Review of Made in Asian America: A History for Young People

Made in Asian America: A History for Young People Made in Asian America: A History for Young People
by Erika Lee and Christina Soontornvat
Middle School, High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    320 pp.
4/24    9780063242937    $19.99
e-book ed.  9780063242951    $10.99

Adapting Lee’s 2015 adult title (The Making of Asian America) for a younger audience—and beginning with a context-setting introduction about the lack of education about Asian and Asian American history—the authors begin their account with the expansion of the Spanish Empire from the end of the fifteenth century through the mid-1700s. Short, accessibly written chapters aim to counter the sanitized (or ignored) history of Asian experiences in America, including those from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Taking a nonlinear approach, the book groups topics thematically, pairing and contrasting events and reintroducing people and ideas as they come up again. Callouts are used to explain terms and concepts; a list of racist so-called justifications is particularly effective in reminding readers of the different faces of bigotry. Lee and Soontornvat also highlight the ways public opinion and trending topics in the news change which groups get attention, forcing racial minorities to compete for resources. Especially illuminating are stories of Korean, Filipino, and South Asian people during WWII’s Japanese internment as well as South Asian and Muslim experiences after 9/11. An informative, useful, and strong survey for those learning more about their own cultures and histories and about others’.

From the May/June 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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