witches and wizards of colour
The REAL Lavender Brown
|—||Linsey Yoo, Racialicious, "Solidarity is for white women and Asian people are funny" (via owning-my-truth)|
it might look messy, but I swear
it’s a safe place to rest.
|—||Moriah Pearson (via piink-sugar)|
DC is being all gritty and “realistic” and Marvel just had a movie where the galaxy is saved by a dance-off and the power of friendship
Get that child support check ready Erik!
|—||Andrea Dworkin (via womenorgnow)|
Tibetan Monks living in exile in India flew to Ferguson to show support for Mike Brown and community.
I was able to do a lot more reading this summer with the help of a renewed library card, audio books on my tablet, becoming obsessed with Goodreads and a goal to read at least fifty books this year.
I read quite a few YA novels, but two of them stood out to me because they were both quite good and also very similar in storyline and concept.
The first was a book that has won numerous awards, including the Armadillo award in 2013 (Texas children’s literature award) and was recommended by our school librarian, called One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. The other is another award winning novel called Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. I am always looking for more diverse books to share with my students, and ones that represent differing view points and heroes, or in this case, heroines.
Both stories focus on the eldest child in a single parent family that are responsible for taking care of their younger sisters as they embark on a quest. Both herioines must change their thinking about themselves, their parents and their own identities through their quest to come to grips with the pain that they have felt and the strength that they have within themselves.
I liked both novels for different reasons. One Crazy Summer focuses on Delphine, the narrator, going to Oakland with her two younger sisters to meet their mother for the first time since she left them with their father. Delphine must reconcile her feelings about her mother with her own identity as a black girl on the cusp of motherhood during the height of the Black Panther movement. This historical context informs the story and reveals much about Delphine and her sisters, as well as their absent mother Cecile. Because Cecile’s character is a poet, the first person description and inner dialogue that Delphine has is written in poetic language that is irresistible to read. From the way that she describes the clouds jostling the airplane as they ride from Brooklyn to Oakland as “Cassius Clay” clouds to the way that Delphine becomes so enraptured in the Black Panther’s newspaper, the novel draws the reader in. The only thing that I disliked was the ending and the closure Delphine never really receives from her mother.
I enjoyed Summer of the Mariposas much more for it’s story than the poetic nature of the writing. The description flowed well and the narrator and main character Odilia’s description of her inner thoughts and actions were engaging, although sometimes her thoughts became repetitive and a bit cliché. What really drew me into the novel was the story. Odilia and her four sisters are swimming in the Rio Grande near their home in El Paso when they stumble upon the body of a man. The sisters decide, with the help of the magical influence of La Llorona, the Weeping Woman, that they must journey across the border into Mexico to return the man’s body to his family and seek out their paternal grandmother in order to discover what happened to their own Papa who ran off a year before. This is a fantastical book modeled after Homer’s the Odyssey, in which the sisters are aided by the mystic help of the Aztec mother goddess and face perils against mythic creatures from Mexican folktale in order to fulfill their quest. In the end, they too must confront their absent father and, much like in One Crazy Summer, all the sisters, especially the heroine Odilia, must confront their own actions and themselves.
I highly encourage any youngster in 4th grade and up, and teacher or anyone who loves YA to read these books.