cover image You Are Here: Connecting Flights

You Are Here: Connecting Flights

Edited by Ellen Oh. Allida, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-0632-3908-1

Written by 12 authors, including Erin Entrada Kelly, Minh Lê, Grace Lin, Linda Sue Park, and editor Oh, a dozen vibrantly told, overlapping stories center East and Southeast Asian American characters at a Chicago airport as a thunderstorm delays departing flights. “Something to Declare” by Christina Soontornvat sets the stage, describing a TSA checkpoint incident involving Thai American Paul and his family. The event triggers a discriminatory domino effect that echoes throughout the other narratives, which converge seamlessly. In Mike Chen’s “Jam Session,” security guards harass musician Lee Chang about his instrument case: “You don’t look like someone who plays guitar.” Traci Chee’s “Costumes” involves Natalie Nakahara confronting her white best friend about trying to look Japanese: “My face isn’t a costume... it’s not something you can just parade around in like a cosplay outfit.” Witnessing characters across the stories take a stand, each protagonist is empowered to speak out against cultural assumptions, model minority stereotypes, and racism. Callbacks and details are effectively interwoven throughout each telling, making for an intersectionally diverse, multifaceted collaboration that’s artfully conceived and executed. Ages 8–12. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt and Zacker Literary. (Mar.)