SEE NO COLOR wins more praise

SLJ logo

School Library Journal (SLJ) writes, for their October edition:

Gibney, Shannon. See No Color. 192p. ebook available. Carolrhoda Lab. Nov. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781467776820.

Gr 9 Up–For Alex Kirtridge, a 16-year-old transracial adoptee in Madison, WI, the topic of race has always been off-limits. Her white adoptive parents valiantly pretend not to see her as different in any way from their two biological children, yet she is treated as “other” by both black and white classmates. Alex tacitly agrees not to rock the boat, avoiding uncomfortable questions and devoting herself to being the star of the baseball team coached by her father, a former minor league player. But a stash of secret letters and a romance with an African American boy precipitate a journey of cultural and emotional exploration for Alex, forcing her to confront difficult truths about her adoptive and birth parents. The honest emotions in this coming-of-age novel will resonate with many readers who are grappling with finding a sense of belonging. Without lecturing readers, Gibney clearly elucidates many issues particular to transracial adoption and biracial identity while also making this a universal story about the need for acceptance. The sports content offers added appeal and a meaningful framework for the plot. At times the book seems to be taking on too much, but both major and secondary characters are well drawn and engaging. This thoughtful novel adds a much-needed perspective on a subject that affects many families but is rarely covered in YA fiction. VERDICT Recommended for purchase, particularly by libraries serving less diverse communities, where it will provide welcome education and support.–Laura Simeon, Open Window School Library, WA


Booklist header

Booklist writes, for their October 15 edition:

See No Color.

Gibney, Shannon (Author)

Nov 2015. 192 p. Carolrhoda/Lab, hardcover, $18.99. (9781467776820).

Biracial adoptee Alex Kirtridge’s life revolves around baseball. Her adoptive father, a former pro ballplayer and high-school coach, glories in her athletic aptitude, far superior to that of his birth children. But though Alex’s family loves her, they continue to ignore the obvious, important fact of her African American heritage; her father describes her as “half white,” and her mother never learned to care for Alex’s hair. But when Alex meets Reggie, a sweet and sexy black ballplayer from another team, and discovers a trove of letters from her birth father, she is faced with a classic teen conundrum: who is she, really, and what is she going to do about it? Though the ending feels a bit rushed, the details ring true, due at least in part to the fact that Gibney is herself a transracial adoptee. As much about character and human dynamics as it is about baseball, this makes an excellent pick for fans of Mike Lupica and Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

— Ariel Zeitlin Cooke


Sarah Hannah Gomez also has a thoughtful piece on white discomfort around dealing with race and difference, as expressed in the novel. You can read it here.

Fellow local “Kid Lit” author Kurtis Scaletta also offered an insightful analysis of some of the book’s main themes on his blog.

Black Women Writers Panel

carolyn holdbrook

Carolyn Holbrook

Photo by bfreshproductions, for Intermedia Arts

On Sunday, September 27, writer, activist, and community member Carolyn Holbrook led the first of three discussions and readings with Minnesota Black women writers, on the politics and poetics of our writing lives.


(l-r) Mary Moore Easter, Tish Jones, Shannon Gibney, Andrea Jenkins, Lori Young-Williams, and Pamela Fletcher

Photo by Ibrahim Hirsi

It was truly a magical afternoon, featuring local luminaries such as Andrea Jenkins, Tish Jones, Pamela Fletcher, Lori Young-Williams, and Mary Moore Easter.


Catch MinnPost’s article on it here.

NPR was there as well, and is producing a segment with the talk this week. A link will be posted here when it is up.

In the meantime, don’t miss the other two upcoming talks, which promise to be just as engaging as the first:

Sunday, October 4, featuring Caribbean writers, at 2:30 p.m.

Facebook event page here.
Sunday, November 15, featuring African writers, at 2:30 p.m.

Facebook event page here.

Check out the flyer: As Curated By More than a Single Story.

SEE NO COLOR Sample Chps, Bookmarks, etc. Now Available

The bookmark, discussion guide, and sample chapter that the good people of Carolrhoda Books and Lerner Publications created for my debut novel SEE NO COLOR are now available for download on their site:

Please share with whoever you think might be interested.

Again, the publication date is Nov. 1.

As always, thanks for your support.



Shannon, Ananya Chatterjea, Hui Nui Wilcox, and Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley wrote a creative and critical essay together, about dance as labor, as an expression of the truth of women of color’s lives, in the new anthology CRITICAL TRANSNATIONAL FEMINIST PRAXIS, edited by Amanda Lock Swarr and Richa Nagar (SUNY Press, 2010).

The essay is titled, “So Much to Remind Us We Are Dancing on Other Peoples’ Blood: Moving Towards Artistic Excellence, Moving from Silence, Moving in Water, with Ananya Dance Theatre,” and features sections in multiple voices about our experiences carving out a safe and productive space for women of color to explore differences and similarities, learn each other’s cultural histories, and build something larger than ourselves.

Check it out, and/or buy a copy here.

We will also be presenting and discussing this piece in a panel at the upcoming NWSA (National Women’s Studies) Conference, November 11-14, in Denver.

Learn more about Ananya Dance Theatre here.

Shannon’s fiction & poetry featured in Ishmael Reed’s KONCH

The newest edition of Ishmael Reed’s KONCH MAGAZINE features Shannon’s creative work, including one poem (“Melba Liston”), two short shorts (“Monster,” and “City of White,”) and an excerpt from her novel-in-progress (“Yasmine, 1828”).

Please check it out, and tell me what you think!