The world of children’s literature is becoming slightly more diverse with the addition of two new novels written by Asian Americans for middle schoolers this spring.
Only 112 books last year aimed at young adults include Asian American characters. However, authors Thanhha Lai (Pictured) and Erin Entrada Kelly seek to change that with their upcoming novels.
According to the Los Angeles Times, National Book Award winner Thanhha Lai recently released her sophomore effort titled Listen, Slowly. Readers are introduced to the story of 12-year-old Mai Le who reluctantly spends her summer in her grandmother’s village in Vietnam. With the help of two new friends, Mai learns more about her Vietnamese culture and identity.
At the end of this month, middle school readers can look forward to the debut of author Erin Entrada Kelly’s work, Blackbird Fly. Kelly tells the story of Analyn “Apple” Yenko who struggles socially in her Louisiana school as the only Filipina American who is frequently mistaken as being Chinese.
To read more about the stories about these two young Asian American teens, please see the LA Times.