Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 Challenge Update

I realize given the economy I should not complain about my job but it is seriously putting a cramp in my blogging life. The upside is that I ride the bus to work so I am reading. Here's a rundown of what I've read for my challenges. With an any luck, I'll spend the remainder of the weekend writing reviews and other blog posts in advance.

YA challenge
Beneath My Mother's Feet by Amjed Qama
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Say The Word by Jeanine Garsee
Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan

Say The Word by Jeanine Garsee

South Asian
Beneath My Mother's Feet by Amjed Qama (Pakistan)
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman

Women Unbound
Grafitti Women: Street Art from Five Continents by Nicholas Ganz Nancy MacDonald, Swoon
Beneath My Mother's Feet by Amjed Qama (Pakistan)
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman (India)
Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan (Afghanistan)

Reading The World Challenge
Faith by Maya Amjera
14 Cows Carmen Agra Deedy, Thomas Gonzalez, Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah

Social Justice
Faith by Maya Amjera

That's 8 books. Loved them all! Thanks to Edi at Crazy Quilts for turning me on to 14 Cows and Faith. Both books are beautifully illustrated. They inspire and remind us that we our faith and hope in our children is well placed.

Thanks to Akilah for When You Reach Me. I haven't read A Wrinkle in Time but Stead's book took me to a place I wanted to linger. I suppose time travel is technically sci-fi, but the book felt like magic and the writing caught me up;I refused to let go.

I was so frustrated with Shawna in Say The Word and every time I thought about why, I knew Jeanine had created realistic characters. A good read about how mixed up, complex and flawed we are and how we can draw on the good in us to do the right thing.

While reading Beneath My Mother's Feet, Wanting Mor (see interview with author, Rukhsana Khan at Paper Tigers.) and Climbing the Stairs, I couldn't stop asking myself how do we impart to our girls in this instance, a love for education, to get them to understand that an education not a man or fame is the means to opportunity, personal choice and freedom? The main characters, all young girls in each book, were desperate to complete their education and they knew their chances at a life beyond servitude, abuse and dependence were inscrutably tied to being educated. For so many women outside of our country, education means an independent life.

Graffiti Women is kickass. The writers are diverse. Their stories and perspectives vary but all the writers exude self-confidence, they are clearly are committed to their art and there is undeniable power in their messages. Each writer had a voice and she uses it not only to express herself but to encourage others to find their voices and speak up.


Anonymous said...

I'm really interested in When You Reach Me. I haven't heard of it until I read it in this post, but being a huge fan of Wrinkle in Time, (well, anything L'Engle, really) as well as The Time Traveler's Wife, I'm intrigued. Thanks for telling about it!

Rasco from RIF said...

I was so glad to see this list as I am going to be looking for books for some of the same challenges. I can't really comment now on FAITH and 14 COWS as they are in the pool on which I sit for CYBILS panel to judge the finalists but I can tell you that WHEN YOU REACH ME was one of my very, very favorite books read in 2009! Have a good Sunday and great start to your week!

susan said...

Hi Carol,

When You Reach Me is the kind of book that leaves you with an incredible high, a happiness I don't know how to describe.

Sunday, I will be reading and writing and enjoying my visits at some of my favorite blogs.

TheEnglishist said...

That's a great way to describe When You Reach Me.

I'm super interested in Beneath My Mother's Feet and have added it to my (ever growing) list of books to read.

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

I enjoyed When You Reach Me myself. It's a sure contender for the Newbery on the 18th. What did you think of Climbing the Stairs? That's been on my pile for at least two years...

susan said...

Climbing the Stairs is an excellent read. I pretty much read it straight through. One of the things I especially liked was learning details about Indian holidays and traditional customs. I've been living among South Asians for more than 5 years and I never knew the details of marriage customs, caste, religion and holidays. I felt silly for never investigating and thankful for once again being taught through literature.

I really liked the characters and the author's writing style. I will get a review up. My goal this year is to review more of the books I read.

I am enjoying the growing number think of South Asian YA titles I'm reading and I'm happy to say I'm slowly making my way through different time periods. This story is set during WWII, Secret Keeper was set in the 1970s and Born Confused was the most contemporary. I think it was late 90s or early 2000s.

Jessie Carty said...

thanks for the tips! time to update my goodreads list :)

Stella said...

Ohhhh..what an amazing collecction you got here!!! Some of these are new to me so I am adding them to my "next" pile. Thanks.

Stella said...

Ohhhh..what an amazing collecction you got here!!! Some of these are new to me so I am adding them to my "next" pile. Thanks.

Serena said...

good luck with your challenges.

Marjorie said...

Wow, you're really getting ahead! I'm looking forward to reading what you write about them - in the meantime, thank you for highlighting Beneath My Mother's Feet and Climbing the Stairs, two books I didn't know about...