A Wish After Midnight, posted a link to this essay by Neesha Meminger, author of Shine Coconut Moon and Jazz in Love, and it fits so well with this blog post that I have to add it. Please read it.
On Sunday, February 20th, The Happy Nappy Bookseller, Reading in Color and Crazy Quilts will be hosting an online read-in of Dia Reeves' novel Bleeding Violet.
It sounds great! Here's what Booklist had to say about the book:
"After her father’s death, 16-year-old Hanna hitchhikes to Portero, Texas, the home of her mother, Rosalee, who abandoned her. Hanna is desperate for Rosalee to love and accept her, and Rosalee reluctantly makes a bargain: Hanna has two weeks to make friends and fit in at her school or she won't be allowed to stay. Hanna has never fit in anywhere, though. Struggling with manic depression, she hears voices and hallucinates, wears only purple dresses, and has a history of violence. Portero is no ordinary town, though, and Hanna learns that it is haunted by doors to other dimensions and plagued by dangerous creatures from those realms. Wyatt, a powerful young initiate in the Mortmaine, a demon-hunting organization, recruits Hanna, and together they struggle to deal with an ancient evil that threatens the town and Hanna’s future. With plenty of sex and violence, this is a book for mature teens, who will find Portero to be an intriguing world and biracial Hanna a startlingly unusual heroine with a poignant, memorable voice. Grades 10-12"
And while you're at it, check out this essay about diversity in YA fiction, or the lack thereof, or the perceived lack thereof, on Kirkus Reviews' YA blog.
Nnedi Okorafor, author of The Shadow Speaker (of which Ursula K. Le Guin said, "There's more vivid imagination in a page of The Shadow Speaker than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics.")
and the forthcoming Akata Witch, responded on Twitter saying, amongst other things: "i bristle when i hear that question of "Where are the people of color in popular YA literature?"... i don't write only for people of color... i am a Nigerian American writer who writes stories from her perspective and imagination for all readers...otherwise, great article. this stuff needs to be highlighted and discussed."
For those looking for African American YA books, here's a list published by the Winter Park Public Library. Here's Publisher's Weekly's list of African American children's and YA books published last fall and to be published this spring. And here's Color Online's list of "great YA by and about women of color."
Pick out a few and join the 2011 POC (people of color) Reading Challenge.