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The Latte Rebellion Paperback – January 8, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Flux; Original edition (January 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738722782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738722788
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James F. Booth on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is one hell of a debut- it's smart, well-written at a good pace, and also fun. The story starts with the incident that starts the Latte Rebellion and then shifts to the following year after things get out of hand and Asha is at the disciplinary hearing. Each chapter is like this- the majority of it starting in the summer and going chronologically with a few pages at the end taking place at the disciplinary hearing the following April. In the last 60 pages or so, the story catches up and we see what happened to bring about the hearing as well as how the hearing ends, and Asha's life in the following months. It was a wonderful, compelling way to tell the story.

The pages flew by for me and I was surprised at how many pages I'd read after just a half-hour or so. I loved this story and it was a lot of fun to read, but it also raised some interesting questions and revealed prejudices against mixed-race people. I'm not a mixed race person, but the attitudes some people have in this book had me wanting to punch them. It bugs me that people in the real world have this attitude too; I mean, we're in the 21st century- can't we just get over petty things like that? This book is for anyone who's been treated poorly because of who they are, because of something they can't help- gender, race, sexual orientation. It's heartening to read a book like this that gives a voice to the unheard. I was proud of everything Asha and her friends did, as well as everyone who supported the Latte Rebellion, though it may seem weird to be proud of fictional characters, lol.

Speaking of the characters, they were all wonderful (well, you know, except for the ones I wanted to punch) and I loved how multi-layered everyone was.
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Format: Paperback
Latte Rebellion sticks with me. Asha is a character so likable and so believable that I keep wondering what she's doing right now, a couple weeks after I finished the book.

I picked up Sarah Jamila Stevenson's book at the ALA conference in San Diego. I started it in my hotel room before falling asleep, and I finished it on the plane ride home.

The first couple pages sucked me right in. Asha and her feisty best friend stand up for themselves against racial slurs and their stance inspires a crazy money-making scheme to sell t-shirts with the Latte Rebellion logo as a statement of solidarity for "brown" people everywhere who don't fit easily into any categorized "group."
I loved the premise.

Then, the scheme seems to fall into the less noble cause of funding the two girls' after-graduation vacation. For awhile I thought what, this book is about two suburban girls' struggle to earn money for vacation? Why should I care?

But before that question could fully form in my head, the conflict had escalated--to racial tension, to friendship tension, to identity tension, to an educational struggle, to battle against expectations, to potential romance, to physical danger, to a very-real and deep daughter-parent confrontation, to possible expulsion-from school. Asha's whole life is at stake. I cared deeply. And I couldn't put the book down.

Stevenson's pacing parallels the emotion of the book perfectly.

It's a coming-of-age story; it's a story of deciding to stand for priorities, even in the face of losing friends and lifelong expectations. It's a story of coming into one's own as a girl and a young woman.

Sarah Jamila Stevenson has created a multi-layered, complex plot, and a character we can't help but want for a friend.

I want a sequel. I want to know what Asha's doing now.
I loved this book!
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I'm feeling a little bit mixed about this book. There are things I liked. I liked the premise with the social action elements related to mixed race students wanting others to be more accepting of them and acknowledging their uniqueness. I liked the strength of character Asha gains through the course of her senior year as she learns more about becoming involved in causes and staying true to oneself. I liked that she learned to speak for herself and be strong in her own ideals outside of what others may think of her. I liked that she learned the importance of having her own voice heard. I liked the elements of dealing with the realities of friendships at the end of high school-how they start to change based on what people want to do with their lives, as their priorities change, as they grow apart into their own people. I also liked the way the author chose to set up the story with telling chronologically what was happening, but having flash-forward moments to the disciplinary hearing that occurs at the end of the story, helping add tension and building suspense throughout.

Then there are some things I didn't like as much. I felt that the pacing just dragged on a little bit. At times I was trying to get through the book just to get to the end and on to the next one - which is unfortunate because I think there were strong messages in this book. However, I did feel like it read long. Asha narrates this story, so we're very much in her head as the reader. At times, that is helpful, but at times it got a little bit monotonous. Basically, I just wanted more action to be happening faster. The major events were good and I cared what would happen, I just wanted it all told to me sooner. I also felt that it wasn't as descriptive and engaging as I would like.
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