She’s ready for yes, he’s already moved on – great summer now not-so-great…
Her brother Muhammad’s nikah wedding celebration will be the perfect time for Janna to tell Nuah that his year away at college confirmed she’s finally ready to be together, but there’s hardly a quiet moment as the small Muslim ceremony has become a 300-guest extravaganza at her Indian-American dad’s fancy Illinois lakeside estate!
Between her young half-brothers’ ice cream truck obsession, wondering who her best friend’s date is, and Sarah’s attempts to rein in her fiance’s over-the-top additions to the party, hijabi Janna’s stress levels are rising as family connections and conflicts swirl.
Sarah’s cousin Haytham is a so-charming singing poet, family friend Layth is a brooding young man, and Janna’s long-divorced Egyptian-American mom is suspiciously happy to see a handsome college classmate and his teenage daughters.
Has dad always been such an anti-Black racist? Is mom’s happiness on hold till Janna leaves for college? How can everyone have a happily ever after except her?
The story begun in Saints and Misfits (recommended here) continues as Janna tries to envision a future much different than her dreams. By the author of Love From A to Z (recommended here).
Happy book birthday to Misfit in Love!
How to you know when it’s time to let go of a dream? **kmm
Book Info: Misfit in Love: a Saints and Misfits Novel / S.K. Ali. Salaam Reads – S&S, 2021. (author site) (publisher site) Review copy & cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Accidents happen, life goes on in sorrow, the future is a mystery… right?
Orphaned by a car wreck, 16 year old Alex and little brother Isaiah now live with Aunt Mackie in a ‘very nice’ Chicago subdivision where a white neighbor rants in the Black family’s kitchen about requiring background checks for renters during a rap mega-star’s concert nearby.
She doesn’t know, no one knows that after the accident Alex began seeing the future of every object – and every person – that his fingers touch. Future of an ice cream dipper at Scoops is no big deal. But the longer he touches, the more of the future he sees, so touching the people he cares about is too much to bear.
When exactly will girlfriend Talia walk away from their future together? How long can Alex endure the future invading his every breath? Why is 12-year-old Izzy wearing headphones every single moment of summer?
Braving Izzy’s anger to find common ground before any future happens, Alex bets everything on them going to the Shiv concert together, wishing this curse would vanish… Brand-new speculative fiction from the author of Slay.
Would you want to see the future… really? **kmm
Book Info: The Cost of Knowing / Brittney Morris. Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021. (author site) (publisher site) Review copy & cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Saving the world is easy for Ash and her team, they do it in-game with ease and flair… Now, can they save the real world?
After the Water Wars, CCA’s iron religious fist forces unbelievers into overcrowded Ditchtown, stilted above drowned Miami, and the Game is their best escape.
To pay for Mom’s care, Ashley courier runs at double-speed, hoping her brother can stay out of trouble, saving just enough to rent in-Game hapticwear.
As Ashura the Terrible, her team dominates the Game leaderboard by skill and sword and rocket maneuvers, ignoring racial and sexual threats posted on the ‘Net, staying a jump ahead of those who want their secrets.
Suddenly, they are caught in a real war between theocrats who believe their own prophecies and technocrats who worship their devices and data.
Now, it’s up to this team of young women stop a humanity-ending chain reaction in real time, outside the Game, with just one life left.
+++++ Read an excerpt of Otaku at the publisher’s website here.
How do you decide what’s really worth fighting for? **kmm
Book info: Otaku / Chris Kluwe. Tor Forge Books, 2020. [author Twitter] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Yes, Manzanar, Heart Mountain, and the other ‘relocation camps’ where Japanese-Americans were sent – with only the suitcases they could carry – were concentration camps.
Trusting neighbors to safeguard their houses, selling cars and business equipment for pennies on the dollar, Japanese-Americans on the West Coast hoped to return home soon…
Parents and neighbors wouldn’t approve of their relationship, but after his family is sent to Manzanar, Taichi and Evalina write letter after letter, daring to plan a future together.
Happy book birthday on March 5th to Within These Lines!
Would you speak out against popular opinion in stressful times, as Evalina did?
Book info: Within These Lines / Stephanie Morrill. Blink YA Books, 2019. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: The budding romance between Evalina and Taichi becomes a long-distance correspondence when his family is ‘evacuated’ to Manzanar concentration camp in the California desert after Pearl Harbor.
Many disagree that Japanese-Americans are true citizens of this country during World War II, but Italian-American Evalina will keep writing persuasive letters to San Francisco newspapers and arguing with her political science professor.
With blankets for apartment walls and dust blowing like despair through any crevice at Manzanar, Taichi will stand against the pro-Japan Black Dragon gang to protect his family.
Even though mixed-race marriage is illegal in their home state, it’s worth dreaming of a future together…right?
Letter by letter, thought by thought, Evalina and Taichi are separated by many valleys and mountains, held together by hope.
Will is already uncomfortable as son of white father and Osage mother, so when the KKK starts recruiting in Tulsa just as he’s getting to know a Negro brother and sister, how should he react?
Rowan didn’t expect to find a body in her Tulsa yard this summer, or to swap comfortable lab internship for charity clinic work on ‘that side’ of town, or to be slammed with prejudices that her black mother and white father had shielded her from.
Listen to an interview with author Jennifer Latham here for some deep background and insights on why she wrote this book about this 1921 event which wasn’t openly discussed by black or white families in Tulsa for over 50 years.
Happy book birthday to Dreamland Burning! Look for it at your local library or independent bookstore, and find Jennifer’s first book Scarlett Undercover (my no-spoiler recommendation here) there, too.
How to see friendship as a bridge instead of a wall?
Book info: Dreamland Burning / Jennifer Latham. Little Brown, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: First day of Rowan’s summer vacation – time to sleep in before lab internship begins, text her best friend, find a dead body in the back yard!? As the biracial teen investigates, details about Tulsa’s vicious and never-discussed 1921 race riot hit her as hard as the new episodes of prejudice she experiences today.
Working in Pop’s store, William sees his father sell Victrolas to Negro families, despite Jim Crow laws. Vernon Fish is recruiting Pop for the KKK and mocks Will as ‘half-breed’ for his Osage mother. Will decides to dare as his Pop does when a black teen wants to buy a record player, little imagining that getting to know Joseph and little sister Ruby as people instead of Negroes may shortly endanger all their lives.
Schedule glitch nixes Rowan’s resume-building internship, so she’s directed to work at the free clinic way across town from her fancy neighborhood and private school. She’ll check with her parents later.
In 1921, reports of a Negro man assaulting a white woman spread like wildfire, and white Tulsans begin attacking the black Greenwood section of town with nooses, guns, and greed.
Can Will really shoot anyone coming to the shop during the riot?
Who is the body under the floor of the servant house?
How does Rowan’s story today converge with Will’s actions over 90 years ago?
Told in voices past and present, this long-silenced episode of history comes vividly alive, as Rowan tries to understand what really happened after World War I when Will struggled to help Joseph and Ruby survive.
Just imagine a Gifted young woman navigating the Temptation and her interesting crew to any port present or past, nations long-swallowed by history, mythic lands – all so that her father the captain can find a way to undo her mother’s death… and perhaps undo Nix herself!
I listened to Heidi speak on a debut YA authors’ panel last week at TxLA, and she was just as funny in person as in this offbeat author interview video.
Sail into your local library or independent bookstore for the February 2016-published first adventure in this two-part sea saga (Heidi is indeed working on the second book now, she assured us!).
If you could travel to any place at any time, where would you come ashore?
My book talk: As her father seeks to undo her mother’s death, 16 year old half-Chinese Nix guides their time-traveling pirate ship to ports real and imagined, encountering mythic creatures and real robber barons, wondering if his quest will undo her as well.
She can guide the Temptation to any port on any map, fictional or factual, so onward goes the ship, seeking every possible cure that could keep Nix’s mother from dying in childbirth – if Slate could only find the map for the exact 1886 Honolulu where they lived.
A crowded 1774 Calcutta market where just-a-friend Kashmir rescues her, sugar barons who want to depose the king of Hawaii, today’s Coast Guard with questions for the grand wooden sailing ship in New York harbor – Nix, Slate, Kash, Rotgut, Bee and her ghost-wife Ayen travel through time and oceans on the captain’s quest.
If her mother survives childbirth in her timeline, what happens to Nix?
Is there room for love when a pirate ship can’t put down roots?
What treacherous waters must Nix cross to fulfill her own dreams?
First of a two-part adventure that spans time, tides, and every human emotion, The Girl From Everywhere wants to remain in existence, despite her father’s longing to undo her past. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
White mother, Pakistani father – who is Kiran? Hijab-wearer, track star – who is Shamshad?
Tied to the old ways, seeking the new ways – who are they?
Two Pakistani-British teen girls share a school and neighborhood, but not much else until Kiran decides that the Christian church isn’t her place and begins asking Dad about Islam. Shamshad certainly doesn’t want to teach Kiran at the mosque school – her father said to always stay away from that family!
Have you seen prejudice or bullying of those who wear clothing that reflects their faith?
Book info: You’re Not Proper (Striker, book 1) / Tariq Mehmood. Hope Road Publishing, 2015. [author interview] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Trying to find their place in their British urban school’s pecking order and in a society that distrusts Muslims, Kiran and Shamshad are enemies until a crisis brings the girls closer to understanding one another.
Kiran is uncomfortable at the Christian church she attends with her white mum (who doesn’t even believe) and wonders why her Pakistani dad drinks beer instead of going to mosque.
Shamshad wishes her Pakistani family were a bit more modern, so Father would let her have TV and music in the house. Of course, he is right to warn her away from that mixed-race Kiran girl!
When Kiran decides to wear the hijab and learn more about Islam, Shamshad is furious that her friends want to help – that’s not proper!
A white classmate’s brother serving in the British Army goes missing in Afghanistan, and tensions rise between Christians and Muslims in their town.
Should the girls listen to the young imam with radical ideas?
Why is Kiran’s mom so depressed now and Shamshad’s mother suddenly so outspoken?
What’s the truth about the feud between their families which began back in Pakistan?
Alternating chapters by Kiran and Shamshad unfold the complexities of being different, being accepted, being rejected, and being yourself during troubled current times in their English city. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
My book talk: Waking up on first day of sophomore year in a new body as Oryon, this teen must learn to deal with prejudice and discrimination as he struggles to obey Changer rules by avoiding his best friend from his previous identity as a girl.
Transformed overnight from a petite white female cheerleader into a tall, lanky African-American male does make Oryon’s life challenging. This year the Changer Council has kept him at the same high school, explaining his white parents as his newest foster family.
And sweet Audrey, closest friend from last year is in his homeroom! Yes! But of course, she doesn’t recognize Oryon in this body so unlike Drew’s….
Oryon decides to try out for football, but being nearer to Audrey and the other cheerleaders also means being much too close to her brother, a vicious Abider, sworn to wipe out Changers like himself…
Halfway through his/her four years of changing bodies to discover which one s/he’ll live in forever, Ethan/Drew/Oryon has to deal with the conservative Changers Council, the Radical Changers who escape the rules, the Abiders trying to uncover all Changers – and falling in love, again! Second in the series which began with Changers Book 1: Drew. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Their mothers were closer than sisters.
They are sister and brother against the world,
and the world has turned its back on Ethiopia…
What do you know about the Second Italo-Abyssinian War? I knew nothing of this conflict which preceded World War II, but have learned that the League of Nations ignored the pleas of Ethiopia’s emperor to stop the 1935 invasion of the only African nation never ruled by Europeans…
Just published on March 31, this story of the flight-loving children of two aviation-daredevil women – one white, one black – connects World War I France with still-prejudiced USA with becoming-modern Ethiopia, as told through the school essays and journal entries of Emilia and Teo over the years.
The author counts Black Dove, White Raven as part of her Young Pilots series, along with the incredible Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire (check out the fascinating variations in cover art as published in other countries).
What books about young people in wartime would you recommend? Share in the comments, please!
Book info: Black Dove, White Raven / Elizabeth Wein. Hyperion Books, 2015. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley.
My book talk: With war edging nearer Ethiopia in 1935, an American aviatrix tries to help her adopted country and placate enemy forces while keeping her daughter Emilia and black foster son Teo safe – but some troubles cannot be flown away from.
Retired from stunt flying as ‘White Raven’ when her partner and best friend Delia ‘the Black Dove’ was killed, Momma eventually moves to Ethiopia as the pair had planned, bringing her white daughter and Delia’s half-Ethiopian son in 1930 to the only African nation never conquered by Europeans.
Seeing Emperor Haile Selassie crowned, meeting Teo’s uncles, living in a rural settlement and learning to speak Amharic – Em and Teo enjoy life with Momma, until the true price of the plane given to them by Em’s Italian aviator father is revealed.
Will old secrets send Teo to the battle lines?
Can Momma take reconnaissance photos for Italy and Ethiopia at the same time?
Will Em ever get comfortable with landing the plane?
Warriors with spears against machine guns, the League of Nations turning a deaf ear to Ethiopia’s calls for help, new calendar masking old laws. “Spiderwebs joined together can catch a lion” goes the Ethiopian proverb, but what a fragile thing to carry all the country’s hopes for peace. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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