Aug 9, 2013

August Genreflecting: Multicultural Fiction: The Basics

Genreflecting wordle

I wanted to do a reading challenge for the subject of Genreflecting, but I didn't get much feedback (maybe because it asked you to read 2 books for each genre and discuss them or because it's not really a "reading challenge" per se, but more an educational experiment), so I've turned it into a monthly feature! For each month of 2013, there will be a specific genre that will be analyzed. I'm planning to have author input and at least 2 reviews of books in the genre as well.

August's genre is Multicultural Fiction! These books are part of a growing trend that stemmed from readers. In our increasingly globalized world, people want to read more about other people's lives and how they differ from their own. In the same token, people want to read books about others like themselves that they can relate to in a cultural/geographical sense. While many would argue that this doesn't constitute a genre, more a theme, I think that any book that has someone from another culture (other than the majority represented in the story) in a central role can fall under this category. 

There is no one, true definition of Multicultural Fiction, but there are two main types. The first follows the lives of characters within their own culture (whether they struggle with it or just exist) and the second follows a cultural clash between two or more "opposing" groups. Most importantly though is the underlying theme of similarity. Young adults often turn to books to see and find themselves. These books allow that on a broader scale. (paraphrased from Teen Genreflecting, 2003)

A few of my favorite authors you may recognize in this genre are:
  • Sharon M. Draper- Romiette & Julio
  • Jacqueline Woodson- The House You Pass on the Way
  • Walter Dean Myers- Fallen Angels
  • Tanuja Desai Hidier- Born Confused
  • Alice Mead- Girl of Kosovo
  • Amy Tan- The Joy Luck Club (not YA, but still acceptable)
  • Tell me some of your favorite books!
I'm excited to say that I've chosen my two books, one older and one newer, to read for this challenge. The older book is Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye (originally published in 1997) and I'll have a review and analysis up on Friday, August 23rd. The newer book is Secret Keeper by Miltali Perkins (originally published in 2008) and I'll have a review and analysis up on Friday, August 30th. I'll also be hosting a giveaway, so stay tuned!

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