10 September 2013, Candlewick Press
This collection of ten stories from authors of various ethnicities was very interesting. I find it hard to review story collections without mentioning every single story, and some are always more interesting than others. David Yoo's Becoming Henry Lee was the stand out here, with descriptions of him first trying to be as non-Asian as possible, then deciding if he gave in to the stereotypes a little, he was freer to be himself. Perkins' own turn describing her experiences with multicultural dating was fun, although there was a decidedly more YA tone when she discusses sex with her older sisters. Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich's "Confessions of a Black Geek" was intriguing and especially poignant.
My only complaint about this anthology is that some of the stories seem to be first person memoirs (Gene Luen Yang's "Why I Won't Be Watching the Last Airbender Movie"), and others are fiction. It's hard to tell the two apart. If these were all nonfictional memoirs, it would be fantastic to use with fiction books about a variety of cultures, and use Open Mic to provide that all-important Common Core nonfiction piece!
Mitali Perkins blogged about her experience recording her story for the audiobook at her blog, Mitali's Fire Escape. I'm not a huge fan of audiobooks because I read so much faster than I listen, but I do think it is nice when authors read their own works.
“I have three messages: One is we should never, ever give up; two is you’re never too old to chase your dream; three is it looks like a solitary sport but it is a team."
Also, this is a great video.
This is what awesome looks like.