Tag Archives: Language

A Place To Belong

World War II is over and Hanako and her family – her father, her mother, and little brother Akira – are moving to Japan.  They have been in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans in America.  They have renounced their citizenship so they can leave the camp and return to Japan to live with Hanako’s grandparents on a tenant farm outside of Hiroshima.  They barely survive.  Hanako struggles to fit in as an outsider in her new home.  This is a moving book interspersed with black and white drawings. mjw
Title: A Place To Belong
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Illustrator
: Julia Kuo
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-481446648
Hardcover pages
: 416
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Hiroshima, Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: California, U.S.
Subjects
: Emigration and immigration, Hiroshima, Multigenerational family life, Japan, Japan history 1945

Bounce Back: Zayd Saleem, Chasing The Dream

This is the third in a series about Pakistani-American fourth-grade basketball player Zayd Saleem. An ankle injury leaves him on the sidelines just as he is about to become team captain of the Gold Team. He is on the bench for several weeks and worries about how he can help his team win the championship.  Meanwhile, at home, his family is preparing Pakistani wedding festivities for his uncle. Specific cultural information is smoothly integrated into this universal story.  Black and white drawings enhance the text. mjw
Title: Bounce Back: Zayd Saleem, Chasing The Dream
Author: Hena Khan
Illustrator
: Sally Wern Comport
Publisher
: Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-534412057
Hardcover pages
: 144
Age range
: 7-11
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Pakistani-American
Author’s residence
: Rockville, Maryland. U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Basketball, Family life,Leadership, Middle schools, Muslims, Urdu, Weddings

I’m An Immigrant Too!

This book uses poetry to guide the reader though the journeys of several young people, as they immigrate from various countries around the world to Australia. Brightly colored computer graphics set the tone marvelously for this story of perseverance and hope. mm
Title: I’m An Immigrant Too!
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator
: Ronojoy Ghosh
Publisher
: Beach Lane
Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-5344-3602-2
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Adelaide, Australia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Sydney, Australia
Subjects
: Australia, Family, Immigrants

This Is Me, Mayil

This is the diary of spirited sixteen-year-old Mayil Ganeshan.  She is curious and intelligent and wants to be a writer.  Also included are her rhymes and doodles.  The diary feels natural and is third in a series. mjw
Title: This Is Me, Mayil
Author: Niveditha Subramaniam and Sowmya Rajendran
Illustrator
: Niveditha Subramaniam
Publisher
: Tulika Publishers.  Chennai, India
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-93-5046-996-5
Paperback pages
: 124
Age range
: 13 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: India
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: India
Subjects
: Autobiography, Diary, Humor, Rhyme, Verse, Young adult

The Fox Girl And The White Gazelle

Twelve-year-old Reema is a Syrian refugee trying to find her place in Glasgow.  She struggles with a new language and culture and misses her older brother who got left behind in Aleppo.  Caylin feels completely alone.  She has to look after her alcoholic mother.  She bullies the other kids and steals from them so that she can eat. Reema and Caylin become friends when they discover an injured fox and her babies. The girls also discover that they both like to run. Told in alternating perspectives, this is a great story of friendship. mjw
Title: The Fox Girl And The White Gazelle
Author: Victoria Williamson
Publisher
: Kelpies, an imprint of Floris Books. Edinburgh, Scotland
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-178250-490-0
Paperback pages
: 272
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: Scottish
Author’s residence
: U.K.
Subjects
: Foxes, Glasgow, Poetry, Prejudice and racism, Refugees, Running, Syria

Mina Vs. The Monsoon

Mina, a young girl living in India, really wants to go outdoors to play soccer, but it’s monsoon season and she has to stay in.  Her mother prepares to celebrate the monsoon by making chai and samosas.  Mina plays her tabla (drum) to cheer herself up.  The doodh wallah (milkman) explains how important rain is for the rice paddies, but Mina is still sad.  When her mother asks her to get thread for stringing flower garlands, Mina discovers her mother’s soccer jersey. As her mother explains that she used to play soccer, the dark clouds disappear and they head outside together.  The bold, bright illustrations accompany the energetic text.  The book concludes with a glossary of Urdu and Hindi words and a note to parents and educators. mjw
Title: Mina Vs. The Monsoon
Author: Rukhsanna Guidrozz
Illustrator
: Debasmita Dasgupta
Publisher
: Yali Books, New York
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-949528-98-5
Hardcover pages
: 38
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Bijar and Jharkhand, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Persian-Indian-Chinese
Author’s residence
: Hawaii
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Singapore
Subjects
: Drums, Girls and women, Monsoons, Peacocks, Soccer

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude. Journey through the seasons with a Cherokee family as cool breezes blow and colored leaves fall during uligohvsdi– fall.  As bears sleep deep and snow blankets the ground in gola– winter, the elders share stories and savor buttery bean bread and steamy hominy soup.  In spring – gogeyi, they say otsaliheliga while men sing asking for rain’s protection of the emerging sprouts that women tend.  And as the crops mature, they celebrate the first harvest at the Green Corn Ceremony in gogi – summer.  Every day, every season, they are grateful. Cherokee words are smoothly integrated into the text, which is illustrated with bright gouache paintings. Definitions, an author’s note, and the Cherokee syllabary are included. mjw
Title: We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
Author: Traci Sorell
Illustrator
: Frane Lessac
Publisher
: Charlesbridge. Watertown, MA
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English, Cherokee
Translator: Mr. Feeling
ISBN
: 978-1580897723
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: U.S.
Author’s ethnicity
: Cherokee
Author’s residence
: Kansas City
Illustrator’s residence
: Monsterrat, London, Australia
Awards:  2019 NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor
Subjects
: Cherokee Indians, Cherokee language, Multicultural, Native Americans, Religion Seasons