Hello everyone! Today will be a bit of an unusual post, but it is something I have wanted to do for a long time.
Towards the end of 2016, I read a lot of good books. I have been reading a lot of good books in 2017 too. Before 2016 though? I didn’t make great reading choices. I read a lot of books that were hyped up or ‘popular’, rather than reading books that truly interested me. But now that I’ve been making much better book choices, I have discovered some truly phenomenal books that have, essentially, changed the paradigm.
Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.
Kindred is a truly outstanding book. Not only is it the first science-fiction written by a black author – making it an incredible piece of black American literature – but it is an amazing book by its own merits. And there are many.
The month of February is Black History Month.
In New Zealand, we don’t observe Black History Month, so when I first learned about Black History Month and its historical and current significance, it was through watching American television. Black History Month may not be a part of my country’s history, but it is important to so many of you, so I wanted to take the time to highlight this important and absolutely necessary month.
So, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate black authors and their incredible work. I also want to take this opportunity to raise the issue of anti-blackness and how this is a global issue that we must work hard to address, fight against, and to end. To my non-black-PoC friends (especially my non-black Asian friends), I highly encourage you all to [read this article]. Listen, learn, reflect, unlearn, repeat.
Welcome to my seventh Diversity Spotlight Thursday! ❤ This wonderful weekly blog meme was created and is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks! For more information about the meme, please read the announcement post here.
My participation in this meme is to help me with one of my reading goals: to read books with a variety of perspectives, especially ones different from my own. Every two weeks I will share with you:
- A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
- A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
- A diverse book that has not yet been released
This week’s theme for Diversity Spotlight Thursday is: books by Asian authors!
Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors—celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.
In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children’s publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers.
From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories.
I loved Flying Lessons and Other Stories. This book was the perfect book to start off 2017 – it filled me with so much joy, reminded me of the ups and downs of youth, and filled me with so much hope — hope, because kids with marginalized identities may read this book and find themselves in the stories’ characters. And I cannot emphasize how important this is – and consequently how this makes Flying Lessons and Other Stories so important and successful.
I’ve figured out the secret. (Or, more accurately, I’ve been let in on a secret.)
Friends, if you ever experience a book slump, read short stories. They’re bite-sized, more often than not they’re truly incredible, and they will probably get you out of that book slump. I’ve managed to weather some book slumps by binging on short stories, so today, I’ll be sharing with you mini-reviews of short stories that I’ve read! (Note, I will not be doing mini-reviews for The Terracotta Bride and The Paper Menagerie – two short stories I loved, so I want to write more about them!)
I also want to take this opportunity to give a shoutout to Aentee from Read at Midnight, who recommends a lot of the short stories that I read. Thank you so much, Aentee! ❤