America Street: A Multicultural Anthology of Stories

Persea. Mar. 2019. 224p. Tr $13.95. ISBN 9780892554911.
Gr 7 Up–A collection of short stories featuring a diverse range of young people growing up in America from the 20th century to the present. This anthology is a revised version of the 1993 text and features a combination of new and returning stories from authors such as Sandra Cisneros, Gary Soto, and Naomi Shihab Nye. The stories are short and all are realistic in nature and centered on the experience of people of color in America. Veera Hiranandani’s “Passing the Bread” depicts a Jewish-Hindu girl having Shabbat dinner with her family soon after the death of her cousin, seamlessly blending cultural experiences, while Gish Jen’s “The White Umbrella” centers on the experience of the Chinese narrator’s mother going to work and forgetting her at a piano lesson during heavy rain. The thoughtfully written stories are united by the overarching feeling of being an outsider, no matter the setting or time period, but the lack of any LGBTQ characters makes the collection feel outdated. Students looking for a more inclusive recreational read might be better served by Black Enough, edited by Ibi Zoboi or All Out, edited by Saundra Mitchell.
VERDICT A solid selection for school libraries serving middle and high school students, while an additional purchase for public libraries.

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