So I wanted to do my own book meme that showcases smaller subsets of all the different books that I’ve read or want to read. Thus, I came up with the idea to do a weekly round-up for books with similar themes and motifs in their cover illustrations. The alliteration in the title is a bonus. Of course, most of mine will be Asian lit, but I’ll include other diverse titles as well.
If you want to do this meme, go ahead! The only rules are: 1) feature diverse books and 2) credit me/link to this post. 🙂
The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi – Young Adult, Contemporary, #ownvoices
Set against the political turmoil of present-day Afghanistan, this book is a story of forbidden love between two young people from different ethnic groups and different social classes. Fatima is a Hazara girl from a farming family; Samiullah is the son of the landowners who oversee the Hazara farmers. When they fall in love, they must fight against their families, their cultures, and the Taliban in order to be together.
Dove Arising by Karen Bao – Young Adult, Science Fiction, #ownvoices
Phaet Theta is used to keeping her head down and doing her work tending plants in Greenhouse 22 of the colony on the Moon where she lives. When her mother is arrested, she enlists in the Militia to keep her younger siblings out of the Shelter. But her straightforward plan to save her siblings and free her mother unravels when she learns information about the government that changes everything. (The protagonist is of Chinese descent.)
One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi – Middle Grade, Contemporary, #ownvoices
At her aunt’s insistence, Afghan preteen Obayda becomes a bacha posh, a girl who lives as a boy, with all its privileges and freedoms. It’s a confusing and lonely experience for her until she meets another bacha posh, Rahima, and befriends her. But their freedoms won’t last forever, so they must find a way to hold onto them.
Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai – Middle Grade, Contemporary, #ownvoices
Mai is a California girl and doesn’t care too much about her Vietnamese heritage. When summer vacation comes, she is dragged by her family to Vietnam to help her grandmother find out what happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. At the beginning, Mai is desperate to leave, but slowly, she comes to appreciate Vietnam and the importance of her grandmother’s quest.
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee – Young Adult, Historical Fiction, #ownvoices
Chinese American Samantha Young is on the run from the law for killing in self-defense. She hopes to catch up to a westward-bound caravan that her father’s friend is traveling with. Her only ally is an escaped slave, Annamae, and they are forced to dress up as boys as a disguise. During their journey they encounter friends and enemies alike, and the threat of being caught follows them. They walk a dangerous path, but with their wits and the help of friends, they may just survive.
In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner – Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, #ownvoices
Raami is seven years old when her father brings news of the civil war that topples her family from their seat of privilege and stability and forces them to flee the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The next four years of her life are a fight for survival. The only remnants of her past are the legends and poems from her father. Based on the author’s own experiences, this book is a tale of resilience and hope.
The Third Son by Julie Wu – Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, #ownvoices
Born under Japanese rule of Taiwan, Saburo is the third son, the least important child, but he is smart and ambitious. He falls for the sweet Yoshiko at a young age through a chance encounter, and is galled to see her by the side of his oldest brother and greatest rival when they meet again years later. Determined to make something of himself and win Yoshiko’s favor, he studies hard and eventually finds himself in America working on projects for the space program.