Monday, May 5, 2008

Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month

In case you didn't know, May is Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month. There are a lot of wonderful Asian American authors and books out there - I encourage you to check them out! Here are just a few:

In this sequel to The Year of the Dog, Pacy has another big year in store for her. The Year of the Dog was a very lucky year: she met her best friend, Melody, and discovered her true talents. However, the Year of the Rat brings big changes: Pacy must deal with the possibility of Melody moving away, find the courage to forge on with her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator, and learn to face some of her own flaws in the process. Pacy encounters prejudice, struggles with acceptance, and finds the beauty in change.

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park:

For Kim Sun-hee's whole life, Korea has belonged to Japan. Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, have grown up studying Japanese and speaking it at school. Their own language, Korean, can be spoken only at home, and some Korean things - like the flag - are not to be spoken of at all. When the Emperor of Japan decrees that all Koreans must take Japanese names, Sun-hee and Tae-yul become Keoko and Nobuo. It is just one more step in a familiar process, but somehow it changes everything.
Then WWII comes to Korea. No battles are fought on Korean soil, yet soldiers are everywhere. At school, the students have war preparation duties instead of classes. But making Koreans take Japanese names has not turned them into loyal subjects, ready to fight for Japan. When Tae-yul sees a chance to help his beloved uncle, whom the Japanese suspect of aiding the Korean resistance, he leaves home. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

The Star Fisher by Laurence Yep:

It is 1927, and fifteen-year-old Joan Lee is taking a long train ride from Ohio to West Virginia with her Mama and Papa and her younger brother and sister. They are going there in pursuit of the American dream, to open a new business and start bright new lives. But when they get off the train, the first words they hear are "Darn monkeys!"
Joan is Chinese-American. That makes her and her family outsiders - so "different" that the narrow-minded townspeople think they belong in a zoo. How could that be? They live in America! She was born here. And she's going to fight to stay here.

Minn and Jake by Janet S. Wong:

Fifth-grader Minn, the tallest girl in school, begins a rocky friendship with Jake, a new student who is not only very short, but is also afraid of the worms and lizards that Minn likes to collect.

Also, check out this great website highlighting "New Novels for Young Readers to Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month!"

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