Parents and teachers, having trouble finding Young Adult novels that speak to you and your kids? Fusion Stories is a new website that aims to tell Asian American stories for this generation of young readers. These aren’t traditional tales set in Asia or stories of hard-scrabbling immigrants. Instead, Fusion Stories offers fun, relatable stories about teen-dating, growing up biracial, eyelid surgery, and just feeling like you don’t fit in. Fusion novelists Grace Lin, An Na, Janet Wong and David Yoo talk about the next generation of young adult literature featuring Asian American characters. Bring your kids for treats from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, our co-sponsor for this event. This event is open to the public; $5 donation is suggested.
Grace Lin is the author and illustrator of Year of The Dog(Little, Brown Young Readers, 2005) and over a dozen books such as The Ugly Vegetables (Charlesbridge Publishing, 1999) and Dim Sum For Everyone! (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2001). While Grace’s books cover the Asian-American experience, she believes that “books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal.” Year of The Rat (Little, Brown Young Readers) continues the story of Grace, a Taiwanese American girl, as she navigates the challenges of growing up “different” in an upstate New York community.
An Na was born in Korea and grew up in Southern California. She is the author Wait For Me (Penguin, 2006) and A Step From Heaven (Penguin, 2001), a Michael L. Printz Award winner and National Book Award Finalist. In her latest, The Fold (Penguin, 2008), Joyce Kang never felt pretty enough especially when compared to her older sister, but when her plastic surgery crazed aunt offers her the chance of a lifetime – to change her eyes forever – Joyce must decide what she believes is beautiful.
Janet Wong is the author of eighteen books for children, mainly picture books and poetry collections, including The Dumpster Diver (Candlewick Press, 2007) and TWIST: Yoga Poems (McElderry/Simon and Schuster, 2007). A former lawyer, she chose to write because she wanted to “do something important – and couldn’t think of anything more important than working with children.” In Minn and Jakes Almost Terrible Summer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), we learn that Jake has a Korean grandmother, which makes him one-quarter Korean, or “Quarpa,” as he likes to call it.
David Yoo is the author of Girls For Breakfast (Random House, 2005), which was named a NYPL Best Book for Teens and a Booksense Pick, and Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before (Hyperion, Sept 2008). In Stop Me a resigned loser Albert Kim captures the affection of his dream girl Mia, only to get bumped to the sidelines when Mia’s uber-popular ex, Ryan, gets cancer. David teaches adult fiction workshops at the Gotham Writers Workshop and writes a monthly column in Korean Journal.