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, elizabeth crawford
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By Jill Liddington
Elizabeth Crawford and I, suffrage historians both, watched with keen interest in early 2009 as the 1911 census began to go online. On Tuesday 13 January selected English counties became fully searchable by the public. Excitement was palpable. By midnight, there had been 3.4m searches and 17.4m pages viewed, particularly by family historians. But it was suffragettes who grabbed attention – with headlines like ‘1911 Census: the secret suffragettes who refused to be counted’.
We joined the searchers at the National Archives to look for the census schedules of known Votes for Women campaigners. Among our early discoveries were, as we expected, suffragette evaders – whose names were absent on their own household census. We also came across resisters writing ‘No Vote, No Census’ angrily across their schedule. For instance, one suffragette in Essex wrote on hers, at an unrepentantly defiant angle:
‘I, Dorothea Rock, in the absence of the male occupier, refuse to fill up this Census paper as, in the eyes of the Law, women do not count, neither shall they be counted.’
But we found many other schedules at odds with our expectations. All our suffrage reading had led us to believe that census evasion and resistance had been very widespread up and down the country. But the primary evidence we were uncovering suggested considerably lower levels of boycott activity; and this hinted at a more complex mix of individual motives in households on census night. We were puzzled by these unexpected suffragette rejections of the call to boycott the census. So we began to read more widely and to revisit the broader historical context.
Our article suggests how we’ve tried to make sense of the puzzling evidence we were uncovering. We named this ‘the battle for the 1911 census’ as a way of suggesting explanations for the patterns we found emerging.
Read on for an excerpt from their paper ”‘Women do not count, neither shall they be counted’: Suffrage, Citizenship and the Battle for the 1911 Census”, which is published in History Workshop Journal, Advanced Access, 23 February 2011. You can read the full article for free on the journal’s website.
* * * * *
Amid all the suffragette propaganda, it was probably the Women’s Freedom League’s uncompromising Manifesto, ‘No Votes for Women – No Census’, that had widest and most immediate impact. Issued under the names of Edith How Martyn and Charlotte Despard, it quickly caught the eye of The Times, which quoted from it extensively. The Times dilated on WFL plans to refuse ‘to give intimate personal details’ to the enumerator, and, under the heading ‘Obstruct Government Business’, noted that the WFL even incited members to:
… oppose, hamper, destroy if possible, the power of an unrepresentative Government to govern women, refuse to be taxed, boycott the Census, refuse all official information until women have won that which is their absolute right – the right of a voice and vote.
The very next day The Times published a short yet pointed letter rebutting this Manifesto argument, from the eminent educational reformer Professor Michael Sadler of Manchester University. He warned the WFL that ‘to boycott the Census would be a crime against science’ because ‘upon the completeness of the Census returns’ depended future legislation to better the conditions f
Shari: Your new book sounds fascinating. Would you tell my readers what it is about?
Linda: The book is a biography of the childhood of Rose O’Neill, the creator of the Kewpie cartoons and later the doll. Born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, in 1874 her family was wealthy and for her first three years, she was a princess living in the Emerald Cottage. There came a depression and despite all her Papa’s efforts, he lost everything. The family moved west by Conestoga wagon loaded with hundreds of books to an abandoned sod house on the Nebraska prairies. Rose’s father was bookseller and hoped to start over. Artists often reveal their talents in early childhood and hers was most unusual. Rose O’Neill: The Girl Who Loved To Draw follows her life until she was established as an illustrator in NYC.
Shari: What time period are we talking about?
Linda: It covers the years 1874 until 1900. The afterword covers some of her adult years. There are many books covering that period in her life. I wanted to show her artistic talents as a child and reveal how they developed. The Illustrations in the book show the influences she experienced as a child. Kewpie was her best-remembered creation, but Rose had become the highest paid illustrator in NYC long before the Kewpie. She broke all the social rules and reinvented the roll for women using humor and graces. The book is filled with over a hundred of her illustrations.
Shari: How did you learn about Rose O’Neill? Am I the only one who didn’t know about her?
Linda: I lived near her final home in Branson, Missouri. The home had burned completely in 1947 three years after her death. When my family moved to the area I was in high school. I discovered Mary Trimble’s Sheppard of the Hill Farm where there was a small museum containing original art and sculpture by Rose O’Neill. I was an aspiring artist and visited the museum often, falling in love with Rose’s work. As I studied her history, I came to realize she was a very important person in the early part of the century.
No, you aren’t the only person who doesn’t know about Rose O’Neill. Many people know about
the Kewpie Doll, it is even listed in the dictionary, but they don’t know the creator. In fact, the Kewpies were a cartoon series before there was a doll. Kewpie is a turn on the Roman god Cupid who is synonymous with love, but if you read the myths, he was a trickster, using foolishness to do his deed. Kewpies are the opposite. They “Do good deed in funny ways,” their motto. That motto and the philosophy behind Rose’s work for children made her an endearing figure in America, Europe and Japan. Everyone had a Kewpie. Even in Anne Frank Dairy, she wrote of having a Kewpie. The Doll was the first doll to be manufactured and distributed in mass around the world.
To answer your question. Sadly, few people know or remember this remarkable woman, even though she was a superstar in her time and was mobbed by fans in the many countries she visited. She became a millionaire, which was unheard of for a woman to earn that much money from her own efforts. Rose used her money to help young artist, poets, writers and musicians.
So why isn’t she well known? My theory is that she was a political hot potato. She didn’t fit into
the social mold set for women. She was loved by thousands, which gave her power in the suffrage movement. As the century moved on, her contributions were minimized by the business world and politicians, but she had invented new techniques in illustration, created a new business model for mass production, she brought to light a segment of society that needed to be served through books and toys, the children. The business and political world then using her inventions, never gave her credit and in fact used her accomplishments against her. They would say, “She only drew pictures of babies and made dolls.”
Shari: Was the research for this book difficult? Is there a lot of information out there about her?
Linda: Yes and no. There is a lot of information about her if you know to look. The research was made easier because I had lived in the area where many people knew her. I was able to make contact with the executor of her estate and great grandnephew David O’Neill. No book had ever been written of her childhood. I was able piece together information from an unpublished autobiography lent to me by David O’Neill, he also supplied some of the photographs. The dates and locations were found by studying deeds and legal records from courthouses, news articles and general information came from historical societies. I also made a research trip back to Branson, Missouri to study a collection of documents at the College of the Ozarks research library. The Library of Congress had the photograph of Rose O’Neill that is on the cover. There are Kewpie clubs in most states of the union and many overseas. Japan is crazy for Kewpies and they have done a Japanese version of the dolls. Ordourf, Germany is having a festival in 2013 the 100th Anniversary of the manufacturing of the Kewpie Doll.
Shari: Was it difficult to find a publisher?
Linda: Yes and double yes! I submitted 28 proposals and had just about given up, my deadline for finding a publisher was coming to an end. The answers were always the same, “She isn’t famous enough.” You have to understand that most of the editors in publishing today are young, not long out of school. So, the word “Kewpie” wasn’t even part of their vocabulary. I had met Paula Morrow an editor for Cricket Magazine several years ago and had talked to her about the manuscript. She left Cricket shortly after I had first met her and started a small publishing company, Boxing Day Books. Paula told me, at a workshop she was leading that she had started this new company and said she would be interested in the manuscript. I had a deadline I was working toward, but not getting far, the 100th Anniversary of Kewpie, April 2009. When she heard that, a plan was put together. You could call it serendipity, but authors need to be involved in conferences and workshops to get to know the people in publishing.
Shari: What age level is this book for?
Linda: It was written for children age nine to twelve, but is a cross over book for adults that are Kewpie fans. Since there never had been a book on Rose O’Neill childhood, people at Kewpiesta, the 100th Birthday Party were thrilled. I had been working for years for this Anniversary and the unveiling of my book. The people that had Kewpies in their childhood brought there grandchildren and great grandchildren to share this part of their lives. The book, filled with full color illustrations had new information for collectors. I am hoping to interest schools, libraries and interested community groups in the book because there are so few books on American women artist, and Rose O’Neill was that and more. I am giving programs for people of all ages to revive the name of Rose O’Neill and tell about one of the great people that
worked to make it possible for women to vote and follow their dreams.
Shari: Were you able to include examples of her work in your book?
Linda: That is interesting you should ask. I wrote the book and yes, I was able to include four of
my own illustrations. I was concerned about this because it would be only okay to me if the illustrations complimented Rose’s work, after all the book is about Rose O’Neill and her work. I think it worked out okay.
Rose O'Neill: The Girl Who Loved to Draw
ISBN: 978-0-9798332-3-6by Linda Brewsterage 9 to 12
Boxing Day Books
The books can be ordered from:
Thanks for stopping by for One Shot World Tour: Best Read with Vegemite!
The Australian author featured here at Tea Cozy is Catherine Jinks; and, in particular, her books about Pagan Kidrouk, 16.
Why? Because I think these books are brilliant. So, let's start at the beginning.
Pagan lives in Jerusalem in the 12th century; he's an odd mix. A penniless orphan who can read and write; a boy raised in a monastery who for the last few years has lived a rough and dangerous life on the streets of Jerusalem; a squire to a Templar Knight; and he's a Christian Arab, born in Bethlehem, looking "like a Bedouin boy".
Pagan may be a squire, but don't get the wrong idea; he's not some perfect, holy person (that would be the knight he's assigned to, Lord Roland de Bram). No, Pagan at 16 is . . . how shall I put this? Pagan owes people money. The people he owes are as ruthless and brutal as the times. And the job in the protected Templar headquarters will provide Pagan money to pay back the people he owes. Problem is, that won't be for six months; so in the meanwhile, it's a safe and secure place to, well, hide. Cause that's the kind of guy Pagan is.
I love Pagan; he's funny, he's a bit of a coward, he says he wants to avoid work and danger yet somehow, he finds himself being a good squire to Lord Roland.
Lord Roland is described as "the noblest of souls and a godly man and a great fighter. He is a gift from our Lord." Pagan's response? To dub Roland "Saint George" ("he looks like something out off a stained-glass window") and decide that "if he's as good as he looks, I'm in big trouble." Roland is the perfect Templar Knight; or, at least, he tries to be. Roland is a true believer; and at first Pagan thinks that means Roland is humorless and perhaps naive.
Lord Roland has never met someone quite like Pagan: blunt. common. and a free thinker. An orphan raised in a monastery who can read and write; who ran away and has been living in the streets of Jerusalem.
The relationship and friendship between Roland and Pagan is one of the strengths of this book; Pagan, unknowingly, grounds Roland; Roland pushes Pagan to be better than he is. Roland thinks he knows what is right and what is true; follow the rules, particularly the rules of the Templar Knights, and all will be well. But, as Saladin's forces get closer and closer, Roland is realizing that following the rules isn't always the right thing to do. Not when people's lives are at stake. Pagan grows; but so, too, does Roland.
The history! This is set during the months right before and after Saladin attacks Jerusalem. We watch the Templar Knights go from "top of the world" to bargaining for the lives of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
The details. On the one hand, this is full of historical detail; Jinks is a medieval scholar, after all. But, on the other, Pagan talks like a modern teen; there is no fake-old language or linguistic styles. Descriptions of the pilgrims who come to Jerusalem are hilarious and sad; Pagan himself will keep you laughing, even as the situation in Jerusalem gets worse and worse.
I love how the past is presented in her books. The past isn't glorified and prettied up; there is vomit and blood and streets smell of piss and dung. It's honest and blunt; yet at the same time, it's funny. Pagan is sarcastic and realistic; he's full of one liners.
Historical fiction can be a hard sell; but Pagan's Crusade is an easy sell. While this isn't as over the top as Monty Python, the POV is Pythonesque. For, example, the pilgrims start playing "name that saint." (Here's my turn at playing the game: "I was a thief; I was crucified; my name starts with D; who am I?") Unfortunately the game doesn't last long, because the "my name starts with" falls apart when the vast number of pilgrims cannot read or write. But, for that matter, neither can Roland. He was trained to fight; not to read.
Pagan talks the language of a modern kid, yes, but he is of his times; and it's a great way to introduce readers to this fascinating, complex, bloody time period.
Another way to describe it? It's the same setting and similar events as the 2005 film, Kingdom of Heaven. But the book is way better (and much more accurate) than the film.
Pagan's story is continued in other books; as he follows Roland to France:
Pagan In Exile
Roland decides to join a monastery; and the loyal Pagan joins him:
Fast forward several years, and the story is now told from the point of view of Pagan's scribe:
And in putting this together I discovered: another Pagan book! And, while I use the US covers in this post, I think the Australian covers are more exciting.
Other Australian authors I've written about:
Darrel & Sally Odgers
Sorry I’m late. I slept in this morning. Man, I love summer.
Actually, it’s quite appropriate that I’d be on the late end of posting since I was late to the One Shot World Tour itself. I saw that Chasing Ray was covering Australian authors and I had recently read an awesome book that came to my library from Down Under. I asked if pretty please I might be included in the blogging extravaganza, and here I am. Many of the blogs are posting the whole list of participants with the links, but (1) since so many are doing it, you probably don’t need it here, and (2) frankly, I don’t know how to capture the text with all the links intact. Instead, I will link back to the originator of the tour, and the full list of participating bloggers, at Chasing Ray.
On to Am I Right or Am I Right? by Barry Jonsberg.
If you like your teen angst with a little humor, or a lot of humor, have I got the book for you. This may be one of my new favorites, and I’m only two years late in finding it. Though granted, since it’s an Australian import, those books take time to reach my library. You’d think we were making the author swim them to us.
Calma Harrison has an uncalm life. Her absent father turns up after five years, her mother is keeping a secret from her, and her new best friend is hiding something terrible. Calma tries to solve everything, but it doesn’t always work the way she plans or thinks. The book has hilarious situations and great lines throughout, but it’s not all madcap romp. There are serious undertones of trust and friendship and relationships. But the funny sections are super-sharp funny. Like going to get her hair done fancy for her date, and then... well you should read it, but I’ll give you a quote:
After much screwing up of the eyes and facial contortions, I managed to end up looking relatively normal a considerable improvement on my usual efforts, where I wouldn’t be out of place in a Picasso painting.
When Calma goes to get a job, I cracked up at the long description of the slow-moving, couldn’t-care-less employee at the wrongly-named customer service desk. Boy, did that strike a chord. Or when Calma gets the job...
I nearly choked when he told me the pay rate. I was under the impression that child slavery had been abolished. A sudden vision came to me a muscled manager in a loincloth whipping cowering employees for not keeping up with the rhythm of beating drums. I didn’t say anything, though. I even tried to manufacture an expression of unbridled joy at the prospect of working for an hourly sum you’d expect to find down the back of a sofa.
I love how she calls her mom The Fridge, since they primarily exchange notes on the refrigerator due to her mom’s busy work schedule. I love that she invents a Fast Forward and Rewind button for within her book so she can move the story along. I love that she writes poems after trying to get away with writing poetry badly for different parts of her life. Really, I love everything about this book, and I can’t recommend it strongly enough. Am I Right or Am I Right?
is actually the second book about Calma Harrison. I read the first book, The Crimes and Punishments of Miss Payne
, yesterday morning when I woke up ridiculously early and couldn’t get back to sleep (now I’ve explained a bit of today’s sleeping in, so you won’t think I’m lazy). The center of this book is the horrible teacher assigned to Calma’s English class. The kids call her the Pitbull, and while she is mean to everyone, she has a particular vengeance for Calma’s mate Kiffo. Though Kiffo and Calma seem to have nothing in common, they have a special bond that is explained in a small side story throughout the book. Trying to bring down Miss Payne, the two of them get in over their heads, with consequences that are sometimes hysterical and sometimes tragic.
While I personally prefer the teen angst in the second book, The Crimes and Punishments of Miss Payne
is a great read with wonderful descriptions some of them with a true Australian flavor. Take the first paragraph of the book, in which Calma is writing an assignment to use similes:
Kiffo’s hair is like a glowing sunset. However, unlike a sunset, it lasts for a long time and doesn’t suddenly turn black and become studded with stars. It is as wild as a dingo on drugs and sticks up like ears of corn after a cyclone. Maybe like a field of corn that is the color of sunset and has been trampled by a whole load of drug-crazed dingoes during a cyclone.
In describing Calma’s overabundant chest, the author uses the imagery of her having a “couple of wombats tucked down there.” The writing is clever, and again sharp-funny. One caveat: Both books are recommended for home reading only, unless you like laughing out loud in public and having to explain yourself. I’ve done that too many times myself, and it never feels less awkward.
Now go take a virtual walkabout of the One Shot World Tour via the full list of participants at Chasing Ray
. Until next time, ooroo
By: Aline Pereira
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Young Adult Books
, Children's Books
, Australian children-s literature
, Hazel Edwards
, One Shot World Tour
, Recommendations from Under the Radar
, Shaun Tan
, Susanne Gervay
, That-s Why I Wrote This Song
, Add a tag
I’ve just come back from one month in Brazil (where I was, unexpectedly, pretty much incommunicado) to find that I missed the Australian stop of the multi-blog event One Shot World Tour, organized by the same group that put together the Summer Blog Blast Tour and this week’s Recommendations from Under the Radar. Some of the dishes served up at the several-course (Vegemite and all) Australian meal were: interviews with Margo Lanagan and Queenie Chan at 7 Imp Things and the YA YA YAs, respectively, and an exploration of John Marsden’s Tomorrow Series at Jen Robinson’s Page (see full OSWT schedule here).
I’d like to add my contribution, late as it may be, by pointing folks to award-winning Australian writer Susanne Gervay’s latest ya book, That’s Why I Wrote This Song, a cutting edge story set against the rock music scene, about sixteen year old girls connected through music as they search for identity. In a recent article contributed to PaperTigers, Gervay tells us: “[The book] embraces other mediums and technologies, in a collaborative work with my songwriter and musician daughter, Tory, who wrote the lyrics and rock music that are integral to the story (…). The story also has the dimension of film, as a young producer translated Tory’s song ‘Psycho Dad’ into a film clip.” The song and the video are available for downloading from the author’s website.
For more Aussie kidlit talents, check out the following: interview with Hazel Edwards, ‘personal views’ article by Chris Cheng, and Caroline Magerl and Shaun Tan online galleries.
By: Stacy Dillon,
How timely is this?
Hillary wasn't first. Nor was Ferraro. Have you heard of Belva Lockwood? I had not either before reading this fabulous picture book biography.
Belva once read that a person could move mountains if he or she only had faith. Belva believed this wholeheartedly, and lived her life accordingly. Belva was born in Niagara County, New York in the year 1830. She was the daughter of a farmer, and by the time she was a 39 she had already been married, had a child, been widowed, become a teacher and gotten involved in the suffrage movement. She decided that she wanted to attend law school. In 1869, however, not many law schools wanted to admit women, and the few that did certainly did not want to grant degrees to the women who attended. If you've figured anything out about Belva by now, you know that she found a way to get her deserved degree, and to have it signed by President Ulysses S. Grant to boot!
What could be next for Belva?
After becoming the first woman to graduate from the National University Law School, she became the first woman to practice law in the federal courts. She was the first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court. She rode her tricycle around Washington D.C. oblivious to the stares from those around her. And then in 1884, Belva became the first woman to officially run for president.
Before the ratification of the vote, Belva ran for president! And she got votes. Votes from men. 4711 to be exact. She got more votes than that, but they were thrown out, since the men doing the counting could not believe that anyone would actually vote for a woman.
I found this story not only timely, but incredibly inspiring as well. An author's note, glossary and timeline are included, which make this ripe for classroom use. Do today's kids know that the vote was taken away from women in 1787 (1807 in the case of NJ)? Author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen has done a great job of writing a readable storyline filled with, but not laden down by, facts surrounding suffrage and the political process. Courtney A. Martin's illustrations reflect the time period, though I do wish that the cat accompanying Belva everywhere was explained! This is a book that deserves a prominent place in classroom and library alike!
Tomorrow is the first stop in the new One Shot World Tours, brainchild of Colleen Mondor of Chasing Ray.
The first stop is Australia (an a bit of New Zealand) with authors who are "best read with Vegemite!".
Here's the list with links to all the sites:
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast interviews Margo Lanagan
Kelly Fineman is all about Melina Marchetta
Big A, little A writes about Anna Feinberg and her "Tashi" series
Jenn at Not Your Mother's Bookclub interviews Simmone Howell
Chicken Spaghetti reviews Kathy Hoopmann's award winning All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome
Gwenda at Shaken and Stirred is all about How Sassy Changed My Life, The Red Shoes by Ursula Dubosarsky and a wee bit more with Margo Lanagan
Jen Robinson discusses John Marsden's "Tomorrow" series
Finding Wonderland has a look at Undine by Penni Russon and a look at some of Jaclyn Moriarty's titles
Little Willow discusses Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman
Here at A Chair, a Fireplace & a Tea Cozy it is all about Catherine Jinks and her four Pagan books
Jackie at Interactive Reader posts about Randa Abdel-Fattah's Does My Head Look Big in This? and John Flanagan's The Icebound Land
Trisha at The Ya Ya Yas interviews Queenie Chan
Fuse Number 8 talks more about John Marsden and also highlights a new Hot Man of Literature, Andy Griffiths
Collen at Chasing Ray is writing about Nick Earls
Jenny Davidson interviews mystery author Peter Temple
And Mother Reader who will be posting on Am I Right or Am I Right? by Barry Jonsberg.
So, why Catherine Jinks? As different authors were being bandied about, I began to think about "what is an Australian author." And one thought led to the other, and I decided I wanted to focus on an author whose books weren't set in Australia. And, to be honest, I wanted to do an author I had already read (my To Be Read and To Be Reviewed piles are scary things.)
So, Catherine Jinks and her books about Pagan Kidrouk; an Australian whose books are are set in the 12th century, in Jerusalem (and, later, Europe.) Whose books are historical fiction and accurate and funny as hell. But... you'll have to tune in tomorrow for the reviews!
Ready. (Sandwiches made.) Set. (Books poised.) Go!
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I have a love for sidekicks. What would Harry be without Ron & Hermione? Buffy without the Scoobies? Colin without Hassan? Russel without Min & Gunnar? Sidekicks are the salt and pepper of life; totally essential. The hero is just bland without them.
True to this sentiment, the Ranger's Apprentice series by Australian author John Flanagan just wouldn't be the same without Horace. He's a bit of the strong silent type, and maybe not quite as clever as our hero, the eponymous Ranger's Apprentice, Will, but some of the greatest triumphs in the series have been Horace's. Furthermore, Horace is the most dynamic character - he's grown the most, and is, frankly, the source of most of the laughter. And after this latest installment, I'm almost beginning to think that the series should be named after Horace, rather than Will.
Last we saw dear Will, in The Burning Bridge, he and Evelyn had been kidnapped by the Skandians - the very men they had been fighting. They have been made slaves to the violent, Viking-like society in The Icebound Land. Meanwhile, Halt (the Ranger) has been refused permission to go after his kidnapped apprentice and is about to take drastic measures. Measures that will certainly alter the course of his life - if they don't kill him.
Horace enters the story and suddenly the tale has got some legs. Horace and Halt play off each other so well. There's humor and their storyline has the most action. Will and Evelyn are definitely in serious danger, but I (a lowly reader), think it might have worked better had Evelyn & Will's roles been reversed. However, Erak, their captor, is a lovely, complex character. I'm quite glad to see that book 7 is entitled Erak's Ransom. It's ominous, but I'd very much like to see this character come back (and not go the way of some other lovely characters from book 1; into oblivion).
What bothered me:
Will. Seriously. That storyline better pay off down the road, 'cause otherwise...
This book felt very much like a bridge. Something to get us from book 2 to book 4 (The Oakleaf Bearers). We were just marking time. Will went through some hellish stuff, and I hope that there is some lingering affect to effect some character development. I guess I could always order the next FOUR books that are out in Australia and find out. By the way, What on Earth is the hold up? Is the Penguin/Philomel afraid of flooding the market? I know I'm not the only crazy fanatic out there for this series. Dude. We are SO going to read them. Just hurry up already!
Still a great series, and Ruins of Gorlan is still one of the books I give out most at the library.
Books by Australian Authors that I've talked about in the past:
Across the Wall by Garth Nix
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Does My Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdel-Fattah
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty
The Burning Bridge by John Flanagan
Undine by Penni Russon
The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty
The ONE SHOT WORLD TOUR: BEST READ WITH VEGEMITE
(via Chasing Ray)
Colleen @ Chasing Ray: Nick Earls
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast interviews Margo Lanagan
Kelly Fineman: Melina Marchetta
Big A, little A : Anna Feinberg
Jenn @ Not Your Mother's Bookclub interviews Simmone Howell
Chicken Spaghetti : Kathy Hoopmann's All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome
Gwenda at Shaken and Stirred: How Sassy Changed My Life, The Red Shoes by Ursula Dubosarsky and more with Margo Lanagan
Jen Robinson : John Marsden's "Tomorrow" series
Finding Wonderland : Undine by Penni Russon and Jaclyn Moriarty's titles
Little Willow: Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman
Liz @ A Chair, a Fireplace & a Tea Cozy: Catherine Jinks and her four "Pagan" books
The Ya Ya Yas: interview Queenie Chan
Fuse Number 8: John Marsden & new HMOCL, Andy Griffiths
Jenny Davidson: Peter Temple.
Mother Reader: Am I Right or Am I Right? by Barry Jonsberg.
There. That'll keep you busy!
Remember how in John Green's An Abundance of Katherines, Colin's sidekick Hassan generally introduced himself with the phrase "not a terrorist"? You know why he does it, and you sympathize. But really, that wasn't Hassan's story, so while it was great to have some ethnicity in popular teen lit, it makes ya kinda want to see something from the perspective of a contemporary Muslim teen wandering around a world that maybe isn't the friendliest at the moment.
Enter Australian author Randa Abdel-Fattah and Does My Head Look Big In This? It's her first book, and it's certainly getting notice with it's fresh subject and catchy title. Not to mention the beautiful cover.
Amal has decided it's time. She's ready to wear the headscarf, the hijab, full-time. This means in public, and in an Australia only a couple years beyond 9/11, that isn't going to go unnoticed when she returns to school from the holiday break. Her Melbourne prep school isn't going to know what to do with her. But she's ready. She thinks.
I think that Abdel-Fattah nails it. The book is incredibly approachable and Amal is grounded and smart; she knows what she's in for and she's prepared to stand up for herself. Abdel-Fattah is occasionally in danger of becoming didactic, and the writing itself is not fantastic, but the fun, genuine, and honest tone of the novel in general overcomes those tendencies. Amal's voice will certainly appeal to readers, and I won't have a problem recommending the title.
Take a look at the Inside-a-Dog interview with Abdel-Fattah.
Other blog reviews of DMHLBIT:
'Tis a full day of blogging today, take a look at the ONE SHOT WORLD TOUR schedule.