Listen, Slowly

Note: I wrote this review about five years ago, and am just publishing it now. I picked up Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai because the story intrigued me. It’s about 12-year-old Mai, the daughter of immigrants from Viet Nam. Her parents have just co-oped her summer plans. Instead of spending it on the beach with... Continue Reading →

Brother’s Keeper

Sora Pak and her family live by a very strict set of rules. The family Bible is hidden under the floor. They must attend the local communist meetings. Their friends and neighbors keep disappearing. But they are afraid to leave their North Korean village. Until the war comes so close, they decide this is their... Continue Reading →

Bronze and Sunflower

Bronze and Sunflower are the names of two children in China who become inseparable friends - and eventually family. This sweet story by Cao Wenxuan was translated from Chinese by Helen Wang. Set during the Cultural Revolution, Bronze and Sunflower is a story of love, hardships and family life in the Chinese countryside (and not... Continue Reading →

Crossing the Farak River

I picked up Crossing the Farak River by Michelle Aung Thin at my local library because I noticed the name - and then when I read the description, realized it’s set in Myanmar (or Burma). My dad has travelled there many times, so I’ve developed an interest in the country and its people. Crossing the... Continue Reading →

The Samurai’s Tale

By all accounts Taro should be dead. The son of a samurai is always killed when his lord is defeated in battle. But Lord Takeda's soldiers decide to spare him, and take him with them. So Taro becomes a servant in the house of Lord Akiyama, learning how to be a servant. But when his... Continue Reading →

Heart of a Samurai

Japan in the 1800's was a mystery to the rest of the world.  The country was truly isolationists - no Japanese person who left its shores was allowed to return.  Not for any reason. Japanese rulers told their people the world outside Japan was dangerous - full of demons, barbarians and monsters.  And soon, fourteen-year-old... Continue Reading →

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin may seem an intimidating book to some readers.  It's quite thick, with 278 pages.  However, the words are large, the chapters are short and the illustrations are beautiful. Lin tells the story of Minli, a girl growing up in the shadow of the Fruitless Mountain.  Life... Continue Reading →

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