for your reading list

Some books that have come to my attention recently...

Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles by Oliver Chin and Charlene Chua. This is a great little children's book published by Immedium back in September. It's about a girl named Julie who takes a kung fu class, thinking that getting a black belt will be easy. She finds, however, that the moves don't quite come that easy. It's going to take a lot of hard work to be as good as her matinee idol Brandy Wu. Colorful, energetic and beautifully drawn, it's a fun little story with a good lesson for the kids. Learn more about the book here.

The Adventures of Eddie Fung: Chinatown Kid, Texas Cowboy, Prisoner of War, edited by Judy Yung. Eddie Fung has the disctionction of being the only Chinese American solider to be captured by the Japanese during World War II. He was then put to work on the Burma-Siam railroad, made famous by the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. In this memoir, written with his wife Judy Yung, professor emerita of American studies at the University of California Santa Cruz, Eddie tells how his childhood in San Francisco's Chinatown and young manhood as a Texas cowboy helped him survive. More info on the book here.

Saturdays in Chinatown by Christina Seid. This is another children's book, a bilingual picture book following a kid whose senses are awakened every Saturday morning during his family's errands and adventures in New York's bustling Chinatown. The book is written and self-published by Christina Seid, co-owner of the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory in New York City. Check out the Ice Cream Factory's blog here. It's good stuff about food and the Chinatown community. And learn more about the book here.

First Daughter: White House Rules by Mitali Perkins. Stumbled across this while browsing stuff on Amazon. It's a novel following the adventures of a Pakistani American teenager named Sameera, daughter of the President of the United States. It's apparently the second book in a series. While there have been previous movies and books and stuff about First Daughters, and even narratives about an Asian American President, this seems like a different kind of spin. Judging from the cover though (I know, I know), it's probably not quite my kind of book.

Solstice by Ulises Silva. This is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller about Scribes, people who have the ability to write things into being, and Editors, the covert specialists who watch over them. The author, Ulises Silva, is Mexican American, but he actually wrote the book with Latino and Asian readers in mind. The novel's protagonist is a Latino-Asian heroine (Japanese-Mexican, specifically), and two of her eventual companions are Lao. I'm only about a couple of chapters in, but so far it's pretty intriguing.

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