I may have to hurt my library system because they don’t seem to have (m)any of the Cybils books by brown authors.
I will not rant about it. I will not rant about it. I will not…
Some of these books are new and I understand that procuring them isn’t as easy as me walking into B&N. But gimme gimme gimme. I want to get my hands on these books.
*sigh* Looks like I’ll be copping a squat at my local bookstore to read them.
I haven’t done that since I was a little girl. Might be nice.
So far, the brown books, below, have been nominated for the Cybils YA category. I’ll go back and fill in with reviews once I actually get my paws on them.
What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez
I always know when a book is good – I start getting emotional on behalf of the character. In the case of seventeen-year-old Marisa, I was pretty much pissed at her family throughout the entire book. What Can’t Wait is a tale of struggle against familial culture. The more Marisa strives to make a life of her own, the more her family sucks her into their vortex of neediness laying the guilt on thick if she ever dares to take a moment to do anything but work and earn money.
For every teen who wished they had parents who didn’t care about them earning good grades, there’s a Marisa. All she wants is to get into college and pursue engineering. Shouldn’t be a problem for a near-straight A student. Only problem is Marisa’s parents see her pursuit of college as a potential hole in the household income. They not only don’t support her dream, her father outright attempts to squash it. Most stories focus on the success of second generation immigrants because they benefit from their parents pursuit of the “American dream.” What Can’t Wait is about the flip side – when a kid of two immigrant parents is expected to help maintain the dream by equally contributing to the household.
Marisa is genuinely dedicated to her submissive mother, flighty sister, strict father and slacker brother. Readers will root for her to find her way. I even found myself wanting her to risk turning her back on them for it. But at the heart of it, you want her to work it out with the family intact.
Dreaming of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia
Island’s End by Padma Venkatraman (this one they had)
I’m always fascinated by cultures untouched by modern man. There’s something incredibly awe-inspiring about people who live the way man lived millions of years ago…by choice!
Yes, there are many modern-day conveniences I often feel I couldn’t live without (take away my iPod at your own risk). But at the heart of it, I periodically yearn for a much simpler existence. Island’s End is about the En-ge, a culture of people living on the remote Andaman Islands. Fifteen-year-old Uido, is selected to be her tribe’s next holy woman. A weighty job for a child, but it’s very believable that Uido could not only succeed in the job but is also destined for it.
Venkatraman weaves a delicate story about the En-ge’s traditions, Uido’s fight to preserve those traditions while allowing for the reality that the outside world cannot be kept at bay forever, and the impact Uido’s new role in the tribe has on her relationships.
My only gripe (and I term that lightly) was the final outcome of the sibling rivalry between Uido and her older brother, Ashu. I won’t get spoilerish, so I’ll leave it at that.
I enjoy YA where the protags come off as a realistic teen. Uido has a special calling and she’s as excited as she is anxious about that. Venkatraman strikes the right balance throughout the entire book of a character that is simultaneously blessed and burdened.
Thanks to Edi for shouting out the other brown books. I promise to get to ’em all.
Pull by B.A. Binns
Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle
Illegal by Bettina Restrepo
Karma by Kathy Ostlere
Now is the time for running by Michael Williams
My own worst frenemy by Kimberly Reid
Orchards by Holly Thomspon
Putting make up on the fat boy by Bil Wright
Queen of water by Laura Resau
The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson
This Thing Called the Future J.L. Powers
Trouble with Half A Moon by Danette Vigilante
When the Stars go Blue by Caridad Ferrar