Sunday, December 29, 2013

Texas Statehood Part 1

On this day in 1845, Texas became the 28th state. To celebrate, we're looking at our favorite authors from, and books that take place in, the Lone Star State.


Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith. After her parents die, Quincie rebrands their struggling Italian resteraunt with a vampire theme. But when the head chef is mauled to death in what looks like a werewolf attack, the new chef is a little too good at the vampire impressions. The first in a series, follow it with Blessed. Leitich Smith lives in Austin.

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Amy has tried to stay out of the family business (witchcraft) and is excited to spend a summer at her aunt's ranch instead. But once there, ghosts are on the prowl and bodies are turning up--something Amy's going to have to deal with. There's a companion novel Spirit and Dust, about Amy's cousin, Daisy. Clement-Moore lives in Arlington.

Whip It by Shauna Cross. Stifled by life in Bodeen, TX, Bliss is forced to enter beauty pageants by her obsessed mom, even though she hates them. To find a release, she secretly joins a roller derby league and tries to balance her two lives. Originally published with the title Derby Girl. Cross grew up in Austin.


Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves. When Hanna's father dies, she moves to Portero, TX to be with a mother she's never met. Hanna's heavily medicated for her hallucinations, but in Portero, she finds doors to other dimensions and teams up with a demon hunter to try to save the town. Reeves grew up in East Texas and currently lives outside of Dallas.

How Not to Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler. Seventeen-year-old Sugar Magnolia Dempsey is tired of leaving friends behind every time her hippie parents decide to move, but her plan to be unpopular at her new Austin, Texas, school backfires when other students join her on the path to "supreme dorkdom." Ziegler lives in Austin.

The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell. In the aftermath of a protest gone wrong in Houston in the late 60s, a white reporter and his family befriend a black activist family. Breaking the unwritten code of conduct in both communities, they have to decide to do what is easy, or what is right. This is a fictionalized account of Long's adolescence.


Illegal by Bettina Restrepo. Nora's father left Mexico to find work in the US. He promised he'd be back for her quinceanera. But her birthday is nearing and the letters and money have stopped coming. Nora and her mother decide to cross the border in order to find him. Restrepo lives near Dallas.

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Freshman year, Lupita's mother gets uterine cancer. Despite the fact that she's the oldest of eight, Lupita and her mother have a close relationship and it grieves her to see her vibrant and wonderful mother struggle with the disease. This verse novel follows Lupita through high school in Eagle Pass, TX, and beyond, and we see her and her family deal with her mother's illness. Garcia McCall lives near San Antonio.

Getting It by Alex Sanchez. Inspired by an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Carlos decides to ask Sal, a gay senior, to give him a makeover to help him attract girls. Sal agrees, but only if Carlos helps start a Gay-Straight Alliance club at their Texas high school. Sanchez lived in Austin when he was a kid.

Stay tuned-- Texas is the second largest state in the union, so it gets two days-- there will be more tomorrow.

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