“You’re half-Chinese and half-European. Caucasian. Whatever. I’m half-Indian, a quarter Mexican, and a quarter Irish. We’re mixed up. We’re not really one or the other, ethnically. We’re like human lattes.”
After Asha and her friend Carey are harassed by other students at their Northern California high school (including the president of the Asian Club) , they decide to print up some multiracial pride t-shirts.
So begins Sarah Jamila Stevenson’s new young adult novel The Latte Rebellion (Flux, 2011), which is part of NPR’s Tell Me More Summer Blend Book Club. What starts out as a harmless money-making venture by two high school friends grows into something much, much bigger: a nationwide student movement towards multiracial consciousness.
Like most YA fiction, The Latte Rebellion is a quick read, and I found a lot I could relate to: Asha lives in a fictional town just outside of the San Francisco Bay Area (home to U Nor-Cal), and aspires to attend U.C. Berkeley, where their whimsical “Latte Rebellion” is being taken as a serious identity issue.
Although I’m not in the target age group of YA literature, I found that I could really relate to the story as a blogger. Like Asha, I started this blog on sort of a whim, to express and chronicle our experiences as a mixed-race family. What I’ve found is that there are many other people out there on the Internet, who are also muddling through the similar questions and challenges, either as Hapas or as the parents of biracial children.
You can also check out Michael Martin’s interview with Sarah Jamilah Stevenson on NPR.
I’ve noticed that YA literature seems to be as popular among 40-year old women, as among teens. What do you think? Are you interested in reading The Latte Rebellion?