Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Sunday Salon

Had a good week. Read a great post by Eva at A Striped Armchair where she asks readers to ask her questions about recent reads. I opted to do the same and I’m happy to say doing so has motivated me to get some reviews done.

Recently finished Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim. It’s about 15-year-old, Nina Khan. Nina is Pakistani and Muslim. Like most teens, she’s disgusted with her body, interested in a cute boy and feels socially awkward. Heap on top of that she's conflicted about what it means to be both a good Muslim girl and a regular American teen.

One of the things that impress me about the author is the frank language about race. I read a lot of multicultural literature and a good deal of American teen lit, too, so to varying degrees I question political correctness in texts including social groupings; I consider if the grouping come across as natural or an attempt by the author to promote inclusion and diversity. In Karim’s work, there’s no clunky pc filter. In Nina's high school, blacks and a few Latinos hang out together and Asians and South Asians hang out with whites. While Nina's friends are white, she is teased by other whites for being brown. Then there is the whole color issue among Pakastanis themselves. Later in the book when Nina refers to coolies in Pakistan, I was surprised because I had been told the term coolie is the equlavent of the ‘N’ word still I appreciate that the author uses it because it reinforces a sense of authenticity for me. More about race and other issues in my forthcoming review.

Currently reading Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis and I’m really enjoying it. The story alternates between Mare's, the eccentric, cool grandmother who served in the Women's Army Corp during War World II and her granddaughters', Tali and Octavia. The exchanges between these generations are funny and so relatable. My grandmother would have been Mare's age and like Mare, Ernie had big, Auburn hair. My grandmother was a hot mess. I couldn't have chosen a better time to read this. Thanks, Tanita.

This week for CORA Diversity Roll Call, Ali asked us to spotlight LBGTQ literature or authors. Well, my favorite YA author is Jacqueline Woodson so completing this assignment was fun and easy. Hope you’ll read it. Ms. Woodson is a prolific writer, she’s written twenty-two titles for children, young adults and adults. I’ve also linked to Worducopia so you can check out other entries. Join us.

More goodies in my mailbox. Did you get anything in the mail or at the library? Hope you had a good week. Happy reading.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your review of Skunk Girl. I'm glad you had a good week! :--)

gautami tripathy said...

Skunk Girl sounds god to me. I will check it out!

TSS: A World I never Made

sarah haliwell said...

You write the best book reviews :-)

Gavin said...

Your reviews are clear and concise and very helpful!

Thanks for the introduction to Woodson. I put Locomotion and The Dear One on hold at the library. Skunk Girl also sounds great. Have a great week.

rallentanda said...

You might enjoy a book called
'My Place' by Sally Morgan. She is an Australian aboriginal and the book is autobiographical.It's on the senior school reading list here