Expanding Horizons: My first challenge

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I was digging around a few of my underexplored blogs yesterday, when this turned up over at Book Nut. Melissa has planned a challenge that involves reading works by authors of typically less-well-represented ethnicities. Here are the rules:

“There are two ways to approach this challenge. Either read four books by authors in one of the six categories (you can read more than one category, but you must read four books; not two books in one category and two in another) OR read six books, one from each of the six categories. The categories are:

1. African/African-American.
2. Asian/Asian-American (This is not just East Asian — Chinese, Korean and Japanese — but also Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and the Central Asian -Stans.)
3. Hispanic/Latin American
4. Indian/Indian-American (Again, books by Indian authors; not books by white authors set in India.)
5. Middle Eastern (Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Turkey…)
6. Native Peoples (Can include Native American, Inuit, Polynesian –Maori, Samoan, etc — Siberian natives and Australian Aborigines.)”

The challenge will be running from January through April 2008, and I’m going to do it! In fact, I think that lots and lots of us should do it, and the more I scouted about yesterday to choose my books, the more excited I became. It will be my first challenge. I’ve decided to go for the 6 categories approach, so here is my list:

1. A Long Way Gone – Ishmael Bael
2. Kira Kira – Cynthia Kadohata
3. Caramelo – Sandra Cisneros or The Tequila Worm – Viola Canales
4. Keeping Corner – Kashmira Sheth
5. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie

I wanted my list to be comprised of at least 3 children’s/YA titles (Kira Kira, Keeping Corner, Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), and I wanted to have at least 1 title I had not heard of until I started hunting about (Keeping Corner). I also decided to be practical (for once), and select a few titles I already own. So there it is. Can’t wait to get started on January 1st.

Something else that I’ve been meaning to add to the blog for some time is a list of links to children’s lit blogs with multicultural focus. So over in the sidebar, you’ll see a new section: Multicultural Kidslit Blogs. They are beauties, each one. I look forward so much to the pleasures and inspiration I am sure to find in their posts in the New Year. Check it out – and tag along with this challenge too. I’m eager to discover new authors and new perspectives.

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6 thoughts on “Expanding Horizons: My first challenge

  1. Marjorie

    Thanks for adding us to your list – and thanks for pointing out this challenge – definitely something we’ll have to point out (and take part in) over at PaperTigers…

  2. shelfelf Post author

    You’re most welcome! I love your blog – it’s fantastic for teachers (not to mention everyone else).

  3. shelfelf Post author

    I can’t believe I haven’t read Kira Kira yet. I’ve read her other books, so this will be an excellent opportunity to bring Kira Kira to the top of my “to read” pile!

  4. Marjorie

    This is such a great challenge and I am going to try it for myself – I’ll have to put my list together. I thought you might like to know, too, that we have just issued a similar challenge for children and ya readers over at PaperTigers – perhaps some of those who have taken on you challenge might like to follow ours in parallel, with the whole family…

  5. shelfelf Post author

    What a great idea to extend this challenge to children and YA readers! Thanks for the heads up. I will take a look.

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