Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wanted: YA Novels With Viral Potential

... by authors who aren't white, or teen novels featuring female main characters who aren't of European descent.

I know how hard it is to promote a novel if you're not one of those "squeal factor" authors whose new release goes viral on pub date. That's why, wearing my Readergirlz Diva hat, I'm asking you to blast me with titles that may be off the radar but glitter with the possibility of word-of-mouth magic.

I'm talking books like Kashmira Sheth's amazing Keeping Corner, which got four starred reviews -- PW, Kirkus, SLJ, and Booklist -- but somehow missed the buzz during awards season.

Got another title like that? Bring it.

12 comments:

pooja said...

How *did* the wonderful, spectacular KEEPING CORNER stay under the radar?

Little Willow said...

I have to run to work, but expect a long list later!

Little Willow said...

I'm back because I have to say
A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE by Siobhan Vivian!
and now I have to go. :)

Susan T. said...

Mitali, one I'm looking forward to is Tanita Davis's A LA CARTE, which comes out in June. (That's TadMack, of blogging fame.) Another one I want to read is Allison Whittenberg's SWEET THANG, for a bit younger reader; it's a 2007 title. I heard of it through 28 Days Later. If you're considering older titles, say way back in 2006, I liked Malin Alegria's Estrella's Quinceanera.

sandhya said...

Does My Head Look Big in This, by Randa Abdel-Fattah. I haven't read it, but have it on my list. Another novel is that is pretty old but that I would include on a list is Going Going by Naomi Shihab Nye. And, Nye's short story Red Velvet Dress, in the anthology "Growing Up Ethnic in America" is wonderful.

Little Willow said...

Clarification: ALFA's protag is Caucasian, but one of her buds is Maria, sassy and spunky. ALFA = LOVE. Dramatic, realistic, so good.

GOOD ENOUGH by Paula Yoo = fun, funny, recommended.

Can't find/don't have/haven't read yet:
She's So Money

Getting and reading next month:
Not Anything by Carmen Rodrigues

Email me if you want any backlist recs, like Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa by Micol Ostow or Caridad Ferrer's YA books or more...

Little Willow said...

Seconding A LA CARTE! Tanita!!!

Sarah Rettger said...

Scandalosa, by Michele Serros. It's the sequel to Honey Blonde Chica, which got a write-up in Latina, but no other press that I saw.

Kelly said...

Okay, author is white, but I love the Magic or Madness series by Justine Larbeleister. (I hope I spelled her name correctly. I'm sitting with a huge pile of papers to grade and my eyes are bleeding.)

Heroine is of aborigine decent, and she falls in love with an African-American boy in NYC.

Awesome, complex series for smart teens. I read them nearly a year ago and they're still with me.

Kelly said...

make that descent.

TadMack said...

Wow. I left this page up last night before I went to bed, thinking I'd sleep on the question -- and come back to refresh the page and see my own book. Thanks, guys!! Since the book isn't out yet I'm not sure I qualify, but -- thank you.

Mitali -- Ying Chang Compestine's Revolution Is Not A Dinner Party, which was chosen as an ALA Best Books, ALA Notable, PW Best Children's Fiction Book List, Cybils, and on and on -- and zip in terms of bigger buzz than on a local San Francisco basis.

Also, I am just reading Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet by Sherri L. Smith - a biracial Chinese, African American girl - and some drama! That's released THIS MONTH.

Happy February!

Libby said...

I second the Magic or Madness series. And what about The True Meaning of Smekday, with its biracial female protagonist? I love that when people are searching for her mother they never think to look for a white woman...

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