May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I want to honor it by celebrating all things Asian American and by reading Asian American children's and young adult literature - particularly Fusion Stories.
The Year of the Rat, a semi-autobiographical novel written and illustrated by Grace Lin, follows a year (one Chinese New Year to the next) in the life of Pacy, a young Taiwanese American. The Year of the Rat is the first year of the Chinese twelve-year cycle and therefore it symbolizes new beginnings. The Year of the Rat is the time to make a fresh start and to change things. And Pacy does experience important changes during the Year of the Rat: her best friend Melody moves away, there's a new boy who is the only other Asian in her elementary school (aside from her sister Ki-Ki), her favorite cousin Clifford gets married, and she starts doubting her dream to become a writer and illustrator. Pacy does not like mos…
"My name is Alex Petroski and my house is
in Rockview, Colorado, United States of America, planet Earth. I am eleven
years and eight months old . . ."
Filipino American Alex Petroski
LOVES astronomy. His hero is Carl Sagan, the astronomer who sent a "Golden
Record" out into space. In 1977, NASA launched Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. In
case the spacecraft ever made contact with extraterrestrial life forms, or
future humans, each had on board a "Golden Record," a copper phonograph LP
featuring a collection of sounds and images meant to portray the life and
culture on planet Earth. The recorded sounds included things like wind,
thunder, bird songs, greetings in 55 languages, and the brainwaves of a
woman in love. (You can actually listen to the audio of the Golden Record
Alex has built his very own rocket,
Voyager 3, and plans to launch it into space at SHARF (Southwest High-Altitude…
Watch the book trailer for Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger:
Author Neesha Meminger's debut work is Shine, Coconut Moon, an important and interesting young adult novel about the many complexities of family, identity, and living between two cultures.
I've asked Neesha some questions to get to know more about her and her work. Thank you, Neesha, for answering my questions. And thank you very much for Shine, Coconut Moon - my wonderful gateway to learning about Indians, Indian Americans, and Sikhism!
Can you please tell us a bit about your South Asian heritage?
I was born in Punjab, India and we moved to Canada when I was five. I have been in the west since. My parents didn't speak a word of English, so we spoke only Punjabi at home, and only English at school. I think it took me a while to figure out both, but it's where my fascination with the rhythms of language, the importance of word choice, and the power of the word took root.