Yesterday I wrote a post about novels by people of color I read in 2014, most of which I haven’t seen in any end of the year list circulating on my Facebook feed. It was lovely to end the year with that post, which was appreciated by my small, but growing community of readers, and brought these books to the attention of many who don’t really read this blog of scattered thoughts. So, I thought I’d start 2015 with a list of first lines from 9 short story collections written by people of color I read last year. I started this list with a collection of Octavia Butler’s stories because. That’s the end of that sentence.
But first, let’s talk about Jacqueline Woodson, one of the authors who received the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
A few years ago, I met Jacqueline Woodson at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where I was taking a glorious week long playwriting workshop with Melinda Lopez. There were only a handful of people of colour present, so we all gravitated towards each other, despite not having much to talk about. The cardinal rule of not talking about race, or even mentioning the word, “white,” in a roomful of white people wasn’t broken. We used the word hello as a symbolic gesture, an acknowledgement of each other’s existence. Me and Jacqueline had a lovely, cursory conversation. Then she read a small section of her work, which I thought was so fantastic I had to immediately read her work and finally understood the draw of Young Adult literature, Sona and Dhonielle have been banging on about for years.
As soon as Jacqueline Woodson’s, “Brown Girl Dreaming” came in the mail, I spent a very leisurely two weeks reading and re-reading it. The writing is gorgeous and haunting and beautiful, creating a range of emotional effects that forced me to abandon my ingrained way of reading most books. It’s the first book in a very long time that I’ve just read as it’s meant to be read – like a book– without overthinking craft and theme and structure and all of those other boring things writers like to do to suck the fun out of reading. This is one of those rare birds – it’s poetry wrapped in story. It’s memoir layered in poetry with a narrative. Perhaps it’s a combination of these things. Most likely, it’s none of these things. It’s just a fucking awesome read.
When I heard she won the National Book Award, I was super stoked, not just because it’s well deserved, but because of its implication in the literary world that my son and daughter and niece and nephew are inheriting: a truly diverse definition of normal that goes beyond just black and white and brown.
Now let’s talk about this motherfucker.
David Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket, made several racist comments during the night he hosted the National Book Award, including one directed at Jacqueline Woodson. His antics are described as variations of what the Washington Post calls, “an incredibly ill-advised joke,” and Publishers Weekly frames vaguely as “remarks he made about Jacqueline Woodson.” CNN uses single quotes around the word, ‘racist’ because it’s one of those complicated things. But they do offer clarification on why ‘some people’ might be offended:
“Watermelon is historically evoked as a favorite food among black people in racist jokes, and it’s considered by many to be an offensive reference.”
David Handler never used the word, “racist,” because we don’t use those kinds of words in polite conversation. And apparently, neither does the media.
I believe Daniel Handler is being honest when he says he didn’t intend to cause offense. That’s what makes this even more emblematic of a much larger problem. He thought it was funny and assumed other people would find it funny as well. Jacqueline Woodson is allergic to watermelon. And she’s black. HA! It’s perhaps an appropriate dose of reality, a reminder that this is the normal we’re dealing with, and the reason #WeNeedDiverseBooks (WNDB) movement and diversity focused book packaging companies like Cake Literary are so profoundly important.
When I heard Daniel did the right thing by promptly apologising, as well as pledging to donate $10,000 towards the We Need Diverse Books Indigogo campaign (and this morning said he would match any money raised for WNDB today, up to $100,000), I was pleased and willing to let it be one of those idiotic things that happens for the greater good. Then I did something I probably shouldn’t have. I read his apology:
“My job at last night’s National Book Awards was to shine a light on tremendous writers, including Jacqueline Woodson and not to overshadow their achievements with my own ill-conceived attempts at humor. I clearly failed, and I’m sorry.”
It’s a bullshit apology that follows the standard white person apology template. Daniel Handler admits to being wrong, but not for being racist. That burden is on us oversensitive people of colour. Then he donates an acceptable amount of money to a worthy cause, so we’re not supposed to say shit about him anymore. Now we move on. Shockingly (or perhaps not that shockingly), not very many people were talking about this in the first place. Now most people have completely forgiven him and he is free from further criticism. It’s not like he threw a banana at Jacqueline or burned a cross or anything.
Junot Diaz puts my entire rambling thoughts into one succinct rhetorical question: “If Daniel Handler is one of the ‘good guys,’ who the fuck needs bad guys?”
Daniel Handler is one person in a system and it’s the system that makes his comments seem like they’re not that big of a deal and through a glib apology, nothing else needs to happen. Whether people like it or not, a conversation is happening. And Daniel Handler is helping make it a loud one, even it is through guilt.
So go visit the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Indigogo campaign. Through today (Friday, November 21, 2014), Daniel Handler will be matching all contributions made up to $100,000. The money raised will be used to fund grants for bringing diverse YA authors and books to schools and libraries, provide financial support for diverse authors, and most excitingly host the first ever Kidlit Diversity Festival in summer 2016, amongst many other pragmatic goals.
Sona is at home with Shaiyar, our six month old. I’m at the library by myself to work on my fiction and have just sat down at a bright red cushioned booth (you heard me right: A booth!) at a little library in Clark, New Jersey, when I spot this book on display. I debate between “work on my novel” and “read bilingual picture book” for a few seconds before making the only logical decision that can be made in a situation like this: I pick up the book, return to the booth, and read it with much glee, my laptop taking a nap on the corner of the table. I feel like ordering a hamburger and a milkshake. Libraries, unfortunately, don’t do this (I asked).
This is my first experience with a bilingual book aimed at people who don’t already speak and understand the language fluently. I read Punjabi books to Kavya in Gurmukhi script and Hindi comics written in Devanagari script. She enjoys listening to the stories and understands what is happening, and it increases her vocabulary. But Sona can’t read these books to her because she can’t read those scripts and used to be able to pretend to read the story and just make things up (also known as LYING). But those days are gone. Even if she can’t read entire words yet, Kavya knows when someone is tricking her.
We are both very excited about Kavya starting a dual language Spanish curriculum at her school this year, but it’s also been daunting trying to figure out how to prepare her for it and prepare ourselves for reenforcing what she learns. Neither of us speak much Spanish. I can confidently order a beer and be obnoxious at a lucha libre event, count up to 30, and randomly name objects, some colors, and precisely two pieces of fruit. Sona isn’t that much better, even though she claims she is.
Little Roja Riding Hood is a refreshing look at the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but I also like that it is intended for children who like to read kickass stories, and at parents who can learn Spanish vocabulary right alongside the kids. Many of the bilingual Spanish books I’ve found in Kavya’s age range tend to assume at least one parent has fluency in Spanish. I found a bilingual version of The Princess and the Pea at a bookshop in NYC a few months ago and it is structured like a lot of books claiming to be bilingual: there’s the English text, followed immediately underneath it by the Spanish text. This is incredibly basic, but I can’t read this without sounding like I’m reading an instruction manual and I can guarantee after the first line, Kavya would be like, “How about you just read the English part?”:
“Once upon a time there was a prince who wished to marry a princess. But he wanted to be sure she was a true princess.”
“Había una vez un príncipe que quería casarse con una princesa. Pero quería estar seguro de que fuese una princesa de verdad.”
On another note, who the fuck does this prince think he is.
I like that the glossary for Little Roja Riding Hood is all the way in the front and there is just enough repetition to understand phrases and words, but not enough to bore someone. I’d imagine even a kid who speaks Spanish would gain something from the story.
The story more or less follows the popularized version, where the woodcutter saves the day just in the nick of time. Except there is no woodcutter: PLOT TWIST! In the same vein of stories like The Paper Bag Princess or the Princess Knight, it takes aim at subverting the idea of the powerless female protagonist and puts Little Roja Riding Hood in control of her own fate using the same suspension of disbelief you use to imagine a woodsman just happens to be outside grandma’s house.
A quick run down of the sequences:
Roja’s mother is watching a gripping telenovela as she makes hot soup for Roja to take to her sick abuela, who lives just past the woods. On the way, Roja gets distracted by flowers and meets a devious lobo with a mustache and a bandana (and a duende!).
He gets information from her about her sick abuela and tells her to pick flowers for a bouquet to bring her. Being a doofus, she does just that, while the wolf takes her red cape and finds the sick abuela’s house.
He sits in a chair and the sequence of “what big eyes you have” begins. Just as he’s about to eat her, the grandmother leaps up and grabs her Jesus statue to beat him with, and Roja shows up, to discover what’s happening and throws boiling hot soup onto the wolf’s face, making him flee from the scene. Finally, they decide to invest in a security system and the grandmother always checks to see who is at the door before letting anyone inside.
The story unfolds in verse and it is pretty impressive how the Spanish and English words blend together to form rhythmic endings as well progress plot. Like these towards the end:
“Just then, little Roja burst in through the door.
And Grandma? No need to play dumb anymore.
“I won’t be your lunch,” said Gran. “Phony nieta!”
“Some soup, Wolf?” said Roja. “My mom’s best receta!”
She swung la canasta and out flew the soup,
too hot for Lobo, who soon flew the coop.”
When I first looked at the illustrations, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite children’s story from the 1990s (yes, I was too old for them then too): Chato’s Kitchen, and sure enough it’s the same illustrator: Susan Guevara, who is still kicking major illustration ass during those 20 years since Chato’s Kitchen. The illustrations also add to the liveliness of the story and presents a classic European folktale structure with a forest and evil beast involved, decreases the eeriness and tension, and amps up the emotional payoff (and boy does it pay off). And most importantly, adds elements of Latino culture and modern culture throughout, starting with obvious things like the mother watching a telenovela in the kitchen, the abuela with her laptop, but there are many subtle things she adds as well like the mischievous duendes on the laptop charger, on the wolf’s mustache, three blind mice just hanging out in the scene, prayer charms, a Jesus statue, birds saying,“¡Cuidado!”
At the beginning of summer, I wrote a blog post about my daughter feeling the narrative chokehold of the stories she was being exposed to: books, television, merchandise, with girls serving a very specific purpose (to look pretty and wait for a man to save them) and particularly that her face and hair didn’t belong in these stories, which was shared on Africa is a Country as well as The Good Men Project. I am pleased bilingual stories like this exist that challenge patriarchal narrative points considered to be set in stone as far as folktales and fairytales are concerned.It’s a step in the right direction towards more diversity in books (check out #WeNeedDiverseBooks) , but I can’t do my explosive bhangra moves just yet: Roja needs to be a shade browner. This isn’t a telenovela, populated by light skinned people, where incidentally that guy in the image above would have about as much of a chance of getting the role of the passionate lover as he would on Days of Our Lives. ¡Ay el escandalo!
I’ll just come out with it: Young Adult and Middle Grade authors are total badasses when it comes to rocking social media, especially on twitter. They don’t just join in conversations, they make conversations happen, and know what they’re doing with #those damn hashtags, which I still refer to sometimes as the number or pound sign. All I need is a rotary phone and a typewriter with lots of white-out.
One of the things I’ve been most impressed by is how well they build and foster writing communities, whether it’s online or whatever the opposite of online is. Offline? The first day after my wife, Sona Charaipotra, began her MFA at the New School’s Writing for Children program, she and her classmates started a group blog, Teen Writer’s Bloc, influenced by a previous year’s group blog, the Longstockings (read Ode to the Longstockings) with Jenny Han and lots of now well known writers; the eventual goal was to create a social platform to promote each other’s books.
Just before they graduated, Sona and Dhonielle then co-founded CAKE Literary, a book packaging company focused on diversity, and they’re also part of the Fearless Fifteeners, a community of Middle Grade and Young Adult authors debuting in 2015.
Just last week, I wrote this post about how my 3 year-old daughter understands the silent power of institutional racism, and wants “yellow” hair. I really thought I had a bit more time!
I was very excited to hear about #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement that Ellen Oh, along with some other writers decided was well overdue. I don’t know the specifics of what or how it went down, but the BEA’s all white panels at Book Con definitely helped. So thanks for that. In all fairness, they did attempt to add diversity with the cat. Last year me and Sona went to AWP in Boston, where panel after panel were composed entirely of white people because brown writers can’t talk about things like plot and weaving in history into fiction. But Global Conflict, that we can talk about. The diversity, of course, shouldn’t end with color and should take into account any community that is marginalized, and the fact this hashtag has been trending since yesterday is awesome. These issues are certainly not new and people have been experiencing them and talking about hem for years. In the past few weeks, specifically in kid lit, there have been some much needed outrage, with articles discussing the staggering statistics of just how much we don’t matter. Here’s a great roundup by Book Riot.
The problem arises with the definition of the term, “diversity.” It’s rare, at least in my social circle, to hear someone say they’re against diversity in books. It’s the equivalent of saying you’re pro-racism. It takes a rare breed of shithead to voice this position. But a lot of people are comfortable with diversity as long as it stays in its place: history lessons in stories set during the civil rights era, or in exotic lands, but in high concept stories like mysteries, fantasy, science fiction, and princess narratives, there isn’t a place for POC – People of Color. We either don’t matter enough to exist in these worlds of reality or mythical lands, or we’re relegated to marginal roles.
In creative writing workshops during my MFA, workshops I’ve taken in the City, and a year long fellowship at the CUNY Writing Institute, I’ve had instructors and fellow students, sometimes who are brown themselves, tell me my character needs to be more exotic, or the foreign terms need to all be translated into English. In creative writing classes I teach, no matter how diverse my students, their stories are always filled with white protagonists because that’s the world they’ve seen. Even in worlds that don’t exist yet. And it’s incredibly sad.
What I love about this movement is that it’s very inclusive and applicable to many genres, including literary fiction. I hold a special place for short stories; I love anthologies, whether they’re American or Australian; mystery or science fiction. But after I read these anthologies, I’m always struck by the obvious: there are either no writers of color, or it’s the same incredibly famous writers of color that appear in every anthology. There’s no effort being placed into finding anyone else, unlike the white authors who appear page after page. I’ve lost count how many writing panels I’ve been to where writers have all been white and often male (like Book Expo). Since January, I’ve read several anthologies, some of them a few years old, like J.M. Coetzee’s, “New Writing from Southern Africa,” where there is not a single black voice (South friggin Africa!), or Best American Short Stories with Joyce Carol Oates, also predominantly white.
Thankfully, today is not only officially Day One of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign, it is also the launch date of the official Dismantle release, a VONA anthology comprised of past and current students and faculty members, including Junot Diaz. I will be attending a fiction workshop at VONA this summer with him and was already excited about it, and then I read this brilliant intro by him about the MFA vs People of Color and can’t help but think and speak in cliches. I’ll write more about this in another post. Here’s a tiny excerpt:
“Some of you understand completely. And some of you ask: Too white … how? Too white as in Cornell had almost no POC—no people of color—in it. Too white as in the MFA had no faculty of color in the fiction program—like none—and neither the faculty nor the administration saw that lack of color as a big problem. (At least the students are diverse, they told us.) Too white as in my workshop reproduced exactly the dominant culture’s blind spots and assumptions around race and racism (and sexism and heteronormativity, etc).”
“Dismantle is an anthology of creative work from VONA alumni and its award-winning teachers including: Chris Abani, Nikky Finney, Maaza Mengiste, Minal Hajratwala, Justin Torres, Cristina Garcia, Mat Johnson, Laila Lalami, Mitchell Jackson and many more.” Join the conversation on twitter at 9 EST using the hashtag #Dismantle, @voicesatvona, @threadblanket this evening, May 1. (9:00-10:30PM) EST.
#WeNeedDiverseBooks is a three day event, just like Coachella, except without so many white people, and you don’t have to travel so far! It sounds like lots of fun, with plenty of opportunity to raise some noise:
Check out their Tumblr for a proper breakdown. Here’s what’s happening today:
May 1st. Make signs on paper, cardboard, on whiteboard, with notebook paper, really anything you like, using #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Take a photo and email ONE photo to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Starting May 2, it will be shared on their tumblr. And make sure you’re reblogging, and social media-ing it up! For explosive results, combine this hashtag with #Dismantle.
Here are two of a million reasons We Need Diverse Books:
Growing up in England during the 1980s, where blatant racism was perfectly normal, sucked, but at least I knew where I stood. Institutionalized racism is confusing — and Kavya was all of four when she felt the isolating pain that only institutionalized racism can bring.
On New Year’s Day, we are heading out to brunch, and she’s sitting on the stairs, her head in her hands. Crying. I ask her what happened. In most cases, we verbally abuse the pain-inflicting object, followed immediately by a good stomping, and that sorts things out. But this time is different. In-between muted, heaving sobs, she says something that I hadn’t expected for at least a few more years: “I want yellow hair. Like Rapunzel.” She points to the large, manga-eyed, blonde princess with tiny toothpick-wrists, smiling on her t-shirt.
It’s one of those parenting moments where time stands still. I fight the urge to say, “Rapunzel’s hair is stupid. She can go to hell.”
My wife, Sona, sits on the stairs with Kavya and tries to comfort her. Sona’s parents don’t really understand the heaviness of what Kavya is saying, and view it as just a random tantrum.
Unlike some parents I know, I don’t have a problem with Disney princesses, of willful mermaids disobeying their fathers, or the uncomplicated nature of the evil stepmother, of parents disappearing from the narrative through death or being lost at sea. I’ve read the different versions of the stories Disney has adapted and am continually impressed with how they repackage these old stories for modern children and their parents. Taking stories like Snow White about a prince who sees the dead body of a beautiful young girl in a clear coffin, and his first instinct is to kiss her. Then to assume she must want to marry him without even asking her. The adaptations are wonderfully told, with lovely artwork and genuine tension. And that’s what’s important to this storytelling Papa. Morals Shmorals. Besides, I thought we’d have some time to diversify her reading and movies.
Instead of berating Rapunzel for her physical appearance, I ask Kavya if she knows who my favourite princess is. She looks up at me. “Who?”
“Princess Kavya.” I say, touching her nose. Instead of calming her down, she starts crying even louder. After a bit, she says, “Why do you like Princess Kavya?”
I hold her tightly in my arms as we make our way to the corridor of Sona’s parents’ house, which is decorated like it’s 1975: flowery wallpaper, carpets, and cabinets encased in mirrors from floor to ceiling. Those mirrors are lifesavers. It’s incredibly important, especially for little brown girls, to be able to see themselves. Not with any agenda or self-affirming message, just to see some reflection of themselves. She looks at herself nervously at first, and then with a bit more confidence. I plagiarize a line from Winnie the Pooh and tell her, “Because you’re you. And the most wonderful thing about Kavya Kaur Dhillon is that you’re the only one.” Then I plagiarize some more from a book we recently read together and tell her I love her through and through. She mopily adds that she loves me more than a lot. I tell her that her middle name – Kaur – means princess. “You’re a real princess,” I tell her, and So is your daadi-ma, bhuee, and your bhaina.” Kavya squeals in laughter at the thought of all her female relatives, including her grandma as princesses. “And they all have black hair,” she adds.
“Yes,” I say. “But it’s not important what color hair you have.”
Kavya’s takeaway from that conversation was that after brunch, she wanted me to find her a video of Cinderella with black hair. She wasn’t really upset because of the yellow hair. Mulan has black hair, so do Pocohontas and Jasmine, but they are pretty irrelevant as their movies came out in the 1990s, and their engagement now comes in limited capacity: cameos in other people’s shows, or as part of the Disney princess franchise. Merida has bright orange hair, Snow White has black hair. She didn’t have the vocabulary to talk about what she was going through: she wanted white skin. And that’s why me and Sona immediately understood the repercussions of what our perfect little girl was upset about, and our parents did not and wanted to quickly sort this tantrum out so we could go out to eat.
A princess figurine collection I bought Kavya several weeks prior to this incident when I made the mistake of telling her she could get one thing from the bookstore. I assumed this fool would choose a book. It featured all of the princesses. I thought this would be a good thing. Turned out that all of the white princesses had large, flowing, dresses, and were able to stand properly. The two brown princesses (Princess Tiana wasn’t there) are the ones that kept falling over because their feet are skinny and glued together. It must be a cultural thing. So, obviously Kavya got bored with them and opted for the sturdier white princesses.
The real problem is that it takes a concerted effort to find books or television shows or movies about girls who look like Kavya. And then there isn’t any merchandise. Soon she will understand that white is not just a useless crayon color, but is the default for normal. Thankfully, she hasn’t had her skin color pointed out to her. Yet. And we’re not going to be the ones that mention it because let’s face it, White is not a race or a real color of someone’s skin unless they’re an albino. It’s a power structure.
Some of my students, who are in their 20s, suffer from these same feelings of internalized racism, where they muffle their own voices or those of other students because it’s in contrast with what has been presented to them as normal. In almost all of the introductory creative writing courses I teach in New York City and New Jersey, regardless of how diverse the students are, the characters for their first stories are always white. When you don’t see yourself reflected anywhere, you start believing you can’t exist in these spaces.
A white character is presented as normal, a character we can all relate to, with universal problems, and the mere presence of a character who isn’t white immediately implies that their otherness must play a major role in the characterization. Or that they’re going to die soon, which will highlight the humanity of the white protagonist.
Many extremely talented writers, who know all about complex characters, story structure, and the art of writing kickass stories, choose to create a mythical land that resembles our own, except it’s inhabited entirely by white people. Which is fine, as long as it’s not the only thing I’m being bombarded with or that I’m being told is the most powerfully moving thing ever because a white man wrote it. Or race is so incompetently handled, it’s shocking, like with John Updike’s “Terrorist,” about an angry Muslim, who hates America, conveniently wants to be a truck driver, and (spoiler alert) plans to set off a bomb in the name of Jihad; there’s also an angry African American character, a bully from the hood, whose mother is a crack addict and names him Tylenol Jones because that’s what crack addict mothers from the hood apparently do. I shudder to think what Updike would have named the character if his mother was Asian.
Shockingly, The New York Times Review of Updike’s 22nd novel suggested he did something much more profound than what he actually did. He wrote a book fueled by his own unsubtle political agenda, lovely sentences, but ultimately a world he doesn’t know, with hollow, racist caricatures instead of complex characters, a novel which he spent too much time researching and not enough time weaving an actual narrative around. It’s a complete departure from his other stories, which are told with very human characters. He writes white people very well. Integrating race into a story is a craft based issue, whether you’re a writer from a particular community or not.
Enter CAKE Literary.
Sona Charaipotra (the wife), and Dhonielle Clayton (the evil librarian task master), are calling bullshit on this whole approach of excluding certain voices, with their book packaging company, Cake Literary. Whenever Dhonielle comes over to hash out concepts or work on outlines with Sona, Kavya assumes she’s come over to play with her. So that’s what usually ends up happening, which would explain why Kavya referred to Dhonielle the other day as, “Kavya’s friend and Mama’s worker.” I wouldn’t put it past Sona to say, “Worker, I’m going to put my feet up. You go and entertain my child!”
I’ve never really understood what CAKE Literary does – just the term, “book packaging,” sounds like the cloak and dagger of the publishing industry, so I’m glad Sona wrote this guest post for Latinos in Kid Lit, that not only clarified what it is they do, but more importantly why they’re doing it.
Junot Diaz (who I’m taking a workshop with at VONA this summer! ! !) interviewed Toni Morrisson at the NYPL and perfectly captured the sentiment at about the hour mark (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5kytPjYjSQ):
“Shifting the narrative center of the telling, the very fact that you were sitting across from these writers as a sort of a strong kind of a north star and saying, listen you don’t have to – by default, write for a white audience, I would think that a lot of what you said really unlocked a lot of these books.”
Here is a tiny snippet of Sona’s piece on Latinos in Kid Lit that makes me momentarily sad, but also hopeful of the types of stories CAKE Literary will create, as well as the change in the literary landscape, that Kavya and millions like her, will grow up with thinking of it as “normal.”
“Growing up as a little brown girl – one of the few, back then – in small-town, suburban central New Jersey, books were my escape. I caused a ruckus alongside little Anne in Avonlea; I mourned Beth along with her sisters in the harsh winter of Maine; I honed my grand ambitions like Kristy and her babysitters’ club; I even swooned alongside Elena over the brothers Salvatore when the Vampire Diaries was originally released. (Yes, I am that old.)
But if you’ll note: in all those books and the hundreds of others I devoured, I never really saw myself, or anyone remotely like me. The majority of characters in books for kids and teens in the ’80s and ’90s were white. And according to Christopher Myers in his recent New York Times piece, “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” the majority still are today, by quite a landslide.
Why is this worth discussing? Because it hurts. A lot. It’s a hit to a kid’s self-esteem to be told – silently, but oh so clearly – that their story is not worth telling, that their voice is not important.”
Now go read the entire piece on http://latinosinkidlit.com
If you still haven’t had your fill of CAKE, find them on www.CakeLiterary.com, and connect with them on twitter @cakeliterary or Facebook. And if you just can’t wait for their novel, Dark Pointe, to come out in 2015 pre-order it here! or add it to GoodReads. I lied: you’ll still have to wait. Add it anyway.