PROFESSIONAL READING

Growing Up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction

252p. (Children's Literature Association). bibliog. index. notes. University Pr. of Mississippi. Nov. 2017. Tr $65. ISBN 9781496815064.
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The stated mission of this collection of 10 essays is "to put Asian American YA literature, generally a neglected category in Asian American studies, front and center." Mathison notes that Asian Americans have often been considered the "invisible" or "model" minority and that they are often grouped under "one monolithic umbrella," without acknowledgment of how diverse Asian Americans are. Professors with specialties in English, Asian American, and/or ethnic studies discuss YA novels that examine culture, race, racism, gender, and larger societal power structures impacting young Asian Americans. At the heart of this scholarly text are concepts such as intersectionality and hybrid and interstitial identity formation. Traise Yamamoto (University of California Riverside) looks at interracial friendships in Japanese American incarceration literature published between the 1940s and present day. Sarah Park Dahlen (Saint Catherine University) explores novels centering on transnationally adopted Koreans, and Leah Milne (University of Indianapolis) considers Hawaiian American ethnicities and Lois-Ann Yamanaka's Name Me Nobody and Blu's Hanging. Although a few of the chapters become bogged down in minutiae, overall this well-researched book is compelling and revelatory. While the title specifically points to YA literature, middle grade and adult selections are also included. Unfortunately, not all the texts mentioned are in print or readily available in public or school libraries.
VERDICT For library science students and public and school librarians interested in a nuanced examination of Asian American YA literature.

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