Ancestral Magic and Battle Dragons: New Young Adult SFF for October, November, and December 2020

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the publishing industry, and scheduled released dates have been pushed back and pushed back and pushed back. At least the young adult science fiction and fantasy books that have made it through the chaos are worth the wait. Get ready for powerful magic, grand conspiracies, and sweeping romance…

Read the rest of this piece on Tor.com.

How Labeling Books as “Diverse” Reinforces White Supremacy

Every so often, the question of whether or not to add a spine label designating “diverse” books makes the rounds. Many condemn the practice, but lots of library staff persist in labeling. Like most diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in librarianship, many of my colleagues are still operating within a white (and cisgender and heterosexual) supremacist framework. It is an understandable predicament to be in – after all, many library degree programs are not as strong as they could be in advocating for DEI and decolonization. So let’s examine the question of diversity labeling and see if we can’t get to a better understanding of why it’s problematic…

Read the rest of this essay at Lee & Low Books Open Book Blog.

Napa’s Black community fought for freedom from the start

The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter is new, but the underlying principle is not. Do not wait for the system to change itself, those early Black Napans said. Make the system change.

Resistance goes hand in hand with Blackness, just as condemning those who resist often goes hand in hand with anti-Blackness. Since the first enslaved Africans were brought to American shores, Black people have pushed back against systematic oppression. The enslaved rebelled against slaveholders and ran away from plantations. The free fought for the right to vote and the right to live free and in any neighborhood they wanted…

Read the rest of this op-ed in the Napa Valley Register.

Learn more about the history of Napa’s marginalized communities in my two books: Hidden History of Napa Valley and Lost Restaurants of Napa Valley and Their Recipes.

New Young Adult Speculative Fiction October 2020

I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in October 2020. Up first is a short list of the books I highly recommend, followed by a long list of basically every book being published.

Get your library cards and indie bookstore pre-orders ready, y’all.

Continue reading “New Young Adult Speculative Fiction October 2020”