At one point, I didn’t tag any of the books with Black content because that was the primary content of this blog, but it was recently brought to my attention that since the original scope of Colorful Book Reviews has greatly expanded, I should probably start using that tag.
After some reflection, I’ve decided to add the following tags:
Black African American white/presumed white Afro-Latinx
It was also brought to my attention that I probably should be tagging books with biracial main characters also. After some conversations, what I’ve decided to do is tag each ethnicity as well as using biracial tags. I understand that the biracial people in my life are not necessarily representative of all biracial people everywhere, and that some might differ in opinion. For now I’ll be making two tags, biracial (white) and biracial (nonwhite). This is not to diminish the importance of literature about biracial people from two different nonwhite cultures, but simply to reflect the reality that far more children’s literature currently exists including biracial characters with partially white heritage.
While embarking on this tag clean up project, I’m also toying with the idea of region-specific tags for Africa, and will probably consolidate the Caribbean tags since I just don’t post enough about most countries there.
It will probably be May or June before I have time to actually start implementing these changes on past posts in the blog, since my main priority continues to be reading and writing reviews. But I wanted to mention it early to have a chance for feedback before all these changes.
A few updates, some favorites from the last two years’ reviews, and very loose, mild goals for 2021.
So not only was 2020 a mess, I never really did a wrap up from 2019. I’ve gone ahead and updated my Review pages (2019, 2020) so let’s look at a few other things before getting into my favorites of the last two years and goals for 2021.
Middle Grade Mondays
For 2021 I am going to start a new occasional post, Middle Grade Monday. Towards the end of 2020, my Fiction Fridays were almost entirely diverse middle grade fantasy novels. I have a LOT more books in that category to read, review, or post about and am hoping to put out a second round up at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022. But I also read a lot of other books including adult novels, YA, picture books, historical fiction, realistic stories, and even middle grade science fiction, all of which I would love to discuss on Fiction Friday.
I don’t want the diverse middle grade fantasy to overwhelm the blog, so sometime in the next few months I’ll be switching to posting that on Mondays and hopefully doing other fiction reviews for Fiction Fridays.
TL;DR – The advertising fake “sponsored post” content is NOT from me. Might have to figure out a new place to take CBR depending on how this goes.
Greetings dear readers.
I prefer to focus my time on producing content, so it distresses me to make another one of these this year. The good news is as of right now, I’m still creating content, with Fiction Fridays at least continuing for the next few months.
WHAT’S GOING ON WITH WORDPRESS?
The bad news is that WordPress is very suddenly testing a deceptive new feature called “sponsored content” in several places, including this blog. This is a practice of making a fake blog post which is actually an advertisement that is incorporated into one’s blog feed.
Readers are more likely to click on it for two reasons: 1) because it is formatted and styled just like a regular post 2) or because some bloggers do get paid to create and post specific content, which in some cases may still be of use or interest to their readers
DO I EVER CREATE SPONSORED POSTS? (NO! NEVER!)
For this blog, I do NOT do any sponsored posts. At times I accept free review copies of books that interest me, but always with the understanding that I may not write a favorable review. These posts where I get free review copies are ALWAYS labeled as such. I even mark books to indicate if I got them at the library, purchased them myself, or received them as a gift. At times I might refer to or collaborate with others and these posts are ALWAYS LABELED.
A thousand words (and some pictures) about depictions of Earthsea and the importance of cover art that better reflects diverse fantasy novels.
I was planning to cover this topic as part of my forthcoming review of A Wizard of Earthsea, the first book in the Earthsea Cycle (formerly trilogy) but could not cut it down to any reasonable length, and the same topic applies to many other books, including the rest of that series.
The first Earthsea book was published in 1968 and in the intervening 50 years, they’ve come to be seen as something of a classic of fantasy literature, frequently compared to Tolkien or the Chronicles of Narnia. They are not without failings (which I’ll try to address in my reviews), but the Earthsea books do have one major difference to many commonly known “classic” works of fantasy – the vast majority of LeGuin’s Earthsea characters are NOT white.
This is something of a departure from the normal content of this blog. I read about 200 books per year (some are rereads, children’s books, or graphic novels), and while I do buy a LOT of books, that’s not the only way I get books. Talking with other book bloggers, it seemed that there was mild interest in some of my techniques for finding different titles, whether to purchase or just to read.
So I’ll be doing a series of posts called “How I Get Books” throughout 2020. Feel free to skip over them if you are not interested, or leave a comment if you want to discuss further. As posts go up, I’ll be linking them here on this post. Hopefully one of these posts will give you an idea or help you find a book you’ve been looking for!
Later, a post will go up about a particular Usborne book I’ve decided to review. But before that goes live, I thought readers of this blog might benefit from a brief background on Usborne. In the USA at least (it might differ elsewhere), Usborne is a direct-sales company focusing on children’s books and related items such as puzzles, notebooks, etc. They were originally known among teachers for having long lists of child-friendly internet links to back up every book. Of course, with the nature of the internet getting better known and the passage of time, those printed lists no longer had the same value, and they are not a major part of Usborne’s marketing these days.
Usborne has a long history of being sold through company representatives, which is part of why I haven’t reviewed too many of their books. However, it’s now possible to purchase through their website (where you will be assigned a consultant), buy select titles new through bookstores, find almost any title used, or buy them through Amazon (although I think those purchases are not endorsed by the company). Basically, Usborne has gained enough traction that it’s possible to get the more popular titles even without going to a sales party or knowing a consultant.