From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-After a classmate hurls a racial slur at her, Asha Jamison, who is half Indian, a quarter Mexican, and a quarter Irish, and her best friend, Carey, who is half Chinese and half Caucasian, use the experience as inspiration for a moneymaking enterprise to raise funds for a graduation trip. At first, the girls sell T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of their new venture, "The Latte Rebellion," hoping to promote awareness about students of mixed ethnicity. But business soon turns political, and Asha finds herself at the center of a burgeoning social movement. As her involvement in it deepens, she becomes more self-reflective in her search for identity, resisting categorization. Stevenson's debut novel expertly handles complex issues around race and ethnic identity without seeming pedantic, and her authentic descriptions of the San Francisco Bay Area complement the story well. Teens will relate to Asha's typical adolescent struggles with her parents, as well as her attempts to mend a heartbreaking rift with Carey. A welcome addition to a rapidly evolving genre of multiethnic young adult literature.-Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Lattes of the world, unite! After 17-year-old half-Indian Asha is jokingly called a towel-head and barely Asian by a classmate, she is moved to advocate for people of mixed race and along the way earn money for a sorely needed summer trip before college. Thus the Latte Rebellion is born—latte, a perfect blend of coffee and other, becomes shorthand for multiethnic people. Carey, Asha’s driven fellow Latte and best friend, insists that they launch the enterprise anonymously, and rightly so. What begins as an online T-shirt-selling scheme becomes a movement, with chapters in colleges and high schools spanning the nation. As Asha’s life is consumed by her cause, her grades slip, and her relationship with Carey deteriorates rapidly after the school begins to view the Latte Rebellion as a terrorist organization. In Stevenson’s debut, illustrated with a few drawings and comics, the portrayal of Asha’s initially misguided but relatable social awakening is so honest that readers will find themselves first cringing at her efforts, then cheering her on. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones