Raise Your Voice 2016 with Sarvenaz Tash

Raise Your Voice is a special annual month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader whose purpose is to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in literature, with a particular emphasis on #OwnVoices stories. In it, authors recommend books with sensitive, positive and accurate representation that will help to create a resource of diverse books that marginalized readers can turn to when they need them most. Your voice matters. Raise it! For a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates, click here.

About Sarvenaz Tash

Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. Sarvenaz currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramTumblrGoodreads

(You can add In The Year Of The Boar and Jackie Robinson to your Goodreads shelves Here!)

When I was in fifth grade, my teacher assigned us a book to read. It was called In The Year Of The Boar and Jackie Robinson.

By that point, I was already a voracious reader, and discovering new books was usually my favorite part of school (after all, school was what had led me to the books of Beverly Cleary, the author who made me fall in love with reading in the first place). But this book was different; it was special.

It was the first book I ever remember reading where the main character was an immigrant, like me. And although she came from China, and I came from Iran — and we immigrated to the U.S. almost exactly 40 years apart — so many of her experiences resonated with me completely. For example, the fact that we both started school without speaking a word of English. Shirley Temple Wong understood the terror of that. She articulated it for me in a way that I’d never quite been able to.

I read that book. And after I finished it, I wrote my own short story. This one was about a Muslim boy named Ali who immigrated to a school on Long Island, where he felt different and weird but also so curious about what his new life would be like. And then I did something I’d never done before: I showed the story I wrote to somebody, my rather formidable fifth grade teacher, in fact.

I remember her being kind and so encouraging. And then I’ll never forget the inscription she wrote in my yearbook at the end of the year.

It says, “Dear Sarvenaz, I expect to read a novel written by you one day. Keep up the good writing.”

Would I have become a writer without ever having read In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson? Maybe. But I also know that book leading to that short story leading to that inscription planted a seed in my head that took root. It was the fact that I could be a writer, that it was in me; that if author Bette Bao Lord had done it, why not me? So thank you, Ms. Lord and Mrs. Childs. I’m not quite sure who I’d be without you.

Title The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love
Author Sarvenaz Tash
Pages 256 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Published June 14th, 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Archie and Veronica. Althena and Noth…Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxy, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.

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