Yes, this little book website (and I) were featured on Twinja Book Reviews on December 5th, 2013!
The lovely owners of the blog, Afro-Cuban American twins Guinevere & Libertad Tomas, are just the sweetest, nicest bloggers. If you're looking for book reviews, especially for YA readers, go check out their blog! They're both voracious readers and when they write a review, you get an in-depth review that'll fill you in on the details without giving away the story.
Highly recommended -- Check them out!!
I was at an art event in Kerby, Oregon, yesterday and much to my surprise and pleasure, I met Johnnie Walker! She was displaying her art, ceramics, paintings and a book that she'd illustrated, Beauteous Black and the Mysterious Forest. While the book is available here on Alien Star Books, I'd encourage you to use this link to purchase the book directly from the artist.
For more information about Johnnie Walker, or to order prints of her paintings (very reasonably priced!), ceramics or copies of the book, you can also go to her website at JW Pottery and Art.
Yes, Black speculative fiction finally has a month of its own, thanks to Milton Davis, State of Black Science Fiction FB page and the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. Check out events at Black Speculative Fiction Month, and blogs at Wagadu and Reading in Black.
Now, not to repeat everything that's in these great blogs, but I agree 100% with this. Our kids desperately need heroes of Color. The stereotypical great White hero isn't going to help my son or daughter picture themselves as superheroes or spaceship captains or magical beings with mystical powers. The point is, if all you present to our kids is gritty urban, too-close-to-real-life images of poverty, illegitimacy, substance abuse and anti-heroes, and you don't give them any positive images of a future or alternate reality where they can be a spaceship captain, or a sword carrying African hero, or a magic wielding teen at a boarding school, you give them nothing to look forward to -- because gritty realism rarely has a happy ending. Our kids DESERVE happy endings in their fiction.
I'm really excited about Black Speculative Fiction Month!
It's not often that we find a video series that stars a young Black woman. This science fiction series has made a good start with the trailer and two episodes. Check it out!
I'm telling you, great minds think alike. My friend, Delia Rodriguez, who I hadn't talked to in a while, has her own book website focusing on diverse books for younger children! Wow!
She's hooked up as an Ambassador for Barefoot Books (click on the website name). You can order through her website or if you're in Illinois, she can come out to your event or school to share her love of books and help you obtain the diverse books that you've been searching for online and in bookstores -- and not finding in the mainstream markets. If you're looking for books for babies up to ages 12+, she can help you!
I was recently explaining to someone on Facebook why a series would be in a certain category and thought, "Hey, I should also post this explanation to the blog on Alien Star Books!"
Here's what I told him: I should explain, the books are sorted by the main character(s)'s race/ethnicity/humanity so our kids can read books with protagonists that they can relate to. A resistant reader might never pick up a book featuring John Carter or Harry Potter or Bella Swan, but he/she might read a book with a main character that shares his/her race/ethnicity/cultural background. For example, my sister (science teacher) had a student who picked up a book about George Washington Carver, looked at his picture and asked in disbelief "He was Black??" She told the kid yes. And this child who was definitely resistant to reading picked up that book and read it cover to cover. BINGO! There we have it!
Her experience explains exactly why this website exists, so our kids and parents, caregivers, homeschoolers and teachers can find books that teens and young adults of Color can relate to. And then we give them more choices, so if they like a certain genre, maybe they'll look farther than the original category and read!
This is all about using every tool we can find to help our kids read -- and of course, promote my favorite genres -- Science Fiction and Fantasy!
I was invited by author Alicia McCalla to write a blog post about Alien Star Books! Of course I was delighted to talk about this labor of love and how it all came about. Check it out: http://www.aliciamccalla.com/index.php/137-guest-blog-alien-star-book-has-a-multicultural-mission!
LOL, I do tend to rant a bit about the topic, in part because I can relate to how it feels to be unrepresented in science fiction. When I came up, there were very few female protagonists in science fiction, let alone Native American protagonists of any sex. Even today, when I peruse the science fiction section at the bookstore, I rarely see another woman looking for books -- well, except for the Twilight fans. My sister has actually had men comment on how unusual it is to see a woman who reads sci-fi.
Well, I've been a fan of science fiction since I was old enough to pick up at book and read it. You see, I was pretty young, but I remember seeing the first man on the moon, on our static-filled, grainy, black and white television. When I saw that we were in space, and I discovered science fiction, I was through. And then, when I was in the 8th grade, a teacher read to us from The Hobbit every day after lunch. Yes, I was hooked for life.
Anyway, I'd like to invite you to come over, meet Alicia, check out her website and books, and read about Alien Star Books!
Have a great day my friends, I'm going to get to work and immerse myself in writing about gardening. The bills must be paid, you know!
Yes, I finally finished the first in a series of small cookbooks, built around winter holiday menus. It's available on Amazon as a paperback or ebook, and on Smashwords in several formats, including PDF if you prefer to print it out. Click on the image to check it out.
Text-to -Speech enabled
I started a Facebook group, Alien Star Books, so authors and readers have a place to meet and talk about science fiction and fantasy books intended for teens and young adults of Color, as well as sci-fi and fantasy in general. All are welcome, although I will do some gentle moderation if necessary to keep the group on track. Come and check us out at http://www.facebook.com/groups/296472730472874/.
"Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins to not just tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in lifeforms." Gene Roddenberry
I love it!
Science fiction gives us the vision of a better future -- where a woman can be the captain of a spaceship or a young Black man can dream to be President -- and look where we are today! If we've come this far in the last 50 years, how much farther can we go?
Sci-fi gives us dreams of the future, let's share those dreams/fantasies/realities with all of our Brothers and Sisters!