Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: The Latte Rebellion
Author: Sarah Jamila Stevenson
Release Date: January 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
Year/Setting: Present Day/Northern California
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: None
Sarah's Website/Blog: www.sarahjamilastevenson.com
This is a very intricate story that touches upon major viewpoints in today’s society, including social profiling and the continued rise in prejudicial words and phrases. An incident at a pool party that happens between Asha and a ridiculous boy in school sparks an idea. The boy is one of those absolute jerks who like to use slurs in order to make others angry. Asha is part Native American as well as a mixture of Mexican and Irish on her father’s side. Carey is South Asian as well as many other facets passed down to her from generations before.
Asha Jamison and Carey Wong are best friends. They have worked all through high school to be good students so that they can one day get out of their small town and enter a new world of adventure. Carey is the top of the class and spends most of her time worrying about her SAT scores and getting into college. Asha is a little more lax, and thinks about how to get money together so that she and her friend can go on a trip after graduation before beginning their new lives in college. What Asha and Carey also share is an absolute love of latte creations. Both of them forever want to rush to the coffee shop so that they can have a hot or iced latte in their hands as they work their behinds off to get a better future.
Asha notices that people are a lot like latte’s; not all black coffee, or cream only – a latte is a mixture of many different ingredients brought together in order to form the perfect beverage. Thus, the Latte Rebellion is born. Together Carey and Asha become Agent Alpha and Captain Charlie and set up a website that sells t-shirts to support their cause. All they’re looking for is to make enough money that they could perhaps take a trip to Europe or Mexico for some relaxation after graduation. What they don’t expect is how a simple innocent slogan goes from a money-making scheme to an all out active movement that appears in colleges across the globe – not to mention into a club that is linked on television to a person who is being touted as a terrorist. Soon Asha finds herself in front of a board of education who wants nothing more than to expel her for creating a frightening club that will simply not go away.
This author has truly put her finger directly on a point that more and more people need to understand. Profiling – harming others – is absolutely ridiculous considering that this country was founded by the people who came off mammoth ships to Ellis Island. One of the glorious aspects of Americans is the fact that they brought with them cultures from numerous countries and formed a FREE world where everyone could live together in a democratic society. Of course, as anyone who watches the news knows, this is somewhat of a fairy-tale look at the world. But ignorance simply breeds ignorance, and hopefully with novels such as this aimed at our youth we can begin at a young age to learn NOT to treat our neighbors badly! Great Job!
Until next time,
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