Reviews

Panther by Chhimi Tenduf-La

Tenduf-La, Chhimi. Panther. India: Harper, 2015. Print. The young adult novel Panther portrays Sri Lanka's rich multicultural history and tragic civil war. It will particularly appeal to Sri Lankan teenagers and this is to be welcomed because, after all, one day they will be responsible for maintaining their country's fragile 2002 ceasefire agreement. How does one write about political conflicts in a way which attracts today's Asian children? Increasingly, writers based in Asia but writing in English do not parachute a Western character into the plot. In Panther, for example, Tenduf-La,...

Mambo in Chinatown

Written by Jean Kwok.

The fact that a book with a young female Chinese protagonist has received such positive responses says something about arguably positive social and literary developments in the US. Similar to books by writers such as Lisa See and Cara Chow, Jean Kwok's Mambo in Chinatown is a polished work of fiction that seems destined to join the commercial mainstream. The plot centers on a 22-year-old, second-generation American-Chinese girl who accidentally discovers that she possesses remarkable dancing skills. At the outset, Charlie is the "clumsiest girl ever" and works Cinderella-like as a...

Three Years and Eight Months

Written by Icy Smith.

In spite of a long and varied history, to say nothing of being a city of seven-million, Hong Kong has relatively few children's books set there; even fewer deal with the dark days of the Second World War or feature the local, as opposed to expat, population. The multicultural storybook Three Years and Eight Months can't fill this gap on its own, but it helps. Written by award-winning Chinese-American author Icy Smith, her heart-warming story is loosely based on the true life experiences of her father and an uncle between 1942 to 1945. The main character is a ten-year old Eurasian boy...

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