One of the things I enjoy most about the read-a-thon happens before the event even starts: the lists. Readers, old and new, to the event makes list of recommendations, books they’re thinking about reading, and what-not. So once I found out the read-a-thon’s official date, I asked a few bloggers for a list of recommendations for the event. One of the bloggers who answered my pleas was Ari from Reading in Color. Ari is a teen blogger who writes great reviews, adding tons of books to my TBR list every week. Here’s eleven books that she thinks are perfect for the read-a-thon:
I tried to include something for everyone, the funny, the sad, the romantic, the historical (no paranormal though!).
1. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot. 272 pages. Beautiful book. Time travel from 2001 back to 1863 Brooklyn, right before the Draft Riots.
2. My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger. 416 pages. I just finished this one and it’s long but it’s so funny and sweet that it will fly by! I didn’t want this book to end (except for all the Red Sox references, boo. Go Yankees!)
3. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson. 240 pages. Should you try and save someone who does not want to be saved? Presents a complex issue in a non-preachy manner with moments of lightheartedness mixed in.
4. Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. 250 pages. A sad but powerful story. This book shows how the torture of a family member affects not only that family member, but the whole family. I loved how Daniel was nonchalant about Chile. He didn’t have any desire to go back. His girlfriend, Courtney on the other hand, is very passionate about getting rid of Pinochet and she wants to visit Chile and fight in the revolution. An interesting clash of personalities.
5. The Great Call of China by Cynthea Liu. 224 pages.More than a quick, cute read, it delves into the complex issue of China and adoption. I also loved how this book featured Asian characters who went beyond the “quiet, only booksmart nerd” stereotype. So much more than that.
6. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. 304 pages. I dare you to read this and not cry (I NEVER cy when I read a book, this book made me cry.) I really connected with the main character, T.J. and he’s one of my all time favorite YA guy protagonists) You will laugh through the tears.
7. Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah. 368 pages. This is the first book I read in my first ever read-a-thon. It was an excellent choice as everyone was asleep at my house, the quiet was lulling me to sleep until I really got into this book. I laughed through the whole thing. This book explains why a Muslim teenager would wear a hijab (as an ignorant Western teenager I thought it was because she was forced to and that it restricted her freedom, but that is not always the case. Amal, the main character, chooses to wear the hijab to express her faith. She’s awesome)
8. It Chicks by Tia Williams. 304 pages. Some typos and the writing isn’t the best, but if you love reading about those in the performing arts (think Fame) then you will love this book. As a dancer, I really enjoyed this book. It’s definitely more for teens though, adults may or may not miss out on the pop culture references (although there are some references to the 80s and I may have missed some). Good chick lit.
9. The Kayla Chronicles by Sherri Winston. 188 pages. For all those who are feminists and for those who don’t know what a feminist is or if they want to be one. Kayla starts out a determined feminist, then she starts wavering once she makes her school’s dance team the Lady Lions who are “glammed up dance divas.” Kayla isn’t sure if she can love shoes, dancing and still call herself a feminist. She has a wicked tongue and makes up her own words that are quite creative.
10. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson. 208 pages. A love story between a Black guy and a Jewish girl. It’s sad. It’s lovely. And way too short.
11. The God Box by Alex Sanchez. 272 pages. While at times it doesn’t read like fiction and seems to be information overload, it presents a very interesting counterargument to the statement that you can’t be GLBT and Christian.
I wish everyone happy reading on the read-a-thon!