Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Persons of Color Reading Challenge

With everything going on in the publishing industry with white washing of covers. I wanted to do something constructive to help. I read a lot of Latin authors, while going through my shelves last night I realized I had read only one black author and one black character last year. I am a synopsis reader, if I like the synopsis then I buy the book. What I want to do here is find books that have great synopsis and have other bloggers read them. That simple. There will be a button and some other stuff a bit later.

I would love suggestions of books to add to a list I am going to make of great fiction, non fiction. I would also like some hands to help out on this blog. Let me know if you are interested.


  1. Here's a few of my favorite POC books:

    Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
    Does My Head Look Big In This by Randa Abdul-Fattah
    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
    American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
    Patches of Grey by Roy L. Pickering Jr.
    I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall-Smith
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

  2. Thanks April I will add them to the list now!

  3. Here are a few POC books I haven't read but have heard good things about:

    Liar by Justine Larbeleister (she's not POC though, I don't think)
    Monster by Walter Dean Meyers - or rather anything by Walter Dean Meyers
    Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - or anything by Sherman Alexie
    anything by Louis Edrich
    anything by Toni Morrison
    The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
    The Fold by An Na
    If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
    Esperanza Rising by Pam Munez Ryan
    anything by Isabel Allende
    anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    anything by Julia Alverez
    Parrot in the Oven by Victor Martinez
    Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
    Colbri by Ann Cameron
    Homeless Bird by Gloria WhelandYear of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi

  4. And finally here are some excellent list/link resources:


    This next resource has many links to many lists featuring POC books:

  5. YAY You are like the most helpful person ever!

  6. This is an awesome challenge. I'd need a level 10 or something. lol! I read probably 97% POC. Anyway, I'm willing to help you however I can.

    Here are a few African author suggestions: Chimamanda Adichie, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Helen Oyeyemi, Chinua Achebe, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Buchi Emecheta

    I'd recommend anything by all of those authors.

  7. I will add them on the list of authors and their books on the book list when I work on the site again in the am. Thanks so much for the support and bringing great new authors to light!

  8. Hi Pam,

    You know I'm giggling, right? I appreciate you taking the initiative.

    Now I can not add this to my to-do list. Please come by and check out the links to PoC blogs. It will certainly help readers connect with books and writers.

    This is very cool. Thank you.

  9. I'm working on reading the Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearn. Has anyone added that to any of your lists? Also, as I mentioned on Twitter, I have several booklists on my website, the most relevant one being this one: http://www.stacylwhitman.com/2009/07/21/book-lists-multicultural-sff-for-mg-and-ya/

    And we have kind of a "short list" here on the Tu Publishing website: http://www.tupublishing.com/2009/09/23/multicultural-fantasy-and-sf-that-we-recommend/.

  10. I can also recommend some non-fiction titles by and about PoC if you're interested. :) I'm so glad you decided to host this challenge!

  11. Was surfing around, looking for more books to add to my list (which is growing by the minute) and came across the African American Literature Book Club--their list of their favorite 100 African American books of the 20th century is really interesting!

  12. I will be updating the books and author master lists this weekend and also highlighting pubs like TU who are promoting PoC lit.

  13. What a good challenge! I will try Level three.


    Off the top of my head I can think of two book.

    The Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines

    The Dewbreaker by Edwidge Danticat

  14. How about rooftops of tehran by Mahbod Seraji??? I just finished it. So good.

  15. Do we have to read just what's on the list? Can we also make our own choices?

  16. I loved I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

  17. Tea you can read what you want. The list is just there (and will be growing) just so we can have a better idea of what is out there. Thanks for participating and sharing ideas!

  18. Hi Pam,

    Will you put up a monthly post so we can link reviews?

  19. ok... because I need another challenge!! I have listed books by authors of color on my blog for the past three years. Just click on the tabs for the years and you'll find a plethera of titles. Many link to reviews.


  20. Magic or Misery by Peter Marino
    The God Box by Alex Sanchez
    M+O 4EVR by Tonya Hegamin
    Dramarama by E. Lockhart
    Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos
    Beneath My Mother's Feet by Amjed Qama
    I Wanna Be Your Shoebox by Christina Garcia
    Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
    One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
    Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
    Blessing's Bead by Debby Dahl Edwardson
    Shooting Kabul by N. H. Senzai
    A Mesquite in the Rose Garden by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
    Indie Girl by Kavita Daswani
    Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan

    One list and more to come.

  21. Hi Pam -- Thank you for starting this challenge, it's an excellent idea and project! :-)

    I thought of a few poets whose names I didn't see on your list (the A-to-Z post you have). Langston Hughes is the most famous name among them, but also Audre Lorde, Rita Dove, and Nikki Giovanni. Rita Dove won the Pulitzer Prize for her book Thomas and Beulah, and the book I read by Lorde is called The Black Unicorn. I hope these and other poets will find a home in your list of titles. :-)

    Again, thank you so much. Your efforts are to be commended, and I hope you get more helping (typing!) hands to help you with the blog!

  22. I thought of a couple more authors for your list: Edward P. Jones, who won the Pulitzer for his novel The Known World, and Natasha Trethewey, who won the Pulitzer for her poetry collection Native Guard. Both have published a couple other books as well, but those are the titles I've read.

    I'm really not just searching the Pulitzer winners to find examples, it's a coincidence!

    Oh - and The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.

  23. I'm sorry to keep leaving comments with just two or three authors!

    I don't read a lot of plays, but I took a drama class in college where we read Fences by August Wilson, and it was AMAZING. Wilson actually wrote a cycle of plays dealing with aspects of the African-American experience, each set in a different decade -- Wikipedia says it's "The Pittsburgh Cycle" -- so he has Fences plus a bunch of others -- see:

    And while I'm thinking of plays, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry could be added.

    You already have Louise Erdrich; you might add her poetry collection Jacklight to the list, as it includes some poems with a Native American perspective.

    Many thanks!!!