Diversify Your Shelves With WNDB!

Diversify Your Shelves With WNDB!

Columnist: Maurene Goo

 

It’s very exciting to write the debut post for this new series of diversity recs for YABC! As a member of We Need Diverse Books and as a YA author who started this entire journey because I wanted to see books that reflected something close to my teen years in print—well, this means a lot.

 

My inspiration for this first blog post is two-fold: 1) What better way to kick off this debut post than with fellow authors from my debut year? I met Brandy Colbert, Stephanie Kuehn, and Justina Ireland through The Lucky 13s, and not only do they write awesome books that I enjoyed reading, but they are three pretty wonderful human beings whose voices are so valuable. 2) Last month, there was a great hashtag on Twitter called #BlackWomenAuthors, and I was so inspired by it that I wanted to apply it to my first blog post.

 

So without further ado…

 

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

b2ap3_thumbnail_pointe.jpg

Pointe has been called gritty by a lot of reviewers, and I can see why. But I find it more accurate to describe it as a story about grace and redemption. Colbert’s beautiful writing is such a complement to this wrenching story. The story centers on Theo, a sixteen-year-old dancer who is poised to pursue a bright ballet career. Things get thrown off course when her abducted childhood friend, Donovan, returns home after four years. Pointe juggles some heavy-duty topics—sex, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress, just to name a few. But it’s all handled with a natural hand rather than a heavy one, and that’s also how Colbert deals with Theo’s skin color—being black is another facet of Theo that gives her nuance as a character, but doesn’t define her trajectory in life. But, let’s be real, hasn’t a good YA about a black ballerina been a long time coming? Also, fun fact: Theo is named after Theo Huxtable!

b2ap3_thumbnail_theo-huxtable.jpg

 

To read more about POINTE, or for links to purchase the book, go HERE.

 

Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

b2ap3_thumbnail_promise-of-shadows-justina-ireland.jpg

It will be no surprise to anyone who knows Ireland that there is a whole lot of fun badassery in her sophomore novel, Promise of Shadows. The novel takes place in a modern world where Greek mythology is very much real. The main character is a Harpy named Zephyr Mourning who has been dragged into the hells of Tartarus for reasons that become clear as her past unfurls, one layer at a time. I’ll keep mum about most of the plot to avoid spoilers, but let’s just say there are some big, world-saving things ahead for Zephyr, the timid and less-than-confident Harpy. What’s refreshing is to see Greek mythology and the hero’s journey from the point of view of someone who isn’t some pure-of-heart-golden-haired wunderkind, but rather, a failed warrior with a penchant for blood, and oh yeah, dark skin, blue dreads, and snaky lines of dark power tattooing her entire body. It’s a great update on classic Greek mythology, and Promise of Shadows features a snarky, irreverent main character whose fantastic voice carries us through the complexities of taking up the savior mantle. Fans of Buffy, rejoice.

 

To read more about Promise of Shadows, or for links to purchase the book, go HERE.

 

 

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

b2ap3_thumbnail_charm-and-strange.jpg

There is so much importance in diversity acting as a mirror for readers' experiences, but there’s also its other big purpose—to act as a window into another, wholly unfamiliar world. Charm & Strange was a much-needed window for me as a reader, opening my eyes to the dark, intensely sad world of childhood mental illness. This Morris-winning debut took my breath away. Kuehn takes on a very challenging subject by using a fantastical metaphor as a vehicle for her traumatized main character, Drew/Win. The book is structured so that every other chapter you are following ten year old Drew’s story, and then sixteen year old Win’s story. You know from the very beginning, through a broken and suffering Win’s point of view, that something deeply traumatic happened to him one fateful summer. And even as you dread that terrible truth, there is so much humanity and empathy in the way Kuehn treats Drew/Win. This book changed me, in the way that only books can.

b2ap3_thumbnail_0123.jpg

 

To learn more about Charm & Strange, or to find links to buy the book, go HERE.

 

Which book do you want to add to your TBR pile and why? Tell us in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_maurene-goo.jpg Maurene Goo is the author of Since You Asked. She studied communication at the University of California, San Diego, and received a master’s degree in publishing and writing at Emerson College. She has very strong feelings about graphic design and houseplants and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a very old cat. She is also a team member of We Need Diverse Books http://weneeddiversebooks.org/

Author Top 5 with Fonda Lee
Giveaway: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (US& CAN ...

Related Posts

 

Comments 1

Already Registered? Login Here
CJ Redwine, Site and Staff Manager (website) on Monday, 06 April 2015 11:21

I need ALL of these books!

0
I need ALL of these books!

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Tin
Tin
In an alternative England of the 1930s where the laws...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stolen Girl
Nadia is haunted by World War II. Her memories of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Iliad
More than three thousand years ago, two armies faced each...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
A Light Amongst Shadows
James Spencer is hardly the typical troubled youth who ends...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
the orphan fixed.jpg
Sometimes the ones who save us are the ones we...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Astrid the Unstoppable
Pippi Longstocking meets Heidi meets Anne Shirley in this tale...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dreamland
In his sleep, Louie starts visiting a magical world where...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Me, Shakespeare and the Anti-Love Club
Heartbroken and spurned Kassidy starts an Anti-Love Club in response...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last Hope (The Raging Ones, #2)
Sacrifice all you have to survive. ...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
NewBookCover.jpg
The Akakies, a peaceful, technologically advanced alien species known as...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
A new, revised edition of Edward Willett’s multi-award-winning young adult...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Love at First Fight
Band Geek vs Quarterback... One humiliating photo, a stupid...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ellie Quinn has spent most of her sixteen years behind...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
King Geek vs the Cheerleader Julia Farrow...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gamer vs Player Some girls have a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Long live Solaris. One bloodthirsty ruler has...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Mage's Apprentice
 
4.0
"Aspen lives in New York City where the Mage's council oversee the well being of the people in it. As..."
 
5.0
"Feedback I absolutely loved this book and looking back I’m honestly a little surprised. Hear me out! This book..."
The Iliad
 
3.7
"Long ago in Ancient Greece, a prince of Troy, Paris, steals the most beautiful woman in the world from another..."
Plague of Death Anchoress Series Book Two
 
4.5
"Van, Paley, and Brux are back in D.L. Armillei‘s Plague of Death, the second book in the Anchoress series. I..."
Golden Curse (The True Story of Rapunzel)
 
5.0
"It’s no secret that I enjoy a good fairytale retelling and Golden Curse by M. Lynn is that. This book..."
A Bond of Venom and Magic
 
4.0
"Diamond is a half-fae and is considered an abomination. When her home is attacked and her father is killed, she..."
The Crimson Deathbringer
 
5.0
"It will be weird for me to review my own book, so instead, I am going to post one of..."
Astrid the Unstoppable
 
5.0
"Nine-year-old Astrid is the only child in her Norwegian village, and she's called the little thunderbolt by the adults living..."
The F Word (Redefining Me book 1)
 
4.0
"After a tragedy that changes the community of Twin Rivers forever, Peyton finds herself coping with it the way a..."
Second Star (The Neverland Transmissions)
 
3.0
"SECOND STAR alternates POV between Peter and Wendy. It starts off with Peter sabotaging Captain Hooke's ship and stranding them..."
Shadow Realms: A Vampire Hunter Novel
 
5.0
"When Kali's brother Mason is taken by the demons, she has no choice but to turn into the very monster..."
Shock of Fate: Anchoress Series Book One
 
4.0
"Shock of Fate by D.L. Armillei is the first in the Anchoress series. Aside from the gorgeous cover (y’all seriously,..."
The Last Hope (The Raging Ones, #2)
 
4.7
"THE LAST HOPE is a thrilling conclusion to the THE RAGING ONES duology. As we know from the first book,..."
Love at First Fight
 
5.0
"Take everything you think you know about the geek-and-jock-fall-in-love trope and throw it away because this book does not follow..."
Dr. Snow Has Got To Go
 
3.5
"Dr. Snow Has To Go is a loosely illustrated chapter book with humor that just might go over some young..."
Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)
 
5.0
"SPIN THE DAWN is an unbelievably fantastic read with some elements of a high-stakes PROJECT RUNWAY, some elements of FLAME..."
The Comet Club
 
5.0
"This book is so much fun. I loved the story and can't wait for a sequel. Just read it!..."
Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship
 
4.0
"MANGOES, MISCHIEF, AND TALES OF FRIENDSHIP is based off of Indian folklore. It's broken up into two parts, but both..."
Lost in the Antarctic: The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance
 
5.0
"LOST IN THE ANTARCTIC takes you on the doomed, yet brave journey of the ship called the Endurance and its..."
Secrets of a Fangirl
 
5.0
"Sarah Anne is the biggest fan of the MK Nightshade series, but it's taboo in the popular world of her..."