Posts Tagged: Diverse Lit

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

An Adventurous Middle Grade Novel: The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

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An Adventurous Middle Grade Novel: The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
The Gauntlet
Karuna Riazi
Genre: Adventure, Middle-Grade, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: March 28th, 2017
by Salaam Reads

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A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.

When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.

Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?
-A copy was provided by Salaam Reads for review-

5 Things You Need To Know About The Gauntlet

1. It is a great book for kids who love games and kids who love RP games. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were made a character in your fav game? WELL THIS BOOK ANSWERS all those questions and more.

2. Friendships are a huge deal in this book. Farah and her friends grew apart when she moved and as they are forced into The Gauntlet, they reconnect and work together to rescue Farah’s brothers. Lots of cutes to go around.

3. It is fast paced. While I do enjoy a fast paced book, I did feel like it was a little rushed in terms of development and transitions from challenge to challenge.

4. FOOD PORN. Lots and lots of a+ food porn to be had in this delightful book. Seriously.

5. Just, generally, worth the read. I mean seriously, it’s got a little bit of magic, a little bit of friendships, a little bit of sketchy villains and a whole lot of adventure to be had.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

One of the Most Important Books: Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

One of the Most Important Books: Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

Posted by on 03/23/2017 • 2 Comments

It’s in the title of this review post but I am going to repeat it anyway: Amina’s Voice is one of the most important books published this year and has clearly not gotten the hype it deserves. It’s a middle grade book and I know a lot of people shy away from reading those because reading tastes vary but please don’t overlook this book. Amina’s Voice is such a wonderful, heartfelt book and deserves and infinite amount of love from everybody.

I should take a moment to say I am neither Muslim-American or Pakistani-American but Amina’s Voice still resonated with and I found myself nodding along and feeling Amina’s struggle with her cultural identity on a spiritual level. I grew up feeling similar struggles and even though it wasn’t ~my story~, it felt really…

The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Posted by on 02/15/2017 • 2 Comments

I have no idea how to start this review because I just want to throw We Are Okay in everyone’s faces and get them to read it. What drew me to the book was Nina LaCour and the pretty cover. While I haven’t read anything solely written by her, I had read You Know Me Well by her last year which she co-authored with David Levithan and fell in love with her writing.

LaCour’s writing just makes me wish I was buried under a ton of blankets with a book and a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa. We Are Okay is everything I didn’t even know I wanted from a holiday-themed book. It is complex, cozy and gut wrenching. It uses the tropes from common holiday novels but…

10 Books About Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences

10 Books About Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences

Posted by on 02/08/2017 • 8 Comments

TBH, I don’t even know how to start this post off. I wish the world was a better place and I wish everyone could just agree that we all deserve to be treated as humans and equals instead of shitting on the existence of entire groups of people. I am trying to use this space to promote books that we should all be reading right now and to get people to support more diverse (& #ownvoices) content. So here is a list of 10 Books about Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences.

1. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

MC is a first gen Pakistani-American and the book is #ownvoices. Also deals with arranged marriage and has a jaw-dropping gorgeous cover.

2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

I think people who…

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

A Book With the Potential to Completely Fuck You Over: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Posted by on 02/01/2017 • 11 Comments

Holy shit. THIS BOOK GUYS. Allegedly was one of my most anticipated books, but my co-worker who read it before I had a lot of FEELS (not good or bad, just FEELS), so I was a little nervous when I dove in. I had no idea the book would grip me and NOT LET ME GO. I read the 373 page book in a little over 2.5 hours. I GOBBLED IT, all while growing more and more anxious as I could feel something B.I.G. coming.

This book treads all the fine lines ever. There is no easy black and white in this book and it goes to lengths to make sure YOU KNOW THAT TOO. Justice, family, life cannot be put into little boxes and Jackson really explores what is right…

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

Posted by on 07/27/2016 • 8 Comments

Review in a Tweet A little more elaboration…

I sometimes struggled with Been Here All Along because the writing style was a little clunky but overall, it was so adorable and gave me so many warm, mushy, feels. I love the two main characters and I love the ways in which they come together. Plus bffs to lovers is one of my fav tropes so YAY!

Song I associate with the book: You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift.

I mean the title of the book is a reference to the song and the book is basically the music video in book format. Also all of T. Swift’s old songs would go perfectly with this book if anyone needed a playlist to listen to while reading.

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Diverse Picture Books

Diverse Picture Books

Posted by on 01/25/2016 • 5 Comments

So, picture books. A lot of you might not read them yourselves but if I might say so, there are some fabulous picture books out there and yes, picture books that are ‘diverse.’ I am currently taking a Queer Lit class at my college and one of my classmates mentioned that she wished picture books weren’t so generic. She mentioned how nice it would be if she could read some pictures books aloud to her kids that weren’t based on heteronormative ideals and I wanted to shout that there ARE some amazing pictures books out there. AND HERE WE ARE. With me recommending some diverse picture books to you guys. ENJOY.

 

Goodreads Links

My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis

Last Stop On Market Street by…