WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Amil and the After

Cover of Amil and the After. Two hands rise up from the bottom of the cover and the fingers overlap above the title. Above the hands is a dark city in shades of blue and a starry night sky.Amil and the After by Veera Hiranandani is a companion novel to her Newbery Honor book, The Night Diary. That first book told how the twelve-year-old, twins, Amil and Nisha with their father and grandmother, made a harrowing escape from their family home because the British partitioned India in 1947. That meant that since the family were Hindus, they had to leave what became Pakistan since it just for Muslims after the partition. These historical fiction novels about events that few American children are acquainted with will give young readers insights about how those past events influence what is happening in today’s world.

“That’s when India became free from British rule, partitioned into two countries, and Pakistan was born. Most Muslims went to Pakistan. Most Hindus, Sikhs, and other non-Muslims went to India, and everyone started fighting and killing one another. Many starved or became ill and died on the journey.” (p. 5 Amil and the After.) Continue reading

WOW Dozen: Children’s Books for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage

By Stephanie E. Mahar, Washington State University

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month occurs every May. The U.S. Congress officially acknowledged the history and contributions of Asian American communities in the United States in 1977. Representative Frank Horton of New York and Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii spearheaded the commemoration to be observed for the first ten days of May. The celebration was initially marked for one week but was later extended to a full month-long tribute, starting in May 1990. May also commemorates the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States in 1843. Additionally, May marks the transcontinental railroad’s completion on May 10, 1869, which Chinese immigrants primarily built. This WOW dozen contains an assortment of 12 picturebooks and middle grade books to honor and celebrate the cultures of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander people. Continue reading

My Take Your Take Banner

MTYT: The Night Diary

By Seemi Aziz, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and Celeste Trimble, Celeste Trimble, St. Martin’s University, Lacey, WA

We focus on the theme of displacement and its representations in young adult and children’s literature in this July’s My Take/Your Take. With the present day global and national focus on anti-immigration and children being kept is cages point towards the necessity of giving this theme attention in any or all forums that we as citizens have access to. The textset within this forum includes strong narratives that speak to the issue in various parts of the world, some as historical present and others as historical past that still seems relevant to today. The five books to be discussed each week are The Night Diary, The Bone Sparrow and Guantanamo Boy, Internment, Amal Unbound, and Saltiepie.

Banner with bibliographic information on The Night Diary, also listed at bottom of post. Continue reading