gavin--how can I resist an author whose first name is the same as my middle name? :)

tanita✿davis said...

Ooh! The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is actually YA? Wow. And I look forward to running down more Jamila Gavin books myself.

Also: With as many times as you read MW in drafts, I'm in a little awe that you have the wherewithal to read it again. That's some true friendship there!

Laura Atkins said...

Hey - have you read The Dream Merchant by Isabel Hoving? It's got its flaws, but was her overt attempt to write a fantasy book that drew on non-western (and I think particularly African) traditions. I'm pretty sure it was published in the US...

Sarah Stevenson said...

I haven't, but I'll look for it--thanks for the recommendation!

T - now that I'm reading The Conch Bearer, it seems to be more MG. I actually have mixed feelings about it so far, but it's nice to read fantasy with a different focus.