The New Book Spotlight highlights new-to-us titles in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library.
The Magic Fish / written and illustrated by Trung Le Nguyen
As the son of refugee parents from Vietnam, Tiến doesn’t know how to tell his mom that he is gay and worries that she won’t accept and love him anymore. Not only that, but he struggles to find the right words in Vietnamese. On the other hand, Tiến’s mother, Hiền, experiences her own journey of wondering if immigrating to America was worth leaving her family in Vietnam behind and if she’s to blame for the disconnect between her and Tien.
Trung Le Nguyen’s The Magic Fish takes an unconventional approach to graphic novel storytelling by sharing fascinating fairytales and intertwining them with Tiến’s and his mother’s journey with vibrant colors and pictures that immediately draws readers in. Although not all readers will directly relate to Tiến’s or his mother’s story, it will surely take you on an emotional journey that might just encourage you to reflect on your own personal journeys.
The Magic Fish is available from the CECH Library, as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.
Review by Alexis Parker, CECH Library Student Assistant | Public Relations and International Affairs, A&S 2024
The New Book Spotlight highlights new-to-us titles in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library
The Astonishing Color of After / written by Emily X.R. Pan / 2018
This is an intensely emotional young adult novel about Leigh who is battling
grief after the loss of her mother. She journeys to Taiwan in order to meet her
maternal grandparents for the very first time, and embarks on a path to remember her
mother, the events that led up to her death, and the deep impact on her family.
Pan uses magical realism to create an immersive and touching atmosphere to tell the
story, weaving in themes of friendship, coming-of-age, grief, hope, and ultimately
love. Mental illness plays a large part in telling the story, and we get an engaging look
into family life in Taiwan, as well as the culture that also plays a large part within the
story and Leigh’s family history. Pan’s use of color to describe emotions throughout
was a beautiful touch to the story. The Astonishing Color of After is an alluring story
woven together by various important themes, and an important look at the impact of different cultures on mental illness and familial relationships.
May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month. To celebrate, the CECH Library has created a list of books by AAPI authors.
Update: The use of the term #OwnVoices has been discontinued by We Need Diverse Books and the booklist below has been updated to reflect that. #OwnVoices has been used by many publishers/bookstores as a catch all for diverse authors and illustrators, making it a vague term that hides the diverse identities of the authors and the book characters from the narrative. Why We Need Diverse Books Is No Longer Using the Term #OwnVoices.
What makes a book Own Voices?
An Own Voices book is one that is written by an author that is part of an under-represented group that features characters that are also part of that group. For example, if an author is part of the LGBTQ+ community and they write about a character that is also part of the LGBTQ+ community then that book is an Own Voices book.
#OwnVoices was created by Corinne Duyvis, a young adult author and co-founder of Disability in Kidlit. She created the hashtag toshare diverse children’s literature.
Why are Own Voices books important?
Own Voices books amplify diverse voices and provide necessary and important representation on ourshelves. When book authors identify with the same group as their characters, they are more likely to have accurate and nuanced portrayals of that group than an author who is an outsider. Own Voices books are also less likely to perpetuate harmful stereotypes.