Why Stories Matter: Harbor Me, by Jacqueline Woodson

Harbor Me is a timely intermediate novel about the importance of stories, of empathy, and of understanding. It’s about how the things that make us different can bind us together and make us all better–if only we’re willing to connect with each other. Six kids of varied backgrounds are put in a room together one … More Why Stories Matter: Harbor Me, by Jacqueline Woodson

Rising China and the Dashed American Dream: The Wangs vs. the World

“Every immigrant is the person he might have been and the person he is” Charles Wang left China for the American dream and made it big. He’s been living it up ever since and he has the vain, empty, emotionally distant family to prove it. But now he’s lost everything in the financial crisis of … More Rising China and the Dashed American Dream: The Wangs vs. the World

The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen: Book Review

“As Hegel said, tragedy was not the conflict between right and wrong but right and right, a dilemma none of us who wanted participate in history could escape.” The Sympathizer boldly promises to redefine the way you think about the Vietnam War. A lot of that simply comes down to its narrator, a Communist spy … More The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen: Book Review

Book Review: We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas

“So much of life was the peeling away of illusions.” I had been very much looking forward to reading this book, but unfortunately it has been quite a disappointment. The first hundred pages, about the childhood and teen years of Eileen Tumulty, fly by and are quite promising. But something curious happens as she becomes … More Book Review: We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas

Book Review: Panic in a Suitcase, by Yelena Akhtiorskaya

Not Your Typical Immigration Saga This is not your typical immigration saga. Stories of families relocating to another country, dealing with cultural displacement, and (hopefully) making a go of it have become increasingly commonplace. Yelena Akhtiorskaya would like to turn those conventions on their head. To be fair, she succeeds at that goal quite well–and … More Book Review: Panic in a Suitcase, by Yelena Akhtiorskaya