It’s almost that time again! Gigi and I are putting the very last touches on Girls of Summer 2013, our annual curated reading list of summer reads for strong girls.
Two dates for you:
June 10, 2013: the new list and our reviews will go live on the blog (www.girlsofsummerlist.wordpress.com)
June 18, 2013: Our live launch party 7 pm at Library Park, behind the main branch of the Richmond Public Library. 101 East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA. Free and open to the public. Refreshments, book giveaways, and an author panel with Jeri Watts and Kristen Paige Madonia.
Hope you enjoy our new trailer!
So I’m putting the finishing touches on the launch events for Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass which comes out next month. And because it takes hours to work out all the details, I’m listening to music that puts me in the mood.
Yaqui Delgado takes a shard of truth from my personal life. I wrote this novel white-knuckled some days, thinking back to when I was an early teen facing down a schoolyard bully. I was learning everything about everything back then: learning about lousy adults, learning what it meant to be a Latina, learning how to really take care of myself when others couldn’t. It was a scary time, but all these years later, I find myself thinking a lot about all I took away from that experience.
It was a Puerto Rican girl, Aida, I remember most. She lived upstairs, cut school, and had bad acne but a hot boyfriend nonetheless. More importantly, she taught me to salsa. Sometimes she gave parties in her hot apartment with Celia Cruz and the Fania All Stars (Johnny Pacheco, Hector LaVoe, etc) blasting out of her mother’s stereo until the walls shook. When I think back to that time in my life, the soundtrack belongs to those old masters.
So, here’s a little YouTube gem of the late Celia Cruz fronting the band in Africa. And then, a more recent piece by Celia – Sin Clave– to get you in the spirit via Cuban music that (like a tough girl) is driven by its own, unerring beat or clave.
Celia With Fania All Stars 1974
YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS will be in stores March 26, 2013.
Check here for reviews and info.
Check here for book launch event information
Note: Cover still being finalized
Candlewick sent me the galleys for my YA novel that releases in March 2013. I guess it’s time to tell my mother about the title. !Ave Maria purísima!
The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind pubbed in the UK as paperback last month. Just got happy word that it’s included in CBI’s Recommended Reads (formerly known as Bookfest Guide). The guide features reviews of the best titles for 2012 – from January to December across Ireland and the UK (where there is a long tradition of magical realism!) Nice print run to go along. I am really honored. Thanks to everyone at Walker Books for your hard work at getting the novel in the right hands.
I love so many books, it’s usually impossible for me to say that I love one more than another. It’s the mother spirit in me, wanting to love them all in some special way.
But all that changed this morning when I finished reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Candlewick Press, 2011). The chilling illustrations by Jim Kay, the balance of tenderness and rage, the magical realism — I can’t heap enough praise on this work about a boy visited by a monster during the final days of his mother’s illness. Even more awe-inspiring is the fact that Patrick Ness was asked to complete a story idea first proposed by Siobhan Dowd, the human rights activist who lost her own battle to cancer in 2007, shortly after her spectacular debut novel, A Swift Pure Joy, was published.
Let me just say this: I started reading this gem Saturday, while I was manning a volunteer table at a school function, and it took no time to go deaf to the world around me. Sunday morning before the sun had even come up, I ignored the chance for an extra hour of sleep and reached in the darkness for the book.
A parent and child having to let each other go too early is, in fact, a monstrous event. To me, Patrick got it exactly right in this magical book, and as frightening as it is to follow a tale of a boy’s grief, it is a beautiful and resonant story.
I’ve been reading Sonya Hartnett lately. She’s from Australia — a Candlewick author — and her prose is just gorgeous. True, her YA is dark and also borders on adult, but that’s a line that I love to flirt with myself. Besides, isn’t “dark and bordering on adult” an exact definition of adolescence? Just finished BUTTERFLY – which came out last August. Several sections veer straight into the adult perspective, but she captures these characters so well that I don’t mind at all. (Cydar is especially fantastic.) Other Hartnett titles I’ve admired: SURRENDER and THE GHOST’S CHILD.