After much wavering, I’ve decided to start up a blog about children’s and young adult literature. As a youth services librarian, I often find myself relying upon friends’ and colleagues’ blogs as valuable collection development and reader’s advisory tools…as well as for some fun stuff to read on my own time. Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to track the books I’m reading. And I’m not just talking about perfunctory little blurbs on Goodreads, but rather, writing honestly about the books I read and often recommend. I’ve decided to call this blog Masala Reader because I hope that the vast majority of what I write here will emphasize diversity in children’s and young adult literature.
Masala is a Hindi word used to describe a mixing of spices, but in the context of this blog, I find it to be an apt metaphor for describing emerging literary trends reflecting myriad diversities. And, of course, there’s the personal connection–I’m Indian-American, a product of blended cultures. As an adult, I’m beginning to see the books I longed to read as a child being published and marketed to the mainstream. I truly believe it’s important for everyone, regardless of age, to be able to relate culturally (and I’m using this word in the broadest sense) to the media they consume. It might seem trivial to some, but when I read a description of a traditional South Indian dinner being eaten by an Indian-American family in Sheela Chari’s Vanished, I teared up. Sharing (as well as viewing) such intimate details about culture and ethnicity can be personally meaningful to authors and readers.
I’m looking forward to blogging and, hopefully, hearing what some of you have to say.