Risha Mullins is a “self-proclaimed critic of Young Adult literature, a National Board Certified English teacher, an AP Language and Composition teacher, and an aspiring author.” You may know her name from some of my posts from last year (What do you think and UPDATE: YA in the classroom). And now Risha is blogging!
She’s at For the Love of YA, offering author interviews and reviews. She recently interviewed David Macinnis Gill; my favorite part is Gill discussing Soul Enchilada and censorship: “Soul Enchilada faced censorship before it was published. When ARCs went out, I started getting emails from librarians who enjoyed it but knew they couldn’t order for their conservation communities (the book is far more popular in the West, while southern libraries seem not to stock it). I also received some testy emails from older readers who complained that my bored, corporate devil wasn’t evil enough. Also, there were many letters criticizing me for writing in the voice of a minority teen, since I;m a middle-aged white guy. That disappoints me because one of the themes of Soul was to judge people for who they are, not for what they look like. Honestly, I’ve been through so many censorship cases as an advocate for teens and teachers that I’m looking forward to a true book banning, rather than the self-censorship we’ve seen so far.”
Mullins on Soul Enchilada: ” In addition to the engaging plot, Gill gives his readership a unique protagonist (Hispanic and African-American) with attitude and spunk, the rich smells and tastes of a Hispanic subculture of El Paso, and some insight into a celebration—Dia de los Muertos—that is often misunderstood or underrepresented by American culture. Even if the plot didn’t keep us guessing and reading, the inclusion of this amazing culture would have done the trick.”
My review of Soul Enchilada.