2011/2012 Feature Book of the Week #6
The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Our philosophy is simple: Promote a latte-colored world! —from the Latte Rebellion Manifesto When high school senior Asha Jamison gets called a "towel head" at a pool party, the racist insult gives Asha and her best friend Carey a great money-making idea for a post-graduation trip. They'll sell T-shirts promoting the Latte Rebellion, a club that raises awareness of mixed-race students. Seemingly overnight, their "cause" goes viral and the T-shirts become a nationwide fad. As new chapters spring up from coast to coast, Asha realizes that her simple marketing plan has taken on a life of its own-and it's starting to ruin hers. Asha's once-stellar grades begin to slip, threatening her Ivy League dreams, and her friendship with Carey is hanging by a thread. And when the peaceful underground movement turns militant, Asha's school launches a disciplinary hearing.Facing expulsion, Asha must decide how much she's willing to risk for something she truly believes in. (Publisher's summary from Goodreads)
Hi Book Battlers! I'm honored to be part of this year's mayhem.

Funny thing about reading: when you sit down to get absorbed in an amazing story, that story seems like such an independent force, like it came into being fully formed and couldn't have existed any other way. Harry Potter, he of the green eyes and lightning-shaped scar, could never have been Henrietta Potter, with two Harley-riding parents and an orange mohawk, for instance. (Although, if I had written it, maybe...)
But the truth is, a story can take a lot of different forms before it sees the light of day. Some stories never manage to see the light of day at all, but the important part is to keep writing. The Latte Rebellion is my first published novel, but I wrote two-and-a-half novels and a whole bunch of short stories before I even started Latte. But it would not have been possible for me to write Latte without having written those novels and stories, without sending them out and getting rejection notes and being inspired and determined to do better next time.

Heck, I wouldn't have been able to write Latte if it weren't for EVERY bit of writing that came before. Even the really, really bad stuff, like the unfinished dystopian cyber-thriller starring a guy with a robot arm, and the angst-filled poems that made me sound like I should be put in a comfy padded room without any sharp objects. Yes, even those fashion magazines for cats that I made when I was a kid, complete with advice columns. (I'm sorry to report that I did indeed write all of those things.)

Fortunately, NONE of that made it into The Latte Rebellion. What did make it into the story, even if indirectly, was the fact that I kept on going, didn't ever give up on writing or let rejection or failure get in the way of how much I love putting words together to create stories. I stayed focused on trying to improve, trying to become a better writer. And my favorite method of trying to become a better writer is to read a lot. In fact, I think I can credit my immense, sometimes out-of-control, love of reading for the fact that I'm a writer now. 

I hadn't planned to be a writer—I thought I'd be illustrating the covers of books rather than writing the stories inside. But even though I still draw, paint, and do other artistic things, I always come back to words. I start the day with reading. (And coffee.) I read as the last thing I do before I go to bed. 

And one of the thoughts that gives me the most joy and amazement is to picture some other book addict, reading under the covers at night before bed, with MY book in their hands--my little story, The Latte Rebellion, about a girl whose moneymaking scheme spirals out of control and causes both havoc and hilarity. If that's you, sneaking in a few more minutes of your book addiction before bed, well, thanks for reading!


Sarah Jamila Stevenson is a writer, artist, graphic designer, introvert, closet geek, enthusiastic eater, struggling blogger, lapsed piano player, household-chore-ignorer and occasional world traveler. Her previous lives include spelling bee nerd, suburban Southern California teenager, Berkeley art student, under appreciated temp, and humor columnist for a video game website.

Throughout said lives, she has acquired numerous skills of questionable usefulness, like intaglio printmaking and Welsh language. She lives in Northern California with her husband, who is also an artist, and two cats with astounding sleep-inducing powers.
She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Mills College in Oakland, CA, a post-baccalaureate certificate in Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a BA in Art Practice and Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.

I want to thank Jamila for taking time out of her writing and blogging schedule to talk to us about reading and writing. 

Don't forget to leave a comment about the book and her post.

8 Delicious Comments:

laduemiddle said...

loved your comment about never giving up even after your publisher rejected it. just started your book and can't wait to get into it.

laduemiddle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laduemiddle said...

It's quite interesting that Latte Rebellion was written during NaNoWriMo. I'm in it right now. 14K words so far.

It's good seeing that novels that were written for the event made it to the final stage.

-A Ladue Middle Student

Sarah Stevenson said...

That's great that you did NaNoWriMo! The year I wrote The Latte Rebellion was the only year I managed to finish the 50K. I've tried three or four other times but still haven't managed to make the word count. :)

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Anonymous said...

I loved this book- hazelwood west middle school

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

THE AUTHOR AND I HAVE STUFF IN COMMON. We both are spelling bee geeks and household chore ignorers. We love to eat and do graphic design

cross keys

Anonymous said...

NORTH MIDDLE!!!!!!!!!!!
I loved this book so much I litrally FORCED my librarien to read it.

Design by Use Your Imagination Designs All images from the Keeper Of Time kit by Studio Gypsy