As part of readergirlz' celebration of Teen Read Week, you're invited to an hour of great conversation with LA Times Book Award winner Coe Booth (KENDRA) and Printz Award winner An Na (THE FOLD), moderated by me at readergirlz tonight, 9 EST, 6 PST.
Coe Booth: Kendra
Kendra's mom, Renee, had her when she was only 14 years old. Renee and her mom made a deal -- Renee could get an education, and Kendra would live with her grandmother. But now Renee's out of grad school and Kendra's in high school ... and getting into some trouble herself. Kendra's grandmother lays down the law: It's time for Renee to take care of her daughter. Kendra wants this badly -- even though Renee keeps disappointing her. Being a mother isn't easy, but being a daughter can be just as hard. Now it's up to Kendra and Renee to make it work.
COE BOOTH has worked in social services, and is currently a teacher in the Bronx. She has always lived in and continues to live in the Bronx. She is also the author of Tyrell.
An Na: The Fold
Joyce never used to care that much about how she looked, but that was before she met JFK—John Ford Kang, the most gorgeous guy in school. And it doesn’t help that she’s constantly being compared to her beautiful older sister, Helen. Then her rich plastic-surgery-addict aunt offers Joyce a gift to “fix” a part of herself she’d never realized needed fixing—her eyes. Joyce has heard of the fold surgery—a common procedure meant to make Asian women’s eyes seem “prettier” and more “American”—but she’s not sure she wants to go through with it. Her friend Gina can’t believe she isn’t thrilled. After all, the plastic surgeon has shown Joyce that her new eyes will make her look just like Helen—but is that necessarily a good thing?
AN NA is the author of Wait for Me and A Step from Heaven (National Book Award Finalist and Printz Award winner). She lives in Montpelier, Vermont.
Mitali Perkins: Secret Keeper
When her father loses his job and leaves India to look for work in America, Asha Gupta, her older sister, Reet, and their mother must wait with Baba’s brother and his family, as well as their grandmother, in Calcutta. Uncle is welcoming, but in a country steeped in tradition, the three women must abide by his decisions. Asha knows this is temporary—just until Baba sends for them. But with scant savings and time passing, the tension builds: Ma, prone to spells of sadness, finds it hard to submit to her mother- and sister-in-law; Reet’s beauty attracts unwanted marriage proposals; and Asha's promise to take care of Ma and Reet leads to impulsive behavior. What follows is a firestorm of rebuke—and secrets revealed! Asha’s only solace is her rooftop hideaway, where she pours her heart out in her diary, and where she begins a clandestine friendship with Jay Sen, the boy next door. Asha can hardly believe that she, and not Reet, is the object of Jay’s attention. Then news arrives about Baba ... and Asha must make a choice that will change their lives forever.
MITALI PERKINS was born in Kolkata, India. Her previous novel with Delacorte Press is Monsoon Summer, a Book Sense 76 Pick, a New York Public Library Book for the Teenage, and a Bank Street College Best Book. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts. Mitali is a readergirlz diva.