Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation Week/Swap!

The next fun event in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week http://www.bookbloggerappreciationweek.com/, which is certain to be filled with discovery and literary treasures is the Interview Swap. I am excited to have been paired with the bright and colorful Ari of Reading in Color http://blackteensread2.blogspot.com/. You can see her Interview with me there!

Here's what Ari had to say:

1. What was the inciting event that inspired you to undertake your Reading in Color blog?
When I first discovered the wonderful world of book blogs, I was excited. A place where I could discuss books with other book-lovers read interviews with some authors and read reviews of new-to-me books. How cool! But then I started to notice that there were hardly any books about people of color (PoC). This became frustrating because I wanted to be able to read books not just about white people, but about African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans. I figured I couldn’t be the only person who felt this way, so I started my blog. I want to give a voice (albeit my voice is small) to those in literature who are under-represented, because it is so crucial for children and teens to see themselves reflected in literature.

2. Who is the most memorable person of color or minority that you have met as a result of your book/reviewing and blogging?
This question makes me sad because I’ve never met anyone in the literature world because of my blogging! There are so many great people I’ve ‘met’ online that I would love to meet (the Color Online staff for one  I have met author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and that was awesome. She is so nice and all around brilliant.

3. Which person of color inspires you most? Why?
Oh wow. This is a really hard question. (Do you mean a PoC in literature or in the world?) I know it’s cliché but I’d have to say Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was just...WOW. I love his determination, his commitment to non violence and his unwavering faith. He was consistent on all issues and I admire his quiet strength. I wish I had met him.

4. Please share an inspirational quote from one of your favorite books about a person of color.
There are so many great quotes! This one has always resonated with me because I’ve tried to express this thought myself “Sometimes I feel like there's a tattoo on my forehead that says 'ghetto'. And I don't know if it'll ever go away, not even if I change my clothes, move out of this neighborhood, and graduate from college […] The thing is everyone who’s black ain't ghetto, and everyone whose ghetto ain't black." From A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott

5. Please share an inspirational quote from one of your favorite authors of color.
Not so much inspirational but a fun quote “I wear my cool on the inside; that’s why my hands are so cold.” Dia Reeves

6. I am just in awe that you are participating in the Global reading challenge and are reading two books from each continent and books from twelve countries or states! Which is your favorite book from this challenge so far and why?
I’m participating in several reading challenges this year because I love a good challenge, especially when it comes to books ;) I’m not even close to being done with the Global Reading Challenge but so far my favorite book is Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins. I knew nothing about the conflict in Burma and this book explained it from a more human side. As I said in my review, Bamboo People is a lot like the bamboo that the people of Burma represent; it has multiple purposes. The story entertains uplifts and educates. It is a story that will leave an impact on you, whether you realize it or not. I couldn't help but wonder if Chiko and Tu Reh would have been friends, we will never really know due to the fact that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Both boys start off letting their circumstances shape them, but they soon learn to take their future into their own hands. I was transported to Burma and learned not only about the causes of the war and the trials of living there but also the smaller things like the clothing, food and the outward differences between the Burmese and the Karenni (most Karenni are Christians whereas the Burmese are Buddhists). What I really want to know is why did the U.S. only just allow the Karenni to enter the U.S. in 2009? An absolute must read for everyone, it reminds us, once again, that literature teaches tolerance.

7. Which classic book or movie would you like to see remade so that it would be more accessible to and speak to readers of color? Why?
Whoa great question. I don’t watch many classic movies. I guess I would say Sixteen Candles by John Hughes. I never liked the character of Long Duk dong. He needs to go.

8. If you had unlimited funds to visit one country in the world on your next vacation, which one would it be, and why?
I would love that! Spain. There is a town in Spain that bears my last name (which I’m not sharing ;) and it would be awesome to visit it. Also I want to watch Real Madrid (the futbol team), see bullfighting in Barcelona and just take in all the sights. I would need to spend close to a year in Spain to be really satisfied.

9. I know you review MG and YA books featuring people of color, but as the Author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten, I have to throw you a curve ball (LOL). If you could be any anthropomorphic animal, which one would you be and why?
The Lion from The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. He is wise, tough, fair and loving. Plus he’s described as being a beautiful lion. haha

10. Please share the next five entries on your reading list.
I tend to read in a random order. I start with books sent to me for review and then go from there.
1. Amigas: Lights, Camera, Action! By Veronica Chambers
2. Where I Belong by Gillian Cross
3. City of Ghosts by Bali Rai
4. The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan
5. Sammy & Julianna in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz
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11. Name five things that you would LOVE to see in the next Young Adult book that you read.

1. Intercultural romance (i.e. a Black girl falling in love with an Asian guy, etc.)
2. A paranormal with a PoC in it
3. Sarcastic humor/dry wit
4. Panamanians (my dad is from Panama and we really get written about. It’s usually Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about those cultures. But I would love to see some more books about Panamanians or any other little written about Spanish-speaking country)
5. A fun novel set in a boarding school with a PoC as the main character.


Thanks so much for this wonderful interview, Ari! I have enjoyed getting to know you better. And my reading list has certainly grown. Thank you for all the important work you you do! Hugs!


  1. I love that Dia Reeves quote - I REALLY need to finally read Bleeding Violet. I have to agree with Lynne, too...my reading list has grown! Great interview!

  2. Ari! Thank you so much! How encouraging! And thank you, too, Lynne-Marie.

  3. @celi.a-That quote makes my day every time I see it! I'm glad I could help expand TBR/wishlists ;)

    @Mitali-You are so deserving, no thanks needed. The book was very inspiring. I only wish I was able to better articulate why.

  4. Ari is one of the most fun bloggers around :-) Although I'm only a few years older than her, I wish I had the "cool factor" of her age group. Good interview!

  5. I like Ari's blog a lot -- great interview! Especially the question about characters in movies that should be remade. First to come to mind for me would be "Breakfast at Tiffany's" -- Mickey Rooney (white) did an awful cariacture of a Japanese person in that movie!

  6. Good point, Valerie! I would actually love hear everyone's thoughts on what movies should be remade :) Thanks for visiting!