As we wait our turn at the register, a white woman steps in front of us. At first I think maybe she is passing through to get to the other side of this crowded store, but she sets her items down on the cash register counter. I look up at Kay, who is looking furious but not saying anything.
I want her to say something. I want to say something. I want to say, Excuse me, ma’am, but we’re ...
Mami says she thought it was a saint’s name.
Gave me this gift of battle and now curses
how well I live up to it.
My parents probably wanted a girl who would sit in the pews
wearing pretty florals and a soft smile.
They got combat boots and a mouth silent
until it’s sharp as an island machete.
—The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo
I first read The Poet X back in November, and I’ve been raving ...
New month, new books!
The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton
I shrieked when I opened a box of new arrivals at the library on Friday and found The Belles sitting there, just waiting to be catalogued and processed. I know I’m not remotely alone in having it at the tip-top of my list this month—the word-of-mouth around it has been powerful and sustained!
In case you’ve missed all of the buzz: it’s the first in a duology fantasy about six sisters ...
You have zero obligations here, do you understand? This isn’t like political power—you didn’t fight for this; it was dropped in your lap. So all those great responsibilities that come with great power, those are only yours if you want them to be. It’s not fair to demand more of you, and worse, it’s not safe.
—Dreadnought, by April Daniels
Fifteen-year-old Danny Tozer is sitting in an alley behind a mall painting her toenails—she hasn’t come out as trans ...
Despite my general discomfort with spontaneity and adventure, I love stories about portals to other worlds. I love the idea of opening a door and finding something unexpected on the other side; while I know in my (sadly boring) heart that I’d be far too cautious to actually step through if confronted with one, I love reading and watching stories about people who don’t have my hang-ups.
Sidenote: My favorite sequence in The Secret Garden is the bit where Mary ...
Every little bit we do makes a difference. This is a fight for independence on two fronts, inside and out. We must continue to protest the British and their unfair rules. And we must improve our society from within. What good is a free India when its people do not consider their brothers and sisters their equals? Social reform and civil disobedience must go hand in hand.
—Ahimsa, by Supriya Kelkar
1942, India. In theory, ten-year-old Anjali is fully ...
“Mr. Smith, I am aware that society thinks young ladies have not a brain to pass amongst them, and no skills other than playing the pianoforte. I assumed your organization might prove more perceptive, but perhaps it would be less frustrating to educate children than to reason with dull, plodding tortoises such as yourself. Nonetheless, I have a duty to serve my country. I shall be in touch.”
—Murder, Magic, and What We Wore, by Kelly Jones
Did you make any Reading Resolutions this year?
According to my borderline over-the-top 2017 Reading Spreadsheet—I can’t be alone in tracking my reading with a spreadsheet complete with color-coded conditional formatting and formulas to track various statistics, I hope?—I read 200 books and 213 single-issue comics, which amounted to just under 45,000 pages. My longest reading slumps were in June and July, and my most active reading months were April, October and November.
Of those 200 ...