I'm excited about participating in the Expanding Horizons Challenge started by Melissa at Book Nut. I read a fair amount of books by authors who are not just white/non-white, but most of those books are by authors of Spanish or Latin American descent (full disclosure: I'm Cuban-American myself). For this challenge, I'm reading four children's or YA novels written by Native American authors.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown 2007). As if I needed an excuse: this one's been on my hold list at the library for weeks. I'll be reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Dominican-American author Junot Diaz (Riverhead, 2007; this one's for adults) along with it: I think these two novels will have a lot to say to each other.
- The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich (Hyperion, 1999).
- The Winter People by Joseph Bruchac (Dial, 2002).
- Rain Is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith, (HarperCollins, 2001).
I tried to balance the list between historical and contemporary fiction, male and female authors, books I know something about already and books I'll be coming to with no prior knowledge. The pages on Cynthia Leitich Smith's website highlighting children's and YA books by Native American Indian authors were enormously helpful in compiling this list. Other helpful resources include Oyate and Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature blog.
I'll post a review or response for each book as I finish it as well as a wrap-up post when I've completed the challenge. Thanks, Melissa: I'm looking forward to it!