cover image A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman. Greenwillow, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-267115-8

Fifteen Asian authors—including Renee Ahdieh, Melissa de la Cruz, Aisha Saeed, and Rahul Kanakia—share genre-spanning short retellings of myths and legends traditional to their own cultures in this outstanding anthology edited by Chapman and We Need Diverse Books president Oh. Roshani Chokshi’s lush, elegant “Forbidden Fruit” sets the tone for the anthology, remixing the Filipino folktale of Maria Makiling, a mountain spirit spurned by her mortal love. In Alyssa Wong’s “Olivia’s Table,” a take on the traditional Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival, the protagonist inherits an important role in helping the dead pass on to the next plane of existence. Preeti Chhibber chooses a contemporary setting to showcase the Hindu festival Navratri in “Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers,” in which a group of young girls resolves to teach an overconfident boy a much-deserved lesson. Each story is followed by a missive from its author, sharing inspiration and background on creative choices and changes. Thoughtfully compiled and written, this compendium is a must-read. Ages 13–up. [em](June) [/em]