Own Voices Comics

#ownvoices is a social media hashtag, first suggested on Twitter by Corinne Duyvis in September 2015 as a tool “to recommend kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group”. It is related to, and overlaps with, the “We Need Diverse Books” movement/non-profit organization. As a tool and a movement, #ownvoices can be used to describe any marginalized group within any genre of any art form; it is purposefully unrestrictive.

Try out these #ownvoices comics in The Seattle Public Library collection, where the creators (writer[s]) or artist[s]) share a marginalized identity with a protagonist:

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew

The Eisner Award winning graphic novel from Singaporean-based Malaysian creator Sonny Liew tells the fictional story of Singaporean comics creator Charlie Chan Hock Chye, whose life and art parallel and evolve alongside the actual history of modern Singapore.


I am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, Stacey Robinson, and John Jennings

This timely graphic novel tells the story of Alfonso Jones, a young African American teen killed by an off-duty police officer in New York City. Now, as a ghost, Alfonso is carried along on through the afterlife on a subway train full of victims of shootings, while his loved-ones and community attempt to cope and make meaning of his death.

Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection edited by Hope Nicholson

Published as a Kickstarter project through Alternate History Comics, Moonshot features stories of identity and culture from North American indigenous creators. Stories of Indigenous Futurisms and traditional forms are told by creators of many communities, including Métis, Inuit, Dene, Anishnaabe, Cree, Mi’kmaq, Caddo, Haida, and Sioux.


Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Indian-American teenager Pri badly wants to connect with her mother’s homeland, to find out more about her father’s identity, and learn why her mother came to America, but these topics are off-limits as far as her mother is concerned. That is, until Pri finds an old pashmina stuck in a trunk in the closet, which, when worn, transports her to an idealized and magical India.

Discover more #ownvoices comics at The Seattle Public Library

~posted by Mychal L.

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March Literary Holidays

Aside from calendar noted holidays in March like Purim and Saint Patrick’s day, there are a few literary days of note that might peak your interest.  

On March 2nd there is Read Across America day, which also happens to be Dr. Seuss’ birthday. It was created by the National Education Association as a day to devote to getting children excited about reading. Dr. Seuss’ birthday was selected as the day to encourage reading on. So enjoy Oh, The Places You’ll Go! or Green Eggs and Ham both by Dr. Seuss. Or branch out from Dr. Seuss and try one of the books listed here Our Favorite Children’s Picture Books of 2017 or Race and Social Justice Books for Children K-5.

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Judge a Book by its Spine

They say to never judge a book by its cover (though we all do), but what about its spine? While in libraries, bookstores, and private homes we all try our best to face our beautiful collections out for all of the world to behold, most collections are smooshed together citing space considerations, presenting only the slender spine of the work.

Why should anyone care about the spine of a book? The spine is, especially in the library, a very valuable piece of real-estate on each book. Apart from the covers of display books, this is the first part of the book that people see. The spine conveys both utilitarian information about a book’s place in a series, its author, and publisher; and also presents a chance for the book to sell itself. This space can provides a reader’s first clue as to what the book is about, its characters, its appeal, and so on… You might not get to the cover, if you don’t get past the spine. Continue reading

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Time to Wine Down

One of my favorite activities for wine o’clock is to curl up with a book.

Maybe a Full Bodied Murder mystery or A Case of Syrah, Syrah by chance.

For more of a darker blend you could try a Deadly Tasting.

If you prefer a lighter read, like me, you could try Blush for Me or a story that was Once Upon a Wine.

But as with all good wines its good to Let It Breathe.

~posted by Kara P.

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Seattle Rep’s THE GREAT LEAP: Beyond the Theater

Diplomatic tensions between American and China, played out in the sports arena. How the passions and actions of one person can make a difference in the world. The themes of Lauren Yee’s play The Great Leap – which opens its month-long run at The Seattle Repertory theatre on March 23 – could not be more timely.

Yee’s play was inspired by stories of her father’s days on the basketball courts of San Francisco’s Chinatown, where he played center and was known as “Spider.” Chinatown had a robust history of basketball dating back to the 1930’s and 1940’s, when male and female athletes cultivated a new high-speed style of fast-break basketball that was decades ahead of its time, smashing stereotypes and defeating rivals. Kathleen Yep’s fascinating Outside the Paint: When Basketball Ruled at the Chinese Playground reveals this history, while Dean Wong’s Seeing the Light: Four Decades in Chinatown provides a vivid immersion in the life, spirit and struggles of four Chinatowns depicted in powerful, revelatory photographs. Continue reading

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Library Reads: 10 Books for April

Nine works of fiction and one memoir you don’t want to miss. Time to place holds on books coming in April!10 n

Circe by Madeline Miller (fiction)
Circe follows the banished witch daughter of the Titans as she practices her powers for an inevitable conflict with one of Olympus’s most vindictive gods. I found myself pondering motherhood, mortality, and feminism. For readers of historical and mythological drama or anyone who loves a strong female lead. ~ McKelle George, Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake, UT Continue reading

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Happiness is a Painted Rock

A rock I found at UW Tacoma!

Well it’s March and that sun of ours is making its way more and more into our lives. It gives those of us that live in this beautiful Pacific Northwest region more opportunities to romp around. Taking place in my little corner of Tacoma is one of my favorite little surprises around this time: finding Tacoma Rocks. Painted rocks have also spread to Seattle and other parts of our region.

As you make your way to parks and campgrounds and beaches, keep an eye out for some happiness in the shape of a painted rock…or check out these books from the library and make your own!

The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark your Creativity by F. Sehnaz Bac

“Transform ordinary stones into a colorful works of art. Full-color illustrations accompany step-by-step instructions for creating 30 different themes: trees, flowers, animals, mandalas, geometric patterns, marine and holiday motifs, and more”

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