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I'm new to Paperback Swap. Very impressed and still learning to navigate my way around the site. I am particularly interested in multicultural lit for YA. If you have recommendations and especially if you have desired titles among your offerings, please let me know.
Here are a few my daughter has read:
The Watson's Go To Birmingham, 1963 - Christopher Paul Curtis. The civil rights movement and its impact on an African American family.
Blood on the River, James Town 1607 - Elisa Carbone. First English Settlers at James Town and their interactions with the Native Americans. I just finished reading this one to my children and it was riveting.
Heat by Mike Lupica. Latino boys, baseball, citizenship.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord. Chinese American.
Gary Soto. Some are even younger than YA. Many on Latinos in LA area.
Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy. Was ground breaking as multicultural SFF before anyone else.
Some of Zora Neale Hurston. She has folklore that was collected in 1930's.
What specific titles by these authors have you read and enjoyed?
With the exception of The Bluest Eye, I find Morrison a hard sale for many adults. I think Morrison is a lot of work for teens.
I was thinking Fledgling by OB, but after reading some of the reviews, I'm not sure about that. Next I'd have to reread Blood Child or Kindred. And for Toni Morrison, I'd think Song of Solomon or Bluest Eye. But it has been years since I read either book.
I loved ZNH's Tell My Horse, but that might not be for YA as it is about voodoo. (I didn't find ZNH until college.) I'd choose her folklore or animal stories. There are alot of collections of her stories. She traveled with WPA collecting folktales. And she did write in dialect.
I read almost only SF and F as a teen. And that still tends to not be multicutural. But way back then, it was the place for books about girls who were active rather than passive.
Yes, same author. I've read them both.
I read Fledgling. It's graphic in the beginning. The main character looks like a child and has sex with adults. I can see a lot of folks flipping out over that.
Last Edited on: 11/16/08 6:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Thought of a few more:
Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa by Micol Ostow Puerto Rican/Jewish themes.
Three Against the Tide by Love. Slavery
Lily’s Crossing by Giff. American girl’s friendship with a Hungarian refugee. WW2 era.
Children of the River by Linda Crew. Cambodian girl in
We like books by Gloria Whelan a lot. These are some we have read:
Homeless Bird – Hindu culture
Listening for Lions – English girl in
Once On This
I'm a big fan of Walter Dean Myers. His 145th Street Stories and the sequel (of sorts) What They Found: Love on 145th Street are both excellent titles.
Both take place in the same Harlem neighborhood.
Another good one is: Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah. It's about a teenage Muslim (I believe she is Palestinian and Australian) girl who decides to wear the Hijab full-time.
I'll have to take a look at the several booklists I've collected over the past year or so that deal with multicultural lit. If you are interested I can send them to you.
Fledgling is about vampires so no one should be surprised there is a lot of sex. The dynamics of the relationships are challenging for some readers. And anyone who reads Butler knows she's always questioning, commenting on social mores. Her work challenges our beliefs and moral compass. While the main character looks like a child she is 71. But the perception poses a complex, conflicting dynamic for reader and characters. More suitable for teens are the Parable novels.
I'll check these out.
I have read and enjoyed 145th Street. We don't own. I haven't found it on trade yet. I've read Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah. I laughed quite a bit. I also live in Michigan which has the largest Arab-American population in the country. I love Middle Eastern food and am no stranger to the culture so I really enjoyed this. It is on our wish list. I'd love to see the lists. Thank you.
Last Edited on: 11/16/08 8:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Lensey Namioka writes for a pre-teen audience in such a way that I love her books as an adult. Yang the Youngest and his Terrible Ear is about a young Chinese boy adjusting to life in America and the fact that his entire family is musical - except for him. He'd rather play baseball, but his parents aren't into 'American' sports. The book is a stitch, and brings up good issues about poverty, parental expectation, family issues, and ethnicity.
If you accept fantasy as 'multicultural' simply because it takes place on another world, then Robin McKinley's books The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown are good reads with strong female leads.
Depending on the age and maturity of the young adult, you might want to look into the Virgil Tibbs series by John Ball. Forget the TV movie In the Heat of the Night, it had no relation to the book. These are murder mysteries, but I don't remember off hand any real descriptions of things a teen shouldn't read, except that The Cool Cottontail takes place in a nudist camp and that's up to your discretion.
I'm going to check out Namioka. I've read The Hero and The Crown. Fantasy doesn't move much in our library but I appreciate learning more about the genre just in case.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
Faces in the Moon
Sacajawea: The Story of Bird Woman and the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Who Will Tell My Brother
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water
The Antelope Wife
Truth and Bright Water
Pigs in Heaven
Last Standing Woman
House Made of Dawn
Eclipse of Moonbeam Dawson
Rain is Not My Indian Name
The Heartsong of Charging Elk
A Spirit Line by Aimee and David Thurlo
Crystal, a Navajo teen grieving her mother and questioning her cultural identity, must examine herself and her beliefs as she searches for the thief who stole the rug she was making for her coming-of-age ceremony.
Code Talker by Joseph Brushac
The United States is at war, and sixteen-year-old Ned Begay wants to join the cause—especially when he hears that Navajos are being specifically recruited by the Marine Corps. So he claims he’s old enough to enlist, breezes his way through boot camp, and suddenly finds himself involved in a top-secret task, one that’s exclusively performed by Navajos. He has become a code talker. Now Ned must brave some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with his native Navajo language as code, send crucial messages back and forth to aid in the conflict against Japan. His experiences in the Pacific—from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima and beyond—will leave him forever changed
The Diary of Sara Nita - The Story of a Navajo Girl by Ann Turner
Standing Against the Wind by Traci L. Jones
I read a lot of YA, but typically on the higher end of the grade level. The issues are usually complex and often darker so I was a little surprised when I discovered this title was actually geared towards younger readers. Still, realistic fiction but the treatment is softer and hopeful. Plucked from a loving, nurturing home in Georgia and transplanted to a crowded though loving household in Chicago, Patrice is a bright student but a social outcast. With a chance to earn scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, she focuses on her chance to leave a place she doesn’t fit in. Luckily, Monty befriends Patrice. Monty is tough on the outside and sensitive on the inside. Along the way, he taps into something good in himself.
Last Edited on: 11/29/08 4:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1