Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Reading the World Challenge: Three Titles Plus One

A reminder that the Reading the World Challenge continues on PaperTigers.

The first three books in my response to the challenge are part of a guest post over at The Brain Lair.

The titles I chose:  
  • Good Night, Commander by Ahmad Akbarpour, illustrated by Morteza Zahedi, translated from the Farsi by Shadi Eskandani and Helen Mixter and published in Canada by Groundwood Press. 
  • I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by performance poet, storyteller and teacher Arthur Flowers, with illustrations by Patua scroll artist Manu Chitrakar from rural Bengal. Designed by Guglielmo Rossi and published in India by Tara Books.
  • Reading the World asks readers to choose at least one book set where they live. My "local" book, set in northwest New Mexico, is Songs of Shiprock Fair by poet, writer, teacher, storyteller Luci Tapahanso, illustrated by Anthony Chee Emerson and published in the USA by Kiva Publishing.
Next on my Reading the World list is Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle, a fictional account of a Caribbean pirate shipwreck. It's told in spare verse with shifting first person viewpoints. We hear from Qebrado, dubbed "the broken one," the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera, Alonso de Ojeda who is in chains below deck, and the young lovers Narido and Caucubu. The collision of the Taino and Spanish-speaking worlds is both tragic and inevitable. The roles of captor and captive become reversed, ambitions are thwarted and hope can lie only in reinvention. Images of trees and ships echo throughout, the heart of one speaking in the creak and roll of the other; always, close at hand, is the sea. Engle charts the troubled waters of history with her customary combination of skill and heart. Published in the USA by Henry Holt.

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