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2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Awards for Adult, YA and Children’s Literature

Asian chapter book, The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, Wendy Shang, JadeLuckClub

The Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature honor and recognize individual works about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage with exceptional literary and artistic merit. The awards are given in five categories, including Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction, Children’s Literature, Young Adult Literature and Picture Book.

The Submission by Amy Waldman won the Adult Fiction award.

Amy Waldman imagines the fallout when a Muslim American of Indian descent, Mohammad “Mo” Khan, wins an anonymous competition for a 9/11 memorial just two years after the World Trade Center tragedy. Waldman treats her large ensemble of characters with understanding and sympathy. Through the experiences of two very different Asian American, Muslim characters—disenfranchised and privileged, immigrant and second generation—“The Submission” interrogates the definition of America.

Leche by R. Zamora Linmark was selected as the Honor Book in the Adult Fiction category.

The Woman Who Could Not Forget: Iris Chang Before and Beyond the Rape of Nanking – A Memoir by Ying-Ying Chang won the Adult Non-Fiction award.

Ying-Ying Chang had the unfortunate task of writing her own daughter’s memoir after her tragic death. This moving memoir takes the reader into the world of Iris Chang, journalist and author of “The Rape of Nanking” (Basic Books, 1997), following her childhood imagination, creative writing, triumphs, motherhood, depression and suicide. Ying-Ying Chang did what she thought was important; to share the story of Iris’s illustrious as well as obscure life, which makes for a touching and poignant tribute to her daughter.

The Bangladeshi Diaspora in the United States after 9/11: From Obscurity to High Visibility by Shafiqur Rahman  was selected as the Honor Book in the Adult Non-Fiction category.

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang won the Children’s Literature award.

Twelve-year old Lucy is going to have the best year yet: she will be a sixth grader, be the captain of her basketball team and have a bedroom all to herself. Her plans change, however, when her Yi Po (great aunt) visits from China and Lucy has to share her room with Yi Po for a few months. This is a hilarious first children’s book for Shang, with a serious undertone as she explores the complexities of racial identity in a Chinese-American family with traditional parents and American-born children.

Vanished by Sheela Chari was selected as the Honor Book in the Children’s Literature Category.

Orchards by Holly Thompson won the Young Adult Literature award.

Kanako Goldberg wants nothing more than to spend the summer with her friends in New York, but the loss of her classmate Ruth changes everything, and her parents believe that the best thing for Kanako to do is to be shipped off to her grandparents’ mikan orange farm in Shizuoka, Japan. Written entirely in verse, Kana’s intimate narrative captures the reader as she not only grapples with the death of a friend, but also navigating a place that is not entirely familiar, even if it is a part of her.

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang was selected as the Honor Book in the Young Adult Literature category.

The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood in China by Ed Young won the Picture Book award.

Fragments of artist Ed Young’s childhood are gathered in this memoir, displayed in a variety of hand drawn images, paintings and collages of cut paper and personal photographs. While addressing the issues of World War II and their effect on China, much emphasis is placed on warm vignettes of small, personal moments that all readers can relate to.

Hot Hot Roti for Dada-ji by F. Zia, illustrated by Ken Min was selected as the Honor Book in the Picture Book category.

Special thanks to the APALA Literature Awards Committee, including Jury Chair Dora Ho; Adult Fiction Chair Michelle Baildon and members Suhasini L. Kumar, Karen Fernandez, Eileen Bosch and Jerry Dear; Adult Non-Fiction Chair Buenaventura “Ven” Basco and members Eugenia Beh, Samanthi Hewakapuge, Monica Shin and Yumi Ohira; Children’s Literature Chair Ngoc-Yen Tran and members Shu-Hsien Chen, Tamiye T. Meehan, Laksamee Putnam, Katrina Nye and Maria Pontillas; Young Adult Literature Chair Lana Adlawan and members Jade Alburo, Lessa Pelayo-Lozada, Karla Lucht and Candice A. Mack and Picture Book Chair Susan Hoang and members Jeannie Chen, Kate Vo-Thi Beard, Amber Painter and Danielle Date Kaprelian.

An affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was founded in 1980 by librarians of diverse Asian/Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian/Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian/Pacific American communities. For more information about APALA, visit www.apalaweb.org.

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

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AAPI Children’s and Young Adult Lit Winners and Honorees for 2012 Newbery, APALA, Sibert and More!

best teen tween picture book chapter books for asian americans JadeLuckClubI wanted to add my congratulations to these authors, illustrators, and publishers. This post is from PaperTigers.org, a wonderful website and blog for librarians, teachers, publishers, and all those interested in young readersÁ books from and about the Pacific Rim and South Asia. These are the winners from the APALA (Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association).

Winners

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang  – Children’s Literature Award

 To examine more closely at Amazon or purchase, please click on ANY image of book.

Orchards by Holly Thompson – Young Adult Literature Award

The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood in China by Ed Young  –  Picture Book Award.

 

Honor Books

Vanished by Sheela Chari– Honor Book, Children’s Literature Category.

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang – Honor Book in the Young Adult Literature category.

Hot Hot Roti for Dada-ji by F. Zia, illustrated by Ken Min – Honor Book in the Picture Book category.

Other prestigious children’s and young adult honorees of Asian or Southeast Asian American or Pacific Islander descent  include:

Newbery Honor Winner

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor Award

Drawing from Memory by Allen Say

 2012 Pura Belpré Author Award and  Finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Stonewall Book Award

Money Boy by Paul Yee

William C. Morris Award Finalists

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

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KidLit and Culture: Burma (Myanmar) Children’s lit, recipes, history and more…

Why Burma? A trio of serendipitous events collided:

  • A Mom Friend from Burma hosted a Mystery Dinner School Fundraiser and 8 parents from my school went to her dinner.
  • I had brunch with one set of parents who raved about her dinner, a Burmese Noodle Dish — recipe below –, and reminisced about his own travels to Burma.  He was there during the student protests (see history bullet points below) which was a crazy and somewhat unsafe time to be a tourist in Burma.
  • I was at a U2 concert a year ago, and Bono dedicated a song to Aung San Suu Kyi, who was I barely aware of.

And that is all it took.  Plus me realizing that I knew nothing about Burma, to the point that I didn’t fully realize that Myanmar is Burma.  Such is Teach Me Tuesday … I teach myself (that’s the Teach Me part) and then I share what I hope is also interesting to others.  I’m not sure if I would feel safe traveling to Burma now with my family so this is my way to arm chair travel — through children’s literature, food, photo essays,  and the briefest pit stop into the history.  I hope you enjoy the trip.  And please share in the comments section any experiences you have had in Burma.  And if you have more children’s books suggestions, please share!

Children’s Literature

Picture Book

The challenge for this Burma post was finding picture books and middle grade or YA books on Burma.  My Burmese Mom Friend had asked her children’s librarian friend to help with this search but all of us came up with zippo.  So I started to dig deeper on the web and came up with a really interesting not-for-profit project created by refugee children from Burma and benefiting the Burma Cyclone Relief Fund called My Beautiful Myanmar.  The drawings and stories are created entirely by refugee children about why they left Myanmar, what their lives are like in Malaysia, and what their hopes and dreams are.  100% of proceeds go to the Burma Cyclone Relief Fund.  Here’s an interesting way to teach your children about a different country and do good at the same time!

Young Adult Book

The next book I found was by Mitali Perkins, an author from my town, who is lovely and talented.  This YA book gets rave reviews:

Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins (Young Adult Fiction)

  • “A graceful exploration of the redemptive power of love, family, and friendship.”  Publishers WeeklyStarred Review
  • “With authenticity, insight, and compassion, Perkins delivers another culturally rich coming-of-age novel.”  School Library Journal Starred Review
  • “Mitali Perkins has written something here that is so fine, so rare, so beautiful, that I am loath to move on to another book too quickly because I want to think and remember and savor this exquisite story.” —Bookmoot

And here’s the plot summary:

“Chiko isn’t a fighter by nature. He’s a book-loving Burmese boy whose father, a doctor, is in prison for resisting the government. Tu Reh, on the other hand, wants to fight for freedom after watching Burmese soldiers destroy his Karenni family’s home and bamboo fields.Timidity becomes courage and anger becomes compassion as each boy is changed by unlikely friendships formed under extreme circumstances.This coming-of-age novel  takes place against the political and military backdrop of modern-day Burma. Narrated by two fifteen-year-old boys on opposing sides of the conflict between the Burmese government and the Karenni, one of the many ethnic minorities in Burma, Bamboo People explores the nature of violence, power, and prejudice.” From Mitali Perkin’s Website.
I found this event on Paper Tigers Blog (I subscribe): Global Read of Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

You are invited to join us for a discussion of the young adult novel, Bamboo People, by Mitali Perkins — a compelling coming-of-age story about child soldiers in modern Burma. The online discussion forum will begin tomorrow – Wednesday, January 12th. Then join the author for a live chat on January 19th.

Online discussion forum: January 12th-19th, 2011
Live chat session with the author: Wednesday, January 19, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

Register online here (registration is free but participants are responsible for obtaining their own copy of the book). All are welcome – teachers, students, parents, and anyone interested in global issues!

Young Adult Photo Essay Book

Finally, “a picture speaks a thousand words” in this photo essay book built around a single letter of correspondence to a young soldier (and would be interesting paired with Bamboo People for middle grade or older):

Burma: Something Went Wrong by Chan Chao [non fiction photo essays for Young Adult]

The book is built around a single letter of correspondence sent to Chao in 1997 by Aye Saung. The brief letter relays news of a friend’s death, a fighter’s struggle, and a movement’s dreams and setbacks. While the letter and accompanying portraits are specific to Burma in 1997, the themes found in Letter from P.L.F. are universal, making this an artists’ book of the highest order.Letter from two of the guerilla fighters: “Hallo! Dear Naing Naing, I am so sorry for not writing you earlier. Do you remember Myint Zaw, General Secretary of D.A.B.? He died in March by sickness. All the place you had been with us in Hteekabalae are fallen into enemy’s hand. I was in the area when the enemy approached. I sent my men to the front and have to leave quickly. I was told by my men to leave they don’t let me know because they didn’t want me to worry.”

This book shows us a region in constant turmoil, whose people have been at war with themselves for generations, where violence and death, nevertheless, provide a backdrop to what is still a golden land.

Photos of Burma — Shangri La Lost?

I have heard people speak of the beauty of Burma and when I found these photos I was really quite stunned by their beauty.

These photos are from Molon Gallery in Burma
Thabyinnyu Pagoda
Evening View of Bagan Plain
The Shwedagon Pagoda, Rangoon, Burma

Briefest History of Burma: Colonization and Coups Never End Well…

Burma has one of the most eclectic cultural mixes in all of Asia. This began with the migration of three groups, the Mons from present-day Cambodia, the Mongol Burmans from the Himalayas and the Thais from northern Thailand. The territory that is now Burma, was first united under King Anawratha in present day Bagan. However, this unification was short lived and it took 250 years before Burma was reunified in the mid-16th Century under a series of Taungoo kings.  Since then, and even now, Burma’s history has been troubled and violent.

  • Border clashes with British troops, economic potential and empire expansion lead the British to invade Burma. It took three invasions to control the whole of Burma in 1824, 1852 and 1883. Burma, under the British rule was annexed to India.
  • In World War II,  the Burmese National Army, which fought along side the Japanese to drive the British out of Burma. However, before the end of the war, the Burmese National Army changed sides and fought with the allied forces to expel the Japanese.
  • Following World War II, the British agreed to Burma’s independence and elections were held in April 1947. However, most members of the new government were assasinated three months later.
  • Despite this on January 4, 1948, Burma gained independence and became the Union of Burma. In 1948 the Burman’s controlled the area surrounding Rangoon, the rest was controlled by the different ethnic groups.  Many ethnic groups and religious minorities revolted and formed armed resistance groups.
  • In 1958 Prime Minister U Nu invited the army to help restore the government’s political power, which for 18 months, had limitless power.
  • In 1962 Burma’s troubled democracy was ousted in a military coup by General Ne Win. During the coup the constitution was abolished and a military government took over the running of the country. Consequently, the government’s policies also changed, they became xenophobic and put the country on the path to socialism.
  • Very quickly the country changed. In 1939 under the British Burma was the world’s largest rice exporter and it had a successful export business in teak and gems. Burma was one of the richest countries in South East Asia. After 1962, it became the poorest. All business were nationalized, all privately owned stores were closed and replaced with ones that were controlled by the state. No one received compensation for these seizures. Many people lost their jobs. A black market emerged and it was the only way to find essential items.
  • Also due to the xenophobic nature of the military leaders, people who were not Burmese were encouraged to leave the country. A lot of Indian and Chinese who were entrepreneurs were expelled from Burma.
  • After student protests in 1988, there was another military coup and Ne Win was replaced by General Saw Maung and his State Law and Restoration Council (SLORC). Maung declared Burma to be in a state of emergency which resulted in the military-law. Maung also suspended the constitution and changed the name of the country to the Union of Myanmar, because the Union of Burma, as it had previously been known, was an outdated colonial term.
  • However, he also agreed to hold free elections in 1989. A group quickly formed a coalition party in opposition to the military run dictatorship, called the National League of Democracy (NLD). Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of independence crusader Aung San, emerged as the leader of the NLD. Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the NLD were put under house arrest. Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in July 1995. In 1991 she was received the Nobel Peace Prize.  She continues to be under house arrest.
  • At the end of October 2004, there was another coup in Burma, with General Khin Nyunt being allowed to resign for “health reasons” while being under house arrest. He was allegedly ousted for being too inclined for democratic reformed, and his successor, General Soa Win, is a military hardliner.

Recipes:  Ohno Khaw Swe (Burmese Noodles with Coconut Sauce)

& Burmese Crunchy Cucumber Salad

If that was too dreary for you, let us leave on an upbeat note.  Here’s that Burmese Noodle Dish that everyone raved about.  The Mom Friend who made it says that it’s a favorite family meal for them because everyone can customize their own which is especially great for children!

Ohno Khaw Swe (Burmese Noodles with Coconut Sauce) by Jenny Tun-Aung
Ingredients:
  • Chicken (breast, thighs, skin removed)
  • Chicken stock/broth
  • Coconut milk can
  • Gram flour
  • Turmeric and Paprika
  • Fish sauce
  • Onions (cut into big chunks or use whole if small. Pearl onions will do also).
  • Oil
  • Garlic
  • Can of Cream of Chicken Soup (optional)
  • *Noodles (your choice – small flat rice noodles or linguini)
Condiments to serve on the side:
  • Lemons or limes, sliced
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Fish sauce
  • Crispies (like crispy chow mein noodles)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Sliced green onions
Cut up chicken to about one-inch cubes or desired size and marinade with Turmeric and Paprika, some fish sauce, garlic powder or diced garlic. Heat the ready-made chicken broth, or make chicken stock. In a cup, add gram flour with some water to mix well and add to soup stock, stirring occasionally. Add chunks of onions (makes soup thicker and sweeter), let onions cook/soften.  Then add the coconut milk and keep slowly simmering to cook all the ingredients and thicken a bit. Heat oil in another pan while the soup is simmering. In small cup, mix turmeric, paprika and a tiny amount of either water or the soup to form a bit of paste. Put this into the heated oil and immediately add the marinated chicken and cook until meat is done. Chicken should have a nice color and flavor from spices. Add the cooked chicken into the simmering stock and coconut milk pot. Continue simmering and keep stirring occasionally on low heat. Cream of Chicken can be added if you want to make the sauce a little thicker. Cook noodles. Put noodles in bowls, add sauce, add the sides (where people add their choices of condiments to their own taste – I like little bit of sauce, lots of sour and spicy! Others like it a more like soup with more sauce. Whatever you like!).You can cook it ahead of time and keep simmered until ready or heat it up when ready to serve.
ENJOY! HAVE SECONDS. FREEZE THE EXTRA SAUCE.
Burmese Crunchy Cucumber Salad (by Tun Aung)
Ingredients:
  • Cucumbers (skin on, halved lengthwise and sliced about ¼ inch thick or so). Estimate about 1-2cucumber a person (it will really shrink!)
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sesame seeds if desired
  • Slivered ginger
  • Slivered garlic (if desired)
  • Oil
  • Optional: Crispy fried sliced onions
Marinate the sliced cucumbers with sea salt (be generous, some of the salt will drain out with the liquid in next step). Put in colander and press down with a heavy weight for at least half a day or overnight. The salt will soak in and drain the water from cucumber. Drain (squeeze out) excess liquid from cucumber.  You can simply squish with your hands over the sink or put into a tea towel or cheesecloth and squeeze.  Mix with the above rest of the ingredients. Top with sesame and/or crispy fried onions and add to taste.The good thing about this recipe is that you can make most of it ahead of time.
Bon Appetit!If you are interested in examining any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
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