Out Today!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Orchards by Holly Thompson (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)

After a classmate commits suicide, Kana Goldberg — a half-Japanese, half-Jewish American — wonders who is responsible. She and her cliquey friends said some thoughtless things to the girl. Hoping that Kana will reflect on her behavior, her parents pack her off to her mother's ancestral home in Japan for the summer. There Kana spends hours under the hot sun tending to her family's mikan orange groves.

Kana's mixed heritage makes it hard to fit in at first, especially under the critical eye of her traditional grandmother, who has never accepted Kana's father. But as the summer unfolds, Kana gets to know her relatives, Japan, and village culture, and she begins to process the pain and guilt she feels about the tragedy back home. Then news about a friend sends her world spinning out of orbit all over again.

Miscellany 2-12-2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011
* CONGRATULATIONS to the master storyteller Rukhsana Khan for winning the 2011 Charlotte Zolotow Award for her outstanding writing in the picture book Big Red Lollipop (illustrated by Sophie Blackall and published by Viking Juvenile in 2010).


* The Filipino-British children's book Tall Story by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling Books, 2011) is now available in the U.S. Buy now!


* Watch out for the Feb. 22 release of Orchards, a young adult novel in verse about a Japanese and Jewish American girl, by Holly Thompson (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2011). I have an advance reading copy and the book is so lovely!



* New on my wishlist is Anya's War by Andrea Alban (Feiwel & Friends, 2011). Anya's War is a young adult novel set in 1930s Jewish Shanghai. JEWISH SHANGHAI!


* Click here to read my interview with Sarah Darer Littman, winner of a Sydney Taylor Honor for her young adult novel Life, After. The Sydney Taylor Book Award is for outstanding children's and young adult books that authentically portray the Jewish experience.


* I'm still working hard on my MA thesis!!!

If you are an author, illustrator, or publisher. . .

and you would like me to announce the release of your new book on this blog, please let me know! :o) I am always very happy to help spread the word about children's and young adult books:

* set in Asia
* featuring Asian characters or characters of Asian descent
* written by Asian authors or authors of Asian descent
* illustrated by Asian illustrators or illustrators of Asian descent

My email address is asiaintheheart@yahoo.com.

The MA Thesis

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
For the past couple months I've been working on the proposal for my MA thesis. Yesterday I defended the proposal before a panel of children's literature experts and I am happy and relieved to announce that they approved my thesis topic. They also gave enormously valuable feedback!

So here is my final thesis topic (it has gone through four incarnations): I am going to trace the development of Asian American children's literature and determine its contributions to American children's literature. I will do this by doing a critical analysis of the Newbery books (Medal winners and Honor books) written by Asian Americans - Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji, Dragonwings by Laurence Yep, Dragon's Gate by Laurence Yep, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. My theoretical framework is ethnic studies and postcolonial studies, and I will be reading the books as Asian American texts and canonized Asian American children's literature.

I hope you'll understand why my blog posts for the next couple months will probably be few and far between. :o) You can follow me on Twitter or add me on Facebook, where I will most likely be posting mini-updates about my thesis.

Wish me all the best? :o)