Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Romance Books

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, we’re exploring romance stories. These books are either written by diverse authors or feature diverse characters. Have you read any of these or are any on your to-be-read list?

You can join the conversation at That Artsy Reader Girl or tell us in the comments what are your favorite romance stories by diverse authors or ones with diverse characters.

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Cover Love

For Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, today is a Holiday/Seasonal topic featuring snowy, wintery, cozy cover scenes. I scanned the backlist of several authors we’ve featured here on Diversity Between the Pages to bring you a Wintery Cover Collage.

Don’t those covers make you want to curl up with a good book? Do you have a book with a favorite winter/Christmas scene? Visit That Artsy Reader Girl to join the conversation!

Throwback Thursday — Indian No More

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! Today I am sharing a middle-grade historical novel based on the life of the late Author Charlene Willing McManis, a member of the Umpqua Nation in Central Oregon.

 

About the Book

Winner of the 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Middle-Grade Book!


Regina Petit’s family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. Her biggest worry is that Sasquatch may actually exist out in the forest. But when the federal government signs a bill into law that says Regina’s tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes “Indian no more” overnight–even though she was given a number by the Bureau of Indian Affairs that counted her as Indian, even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations.

With no good jobs available in Oregon, Regina’s father signs the family up for the Indian Relocation program and moves them to Los Angeles. Regina finds a whole new world in her neighborhood on 58th Place. She’s never met kids of other races, and they’ve never met a real Indian. For the first time in her life, Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends.

Meanwhile, her father believes that if he works hard, their family will be treated just like white Americans. But it’s not that easy. It’s 1957 during the Civil Rights Era. The family struggles without their tribal community and land. At least Regina has her grandmother, Chich, and her stories. At least they are all together.

In this moving middle-grade novel drawing upon Umpqua author Charlene Willing McManis’s own tribal history, Regina must find out: Who is Regina Petit? Is she Indian? Is she American? And will she and her family ever be okay?

Amazon



My Thoughts About This Book:

This moving story, based upon Author Charlene Willing McManis’s childhood, reminded me of how I felt after reading Author Lauren Wolk’s ‘Wolf Hollow’ and Author Kirby Larson’s ‘Dash’. These stories all remained on my mind for a long time after I finished reading them because they are so powerful . . .

‘Indian No More’ describes, in great detail, events in American history which I knew nothing about prior to picking up this book.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed Public Law 588. “The law said the government didn’t need to provide for our education, health care, of anything else as promised in the treaties. The government declared us only Americans now instead of our own nation. We didn’t need a reservation anymore.” (page 20)

In 1956, Congress passed the Indian Relocation Act. “This removed many more Native people from their reservation homelands and relocated them to big cities like Chicago, Minneapolos, Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The government promised moving costs, jobs, higher education, and housing.” (page 180)

The Petit family in the story moved to Los Angeles. They moved into a diverse neighborhood with black and Cuban families. I shed tears at the many ways in which these diverse groups were treated unfairly and unkindly in the community, in the schools, and in society, in general.

One of the uplifting scenes in the book that I could personally relate to was when Regina’s grandmother taught her to sew. They worked together from start to finish on remaking a man’s jacket into a jacket for one of the neighbor boys. Regina’s grandmother taught her how to draft patterns, cut out the fabric pieces, sew the garment together using their Singer sewing machine, and then handsew the finishing touches.

This brought back so many happy memories of my Grandma McCrary and I sewing together in the summer before I began sixth grade. Grandma shared all of her knowledge and expertise with me, but I know I enjoyed the love and time she shared with me even more.

The Back Matter is excellent — Definitions; Author’s Note; Photographs of the author’s family and significant locations mentioned in the book; Co-Author’s Note, Editor’s Note; and the text of an Umpqua story mentioned in the novel, ‘The Beaver and the Coyote’, are included.

There are so many layers to this book. There is the historical perspective of what the government did and effect it had upon these native peoples. There are the feelings of prejudice experienced by these diverse groups. Most importantly, since the story is told by an eight-year-old girl, we are given the insight of the magnitude of these two laws and the ensuing events they caused from the perspective of an innocent child.

I highly-recommend this book to children and adults. This book would make a great classroom or family read-aloud. Many events in the story will require open discussion about sensitive topics. There are a lot of emotions and issues to digest, but I felt richly-rewarded by having read this book.

I borrowed this book from the local public library.


About the Authors

— The late Charlene Willing McManis (1953-2018) was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in Los Angeles. She was of Umpqua tribal heritage and enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Charlene served in the U.S. Navy and later received her Bachelor’s degree in Native American Education. She lived with her family in Vermont and served on that state’s Commission on Native American Affairs. In 2016, Charlene received a mentorship with award-winning poet and author Margarita Engle through We Need Diverse Books. That manuscript became the novel Indian No More, which is based on her family’s experiences after their tribe was terminated in 1954. She passed away in 2018, knowing that her friend Traci Sorell would complete the revisions Charlene was unable to finish.

Traci Sorell writes poems as well as fiction and nonfiction works for children and teens featuring contemporary characters and compelling biographies—the type of books she sought out in her school and public libraries as a child.

Traci’s debut nonfiction picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, was awarded a 2019 Sibert Honor, a 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Honor and a 2019 Orbis Picture Honor. Illustrated by Frané Lessac and published by Charlesbridge Publishing, it also received four starred reviews (Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Shelf Awareness). An audio book is available from Live Oak Media.

Her debut fiction picture book, At the Mountain’s Base, is illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre and published by Kokila/Penguin.

Traci is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located and her relatives still live. Find out more about Traci at www.tracisorell.com.

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Throwback Thursday — Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968

Welcome to Throwback Thursday! Today I am sharing a new-to-me historical picture book which documents events that rocked Memphis, Tennessee — and ultimately the world — in the winter and spring of 1968.

 

MEMPHIS, MARTIN--COVER

About the Book

This historical fiction picture book presents the story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final stand for justice before his assassination–when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest.

In February 1968, two African American sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in Memphis, Tennessee. Outraged at the city’s refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. The strike lasted two months, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called to help with the protests. While his presence was greatly inspiring to the community, this unfortunately would be his last stand for justice. He was assassinated in his Memphis hotel the day after delivering his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” sermon in Mason Temple Church. Inspired by the memories of a teacher who participated in the strike as a child, author Alice Faye Duncan reveals the story of the Memphis sanitation strike from the perspective of a young girl with a riveting combination of poetry and prose.

Amazon



My Thoughts About This Book:

I was thrilled when I saw this title come up in our library’s online catalog. Late last year we watched an American Experience show on PBS about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit to Memphis in April, 1968. I learned so much from the documentary, and I was anxious to read this book to see how this tragic event was handled in a book written for children.

The main character, nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, is based upon a teacher in Memphis who participated in the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike with her parents when she was a child.

The conflict began in January, 1968, when two black sanitation workers were killed by a malfunctioning packer blade on an old and poorly-maintained garbage truck. Echol Cole and Robert Walker worked with Lorraine’s father.

$1.70 per hour — this was the average pay of a Memphis sanitation worker. The workers formed a labor union with the hope of gaining better pay, better treatment on the job, and improved safety. Memphis’s mayor, Henry Loeb, would not grant a pay increase, and he refused to acknowledge the workers’ labor union.

Beginning on February 12, 1968, and lasting for sixty-five days, 1,300 men went on strike. They marched to City Hall carrying signs. The workers and their families sacrificed greatly during this strike. A group of preachers in Memphis organized and used church donations to help the striking workers pay their bills. “The NAACP organized boycotts to support the strike.” (page 9)

The workers attended rallies each night. They sang freedom songs and listened to preachers. “The mayor railed NO! to every labor request, and my daddy kept right on marching.” (page 11)

The excitement described by the narrator, nine-year-old Lorraine, when it was announced that Martin Luther King, Jr., would be traveling to Memphis in March to try to assist in the sanitation workers’ cause was palpable. When Dr. King arrived on March 18th, he preached, and then made a plan to march with the workers on March 22nd. Except the march didn’t happen that day because an unusual amount of sixteen inches of snow fell in Memphis.

The march was rescheduled for March 28th on Beale Street. Six thousand women, men, and children attended. Unfortunately, instead of a peaceful march, some militant individuals created a riot. In response, Mayor Loeb called in four thousand National Guard troops and set a 7:00PM curfew. 

Dr. King left Memphis, but he promised to return . . .  Dr. King did return to the city on April 3rd. He spoke to the sanitation workers with passion that evening. The next day, Dr. King was assassinated by James Earl Ray on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

The final chapters of the book are about Mrs. Coretta Scott King and the termination of the Memphis Sanitation Strike on April 16, 1968. The book includes several poems.

Back Matter includes a detailed ‘Memphis Sanitation Strike–1968–Timeline’, information about the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Sources, and Source Notes. 

Words cannot express the profound affect this book had on me. Its poignant retelling of this part of our nation’s history is powerful. The author’s well-chosen words are fully-supported by the illustrator’s beautiful paintings.

Highly-recommended to teachers, librarians, and families. This book will open up important discussions about civil rights, respect, tolerance, perseverance, and determination. 



Alice-Faye-Duncan-333x500
Alice Faye Duncan

About the Author

On the author’s website you will find information about her books along with a set of lesson plans designed for several of her books.

Bonus Content:

Here is a link to a movie of ‘Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop’ made by the Memphis Public Library:  https://youtu.be/MrbGrqynB_g

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R. GREGORY CHRISTIER. Gregory Christie

About the Illustrator

Gregory Christie received a Caldecott Honor for his illustrations in Freedom in Congo Square, written by Carole Boston Weatherford. He is a three-time recipient of The New York Times’s 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year Award, a six-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor Award in Illustration, and a winner of the Boston Globe­–Horn Book Award, the NAACP’s Image Award, and the Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award from the Museum of Tolerance. Visit Mr. Christie’s website at Gas-Art.com.


 

Top Ten Tuesday: A Baker’s Color Palette of Titles

Happy Tuesday! Today’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is books with colors in the titles. Let me tell you, this post was not as easy as I initially thought it would be. Fortunately, Toni Shiloh suggested that I used color words that might be found on a baker’s color palette – which opened up enough opportunity for me to build this post. Thanks, Toni!

All books listed are written by diverse authors
Linked to goodreads page or feature on this blog

wish upon a strawberry shortcake  raspberrykisses  lemonfilleddisaster

tea & cream debbie  molasses  coffee and kisses

a spoonful of spice  CinnamonKisses_ChristmasNovella-683x1024  sugarandspice

caramel kisses  coconut tsunami  shadesofchocolate

Are you hungry for baked goods now? Because I am!

Can you think of any other books by diverse authors that would fit this theme?
Are there any new-to-you authors in this list?

 

First Line Friday: The Trouble with Love

Happy Friday everyone! You know what that means…it’s time for First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books. Grab the book nearest to you and share the first line! 

On Diversity Between the Pages, we are featuring the first line of The Trouble with Love by Toni Shiloh. This is the first book in her new Christian Chick Lit series: Faith & Fortune, which releases on May 26, 2020. Let me tell you…this book is fabulous!!

and the first line is….

“I strolled down the path through Central Park and exhaled.”

ABOUT THE BOOK

I, Holiday Brown, have it all. A platinum record. Multi-million dollar home in Manhattan that I share with my two best friends. Life is looking fantastic until my roommate’s brother decides to bunk in our guestroom while his house gets renovated.

W. Emmett Bell has always been the bane of my existence. He’s annoying, stubborn, a know it all, and just might be the most gorgeous man I’ve ever laid eyes on. But I refuse to fall for him. But when his sister’s threatened by a stalker, dynamics change. His unwavering faith isn’t quite as self-righteous as I’d always thought, and maybe he has a good side I’ve overlooked all these years.

Or maybe it’s all too much trouble.

The Trouble With Love is the first book in the Christian Chick Lit series: Faith & Fortune.

AMAZON | GOODREADS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com.

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Let us know the first line of the book closest to you & then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!

Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Authors We’d Invite to Our Bookish Party

Happy Tuesday, friends! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is ‘authors I’d have at my bookish party’. So I (Carrie) polled the other bloggers who contribute here at Diversity Between the Pages and asked them, “Which diverse author(s) would you invite?”

Here’s our invite list!


TONI SHILOH

I’m pretty sure ALL of us would invite Toni. As Nicole said, “…she is just awesome, and I love her books.” Me too, Nicole! Toni Shiloh can’t write a bad book, and she is indeed awesome!

toni-1-683x1024  the trouble with love

Website | Facebook


NADINE KEELS

Nicole also wanted to invite Nadine (totally allowed! the more the merrier!) and said, “She posts the most insightful comments in the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction FB Group and she would be the perfect person to have a great bookish discussion with.”

nadine keels  the movement of crowns

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PIPER HUGULEY & VANESSA RILEY

Toni wants to invite these two diverse authors because “They’re always cooking so we could eat and talk books.” I’m thinking, most definitely yes & can they be in charge of the snacks?

Piper Huguley  thepreacherspromise

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NEW foto of Vanessa Riley  TheBittersweetBride_1600

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CAMY TANG

Allyson suggested Camy Tang, and I have to confess she stole one of the people on MY invite list haha! Everything I’ve read by Camy Tang has convinced me that we should be besties – her books are awesome & she seems like a lot of fun!

camy tang 2  weddings and wasabi

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NOELLE MARCHAND

Beth was quick to invite Noelle Marchand because she really wants to read more of her books. I concur because I’ve had Noelle on my TBR list for a long time and, besides, her bio says that she used to spend hours reading beneath the covers when she was supposed to be asleep as a child. So you know she’s our kinda gal!

noelle marchand 2  beyond the tide

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JOY MASSENBURGE

Beth also wanted to invite Joy Massenburge & said, “I’ve not read her books yet but she is a ray of sunshine in person!” Once again, I completely agree with Beth (story of my life haha)

joy massenburge  aheartsurrendered

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LIWEN Y. HO

Liwen is first on my own guest list – I’ve loved each book of hers that I’ve read and she seems like a hilarious and warm person in real life!

liwenho  tropical kiss and tell

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ROSE FRESQUEZ

I’ve had the privilege of chatting with Rose a few times and she is such a sweet prayer warrior. I definitely want her at any party I host – bookish or otherwise!

rose fresquez twitter  choices rose fresquez

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TESSA AFSHAR

Tessa Afshar is one of my fave authors – and I want to invite because she has such an intriguing faith story & I’d love to sit down and chat about it. I’m also really hoping she brings some delicious Persian food with her to the party, like my personal faves of ‘bottom of the pot’ and chicken & berries (I’ve been taught the Persian names for these soooooooooooooo yummy dishes but I couldn’t begin to spell them LOL)

tessa afshar  land of silence

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BELLE CALHOUNE

And as a bonus guest, I’m totally inviting Belle Calhoune because a) she is such a prolific author and b) she has had a movie made based on one of her books and I think both of those things make great party conversation!

belle calhoune  analaskantwinsurprise

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We also mentioned some ‘vanilla’ authors who write beautifully diverse characters in their stories.

  • Beth wants to invite Lori Benton & April Gardner
  • Beckie wants to invite Kathi Macias
  • Jessica wants to invite Misty M. Beller
  • I would add Stephenia H. McGee & Ruth Logan Herne – and I wholeheartedly agree with the other 4 as well 🙂

What about you?
Which of these authors have you read?
Which authors would you invite to your bookish party?

Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Book Titles That Would Make Great Band Names

Happy Tuesday, friends! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is ‘book titles that would make great band names’ so I went hunting in my diverse fiction TBR for some ideas!

long walk home  soulscry

Long Walk Home – folk band
Soul’s Cry – dystopian rock band

collisionoflies   sushi for one

Collision of Lies – alternative grunge band
Sushi for One – new wave pop band

theswitch   firethorn

The Switch – boy band
Firethorn – speed metal band

RelentlessHeart_BookCover  saltybittersweet

Relentless Heart – soft rock band
Salty Bitter Sweet – acapella cover band

Lost Down Deep front cover  alongtimecoming

Lost Down Deep – post grunge band
A Long Time Comin’ – Nashville sound country band


What do you think?
What are some other diverse fiction titles that would make great band names?
Have you read any of these books yet?

First Line Friday: Salty, Bitter, Sweet

Again, in case all the days are blending together for you like they are me …. it’s FRIDAY!!

And since it’s Friday, that means it’s time for First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books.

Grab the book nearest to you and share the first line!

The book I’m featuring here today is Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas – and I’m in love with the cover!

saltybittersweet

and the first line is….


Happiness, like love, arrives through the kitchen.


ABOUT THE BOOK

A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to becoming a top chef for 17-year-old Isabella Fields than just not getting chopped … especially when the chances of things heating up with an intriguing boy and becoming a food star in the kitchen are both on the chopping block.  

Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life. Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, “why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom” conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef.

The upside of Isa’s world being turned upside-down?

Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa’s stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog.

How can Isa expect to hold it together when she’s at the bottom of her class at the apprenticeship, her new stepmom is pregnant, she misses her abuela dearly, and things with the mysterious Diego reach a boiling point?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

Let me know the first line of the book closest to you & then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!

Book Spotlight: Breaking Point

Happy Wednesday! The weekend and MARCH are almost here. How did that happen? It’s like we blinked and skipped January & February. And if you live in Kentucky like I do, you skipped winter too lol. Ah well, at least there are a plethora of good books to read, right?

Today I’m delighted to spotlight Breaking Point by author Dayo Benson!

ABOUT THE BOOK

breaking point dayo bensonSERIES: Drew Ashley #1
GENRE: Christian Chick Lit with an edge
PUBLISHER: Bennos Press
RELEASE DATE: December 6, 2012

It’s every girl’s dream to find Mr Right, but what happens when there are two candidates who fit that description? Drew Ashley finds herself torn between the logical safe choice and what her heart really wants.

Drew experiences the ultimate heart break when she finds out that both men have secrets. She is forced to do some rethinking, especially since she has a secret of her own. A secret that she has never shared with anybody: she sees visions!

Add a zany mother and a series of shocking crimes to the mix, and things are bound to go slightly off-kilter.

GOODREADS | AMAZON


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

dayo bensonDayo Benson is passionate about using fiction to convey powerful messages about redemption and God’s love. She is the author of over forty Christian novels. From sweet contemporary fiction and gritty romantic thrillers, to paranormal Christian romance, Dayo writes in a wide variety of niches. A message of hope is common to all her books regardless of genre.

When she is not writing, Dayo enjoys music, reading and going for long walks. She lives in North West England with her husband and their two beautiful daughters.

Learn more about Dayo and her upcoming books at www.dayobenson.com.