Everything Sad is Untrue (a true story)
Everything Sad is Untrue (a true story) is a book like no other. It's like claiming a seat in that Oklahoma classroom and being transported to a world that is somehow familiar and yet one that you never knew existed.
Pub date: August 25, 2020 Publisher: Levine Querido
Uncorrected copy provided by publisher.
Stand Up, Yumi Chung!
She is juggling working at the restaurant, attending morning test prep classes, maintaining the pretense of studying daily at the library, preparing a routine for an upcoming comedy club showcase, and assuming the identity of another workshop participant. It all comes crashing down.
Readers will sympathize with Yumi as she tries to unravel the mess that she has created, support the family's business, honor her parents’ wishes, and find a way to realize her dream. Everything doesn't work out perfectly. There are heartbreaking moments and several compromises. However... there are jokes!
Like Korean barbecue Stand Up, Yumi Chung! is sweet with a few salty tears but definitely savory. YUM! Kudos Jessica Kim.
Letters From Cuba
Esther is the star of this story. Her resourcefulness, hard work, willingness to try new things, and acceptance of other cultures and customs make the story shine.
This epistolary middle grade novel was inspired by Behar's grandmother’s journey from Poland to Cuba. Her story offers young readers a fresh perspective on a contemporary issue. Letters from Cuba is a mind-opening, heart-expanding look at the plight of immigrants, the far-reaching effects of World War II, and the stain of racism.
The narrative includes fascinating details about everything from technical processes used to open a phone to some of the legal intricacies in the asylum process. A surprising betrayal keeps the central characters constantly questioning who to trust. Both siblings are faced with moral dilemmas. There are no easy solutions. Every choice has positive and negative consequences.
An electrifying story that could have been ripped from today's headlines. This can't-put-down story of danger, intrigue, and corruption will keep readers rapidly turning pages. It's action and suspense to the max.
When Stars are Scattered
Color tends to be flat except the expanse of sky, where a breathtaking array of hues ranging from soft pinks to deep blues are sprinkled with the glimmering pinpoints of tiny stars. The sky appears limitless.
Jamieson takes a few liberties with Mohamed's story, fleshing out the narrative with additional characters. Two fictional camp residents deal with the harsh realities for girls in this society: few basic personal supplies, limited education opportunities, and arranged marriages at a young age.
With extraordinary grace and simplicity, Mohamed and Jamieson put a name and a face on the plight of refugees. The suffering and unsettled circumstances are evident on every page. Without undue sentimentality or overwrought emotion, young Omar’s story is simple and straightforward yet powerful in its impact.
This graphic novelization of Omar’s life as a refugee is heart wrenching and eye opening. It's the story of the bond that connects siblings, of living with a disabled family member, of a repressive view of women, and the long-lasting aftereffects of war. Notwithstanding these obstacles, this is a story of hope.
The Everything I Have Lost
When her life in Juárez is forever gone, she makes a startling discovery. Her father is more than a courier. He is a hit man.
Julia is devastated. Her pain bleeds across her diary pages.
She enters an American high school with a few glimmers of hope. She makes a friend and tells him of her shameful secret. Her great grandmother becomes a source of constancy and comfort. Mamá reunites with Julia and Willy in the United States and takes tentative steps to reconnecting with family.
The Everything I Have Lost is a story that is bleak and often terrifying. It paints a picture of survival and finding hope when things seem hopeless. Zéleny's prose is poignant and piercing in its honesty and humanity.
Superman Smashes the Klan
Superman is having his own interior conflict. Readers follow a flashback when young Clark decides that his incredible powers are an unwelcome stigma. He resolves to conceal his capabilities, hoping for acceptance among his peers. Years later, Superman's parents from Krypton appear to their adult son and encourage him to accept and use all his remarkable strengths.
Things end well. After a frightening abduction, an injury, and a harrowing escape, the leaders of the Klan are exposed and their plans for destruction are foiled.
The script is laced with clever dialog as well as tongue-in-cheek humor. While characters remain true-to-form, Yang fleshes out the Superman with a compelling backstory. Smooth segues between the two story lines create a seamless narrative.
Gurihiru's art has a distinctive 1940's vibe. Panel size and placement moves the story forward at a fast pace. Large two-page illustration spreads are background for panel inserts which advance the action. A dazzling two-page spread exposes the horror of cross burning. Angled panels accentuate action sequences.
The author’s note, "Superman and Me" provides context to Superman Smashes the Klan. Gene Luen Yang interweaves the development of the Superman mythos, a brief history of targeting Chinese Americans and other marginalized people, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and challenges faced by immigrants. The account is broad in its scope while also a deeply personal reflection on superheroes, bigotry, and the immigrant experience.
Addition books featuring immigrants. The titles include a variety of immigrant experiences.
Some stories are memoirs, others fictionalize narratives. The assortment includes a variety of formats: picture book, poetry, prose, and graphic novel. There are titles for elementary school, middle grade, and young adult audiences.
Sample several different titles for a deeper understanding of the immigrant story.