Asian Literature and Immigrant Experience Book Hunting Expeditions Reading Themes

In My Mailbox (47): Launch of Festival of Asian Literature and the Immigrant Experience

We have just recently concluded our Girl Power and Women’s Wiles theme and we are excited to launch our new bimonthly theme for May until the first weeks of July entitled: Festival of Asian Literature and the Immigrant Experience. 

We always try to launch our themes in time for the Sunday meme hosted by Kristi from the Story Siren: In My Mailbox. It’s a way through which we are able to keep track of the books that we have borrowed from the library, bought, or were given to us.

I have just recently gone on a book-borrowing frenzy to prepare for our new theme.

Widget courtesy of the talented Iphigene.

We thought that the theme would be timely since we are also gearing up for the upcoming Asian Festival of Children’s Content here in Singapore by end of May. And it so happens that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Essentially, we would be featuring the following books:

1. Books that speak about Asian realities and with Asian protagonists (not necessarily confined to the immigrant experience)
2. Books that speak of the Immigrant experience (does not have to be confined to just Asians, but all immigrants coming from different parts of the globe) and
3. Books that highlight the Asian Immigrant Experience.

Fabulous Picture Books

Our Asian theme won’t be complete without our favorite author/illustrator of all time: Allen Say. I made sure I borrowed several of his books that are available in our library: El Chino, Stranger in the Mirror, Emma’s Rug, and the Caldecott Medalist Grandfather’s Journey. I thought that the latter would be a perfect fit for the Caldecott Reading Challenge we have joined this year, as well as our very own Award-Winning-Books Reading Challenge (do sign up here if you haven’t joined us yet).

I am also excited to go over these books: Landed by Milly Lee and pictures by Yangsook Choi; Sumi’s First day of School Ever by Soyung Pak and illustrated by Joung Un Kim; Yoon and the Jade Bracelet by Helen Recorvits and Gabi Swiatkowska; and Dumpling Soup by our favorite blogger Jama Rattigan and illustrations by Lillian Hsu-Flanders.

I also discovered a few Eve Bunting books that highlight the Asian experience as well as immigrant realities: So Far from the Sea by Eve Bunting and illustrations by Chris K. Soentpiet; How many days to America? A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Beth Peck.

I am also excited to share a few Elizabeth Partridge books: Kogi’s Mysterious Journey and Oranges on Golden Mountain as illustrated by Aki Sogabe. Fatimah’s Kampung by iain buchanan is also a great find.

YA Novels and More Picture Books

Here a few more books that I hope to be able to feature for our theme: Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora and illustrations by Raul Colon; Love as strong as ginger by Lenore Look and Stephen T. Johnson; Before we were free by Julia Alvarez; and The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox, a Newbery Medalist – perfect for the Newbery Medal Reading Challenge that we have also joined this year.

I hope that I find the time to read Beyond the Western Sea, Book One: The Escape from Home by Avi and The other side of the truth by Beverley Naidoo.

I am also glad to find a few Laurence Yep novels: The Rainbow People and American Dragons. I have my own copy of Dragon’s Gate, Dragonwings and Sea Glass. So I do have my reading cut out for me – good luck with that. As per usual, I comfort myself in thinking that good intentions should at least count for something, right? right? 🙂

Here’s another Laurence Yep title, Tongues of Jade and a Minfong Ho book, The Stone Goddess.

Since we can not get enough of Helen Frost and novels-in-verse and this book speaks of the immigrant experience (moving from Scotland to Canada), it is perfect for our theme: The Braid.

My beloved cousin, whose judgment I trust when it comes to books, has also recommended that I include American Son by Brian Ascalon Roley as part of our Asian immigrant theme. I’m glad I was able to find this in our Central Public Library. 🙂

I am also excited to read this Pulitzer Prize for fiction by Junot Diaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I actually have quite a few Filipino books here that I am hoping to feature, but since they’ve been sitting in my bookshelves now for a long time, I won’t be including them here in my post.

Book Launch of Singapore: Insights from the Inside and my Author/Contributor Copies

Book cover is priceless!

I shared about the Book Launch of Singapore: Insights from the Inside a few days back (click here for my post). I was so thrilled that I was already given my author/contributor’s copy of the book during the launch. As I have shared earlier, I was invited to be among the 31 foreign friends or expatriates tasked to share their ‘insights’ or experiences with this lovely country. Here are a few photos from the Book Launch.

Giant poster of the book cover.
With my daughter.
With the Editor, David Fedo and all the other essay contributors who were able to make it during the launch. I am teeny-tiny in sparkling red.
A Mother’s Day Indulgence, if you please. 🙂

How about you dear friends? What books found their way in your mailbox this week?

If you have any book recommendations that you feel we can include for our theme, we’d be more than happy to hear them.

10 comments on “In My Mailbox (47): Launch of Festival of Asian Literature and the Immigrant Experience

  1. Oooh! Some interesting books!! I live in Singapore btw. Just thought I’d mention that. *Tries to act non-stalkerish and fails* LOL. I’m a new follower! 🙂

    My IMM

    Happy reading!



    • Hi Riya, I am so glad you dropped by. And I am so glad to visit your site and find out more information about things that are happening around the blogosphere. I felt like we were buried under a rock or something for not knowing absolutely anything. I am glad to know a fellow book blogger from Singapore! Yay! 🙂


  2. booketta

    What a selection of books!


  3. That’s quite a number of books 😀 Hope you’ll enjoy them!

    Happy Reading!
    Filia @ Anima Libri – Booksoul

    My IMM


    • Hi there, I am hoping that I find the time to enjoy them all. I know that at one point, I’d have to be realistic about what I can (and can not) read or feature for our theme, sadly. 😦


  4. What a wonderful theme! I see some of my favorites, and some new titles to check out! Have you seen any of Frances and Ginger Park’s books? They’ve written both picture books and novels. You might be particularly interested in Goodbye, 382 Shin Dang Dong, My Freedom Trip, and To Swim Across the World, the story of the Park sisters’ parents.

    I’m with you on the Allen Say love. His work is simply sublime. Love love love Grandfather’s Journey. I’m also a big Lenore Look fan :).

    Lovely photos. Looks like everybody else ate tall pills for breakfast. You shine in your sparkly red.

    So nice of you to include Dumpling Soup! Thank you!


    • Hi Jama, aside from the ones I have here, I have not seen any more of Frances and Ginger Park’s books – I’d look into your suggestions. I’m crossing my fingers I’d see them all in our libraries here. I’m also very excited to read Dumpling Soup, I knew I’d have to give it some love the moment I saw it on our bookshelves.

      And yes yes yes about everybody eating tall pills for breakfast except me! Hahaha. I snuck out and scribbled poetry while watching the sun rise. 🙂 Hihihi. Thanks for the kind words. Sparkly is the way to go. 🙂


  5. I just saw Julia Alvarez speak a couple of weeks ago-amazing talk and I was able to get her new book A Wedding In Haiti autographed! I love some of your other authors, like Allen Say (his new biography is great) & Lawrence Yep. I just read a book called The Blue Stone by a Jimmy Liao, Taiwanese. Just gorgeous pics. This will be an exciting theme, Myra.


    • Hi Linda, I just knew that you’d be able to share a few suggestions with me. I truly truly want to feature a lot of Laurence Yep books, but the challenge is going through them, reading them, and writing coherently about his brilliance. Oh dear, what have we gotten ourselves into? Hahaha. 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading Julia Alvarez’ book.


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