April— heavy on the reblogs and articles, light on the reviews. But hidden among the fun things I re-posted were some excellent books to get your hands on.
- My People by Langston Hughes, photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr. (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009)
- Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan (Scholastic, 2004)
- Oh No, Gotta Go #2 by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Lynne Avril (G.P. Putnam and Sons, 2007)
- Pele: King of Soccer/ El rey del futbol by Monica Brown, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez (HarperCollins, 2009)
Plus two more to put on my to-read list:
This article is short and to the point. The best one I’ve read on e-books and the Apple lawsuit.
I accidentally deleted the name of the person who asked me this. For that I am EXTREMELY sorry.
These kind of comments are both incredibly complimenting, and make me a bit sad. I wish that there was no reason ever to ask me why I’d have gay characters in my books because they were reflected everywhere, and them being in my books wasn’t notable. I don’t think I did anything special by writing GBLQ characters — I just wanted to.
I have so many gay and lesbian and bisexual friends. My best friend is bisexual. My critique group has three queer members. My mother’s best friend, who I’m named after, is gay, as is my sister-in-law. When worlds and characters construct themselves in my mind, they have gay people in them.
A lot of my readers ask where all the gay characters are in books. They are out there —! and the best thing you can do to encourage there being more of them is buy and read books that feature them. That will show there is a market, and people excited and happy to read those stories. Here’s a good starting point to find them:
Wouldn’t you rather be known as a great exponent of literature rather than as an African American writer?
It’s very important to me that my work be African American; if it assimilates into a different or larger pool, so much the better. But I shouldn’t be asked to do that. Joyce is not asked to do that. Tolstoy is not. I mean, they can all be Russian, French, Irish or Catholic, they write out of where they come from, and I do too. It just so happens that that space for me is African American; it could be Catholic, it could be Midwestern. I’m those things too, and they are all important.” —1993 Paris Review interview with Toni Morrison (via mensahdemary)
Originally from KPFA. It gets especially good at around 7 minutes in.
Shaun Tan asks: Picture Books: Who are they for?
Read the rest of the article here.
Another goosebumpily brilliant essay from Roxane “one n” Gay, smartest person alive.
Trigger warning. This article deals with sexual violence.
Such a powerful piece. You won’t see The Hunger Games the same way again.