Book Hunting Expeditions Literary Silk Road - China and Middle East Reading Themes

[BHE 157] Launch of May-June Reading Theme: Walking the Literary Silk Road – China and the Middle East


Myra here.

Every Sunday, we share the books that have found their way into our hands through fairly-acceptable means. This week is extra special as we are launching our new reading theme for May-June: Walking the Literary Silk Road – China and the Middle East.


This poster is perfectly crafted by Iphigene. She explains her process in this fashion:

The peacock feather has to do with both of the regions’ mythology. The Middle East/Persians call it Simurgh and the Chinese call it Fenghuang. Both creatures are similar to the Phoenix in its bird-like quality and the ‘peacock’ tail. The upper part shows a traditional Islamic tile pattern, while the lower half also shows a traditional Chinese pattern.

This is indeed beautiful, Iphigene.

We make it a point to have our reading themes coincide with the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Since our country of focus this year is China, we thought it would be good to feature books about the Chinese experience. We are also expanding it to include literature about the Middle East. And as per usual, I did my book hunting at my favourite hunting grounds: the library!

Library Loot: Walking the Literary Silk Road Reading Theme


Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic by Ginnie Lo and illustrations by Beth Lo, Mahjong All Day Long by Ginnie Lo and Beth Lo.


Father’s Chinese Opera by Rich Lo, Crouching Tiger by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Yan Nascimbene. I am very excited to see Ying again for the AFCC this year!


Secrets Of The Terra-Cotta Soldier by Ying Chang Compestine and Vinson Compestine. Ever since I interviewed Ying at The Arts House, I have been very excited to read this novel that she co-authored with her handsome son.


A Chinese Life by Li Junwu and P. Otie.


Ming’s Adventure on China’s Great Wall by Li Jian and Yijin Wert.

Library Books – Simply Because

These books do not technically coincide with our theme, but I was just too taken by them.


The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel by Paulo Coelho. There might be a Middle East component to this that I can explore.


When You Wander: A Search-And-Rescue Dog Story by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Mary Morgan. I am pairing this with Strongheart: The World’s First Movie Star Dog by Emily Arnold McCully.


Through The Woods: Stories by Emily Carroll, Poisoned Apples: Poems for You My Pretty by Christine Heppermann.


Draw! by Raul Colon.


The River by Alessandro Sanna.


For my 13 year old daughter who loves graphic novels: Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge, Peanut by Ayun Halliday & Paul Hoppe.

How about you, dear friends? What books found their way into your shelves this week? Do you have any recommended titles for us? We would love to hear them.

1 comment on “[BHE 157] Launch of May-June Reading Theme: Walking the Literary Silk Road – China and the Middle East

  1. It’s a wonderful theme, Myra, one which will teach me about more books about China. I love Grace Lin’s books like Starry River of The Sky, and have read Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See with a group several times-lots to love in that book too.


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