Under the Broken Sky by Mariko Nagai is a historical fiction set in the Empire of Manchuria at the end of World War II. The novel, written in verse, follows sisters Natsu and Asa as they seek refuge after their village was attacked by the Soviet Union. For Natsu, the most important thing is keeping her sister safe at all costs, even if it means selling her.
This novel offers readers a glimpse into the life of refugees and how quickly their lives can be turned upside down and completely changed forever. The novel also allows a rare look into how the Axis powers lived during World War II and how they were treated after war officially ended.
Nagai intricately created poems to represent the importance of family and hope during tumultuous times, and easily pulls at the heartstrings of her audience.
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