February 2018 Book Challenge – #OWNvoices books

February Reading Challenge #OWNvoicesThis month, our book challenge is to read a book from #OWNvoices.  In case you are not familiar with this movement, #OWNvoices is a hashtag that was created by Corine Duyvis to recognize books with authors and protagonists that share the same marginalized identity.  So for example, if a person who is autistic writes a book about someone who is autistic, that is #OWNvoices. Originally, the hashtag only referred to children’s/ middle grade books but it has since been used for adult books as well.  We live is such a multicultural society that I am happy to see more diverse books become available.

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I first started thinking about #OWNvoices when I read Small Great Things by Jodi Picault.  I know that the author spent a lot of time doing research for this book.   However, the entire time I was reading it, I felt that a white woman could not talk about racism directed towards a black woman and give the topic a real voice.  For February we decided to read a book from #OWNvoices.  We have included a list of books we’ve read, books we want to read, as well as the books we have chosen to read for the challenge.

Books We Recommend

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas soon to be a major motion picture.The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. More…

When Dimple Met Richi by Sandhya Menon

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.”  More…

 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. More…

 

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. More…

 

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. More…

 

The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, caught in the tragic sweep of history, The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of change and destruction. More…

 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“Published to unprecedented acclaim, The Color Purple established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. This is the story of two sisters—one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South—who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. More…

The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers. More…

 

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe’s critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa’s cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. More…

 

Joy Luck Club: A Novel by Amy Tan

“Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s “saying” the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. More…

 

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. More…

 

Books We Want to Read

There are so many books in this amazing movement as well as sub-genres within it as well: People with mental disabilities,  people with physical disabilities, different religions, nationalities, trans writers, LGBTQ writers.  The list can go on.  We are not experts on the subject and have not read books from all the sub-genres.  We welcome suggestions for books that you have read and loved or books that are on your TBR list!!!!

To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. More…

 

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. More…

George by Alex Gino

“When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. More…

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. More…

 

American Street by Izi Zoboi

“American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, EverythingBone Gap; and All American Boys.In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture. More…

Our Choices for the Book Challenge:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe byBenjamin Alire SáenzJackie’s Choice

“This Printz Honor Book is a “tender, honest exploration of identity” (Publishers Weekly) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship.
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. More…

Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed- Kirsten’s Choice

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” More…

 

Beyond the Bookends Reading Challenge for February 2018 is #own voices. We have recommendations for books to read as well as a list of our favorites. #OWNvoices for the February Reading Challenge. Which book will you read?

 

 

 

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