One of the few times we've featured a significant Southeast Asian author was our review of Town Boy by well-known Malaysian cartoonist Lat. This 2007 Cybils Graphic Novel nominee is the sequel to Kampung Boy; both are available from First Second Books. "The reader really feels like they're getting a glimpse of what life was like growing up in the Malaysia of the '60s," we wrote in our review. But what about the Thailand of today, or the Philippine-American experience? Resources seem sparse, but we've tried to compile a handful of helpful links that might lead interested readers in the right direction.
- Cynthia Leitich Smith has a list of books and resources on children's and YA lit with Asian American themes.
- Pacific Rim Voices is a series of projects devoted to promoting "books and reading as a means to encourage greater understanding of and among the peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim and South Asia."
- One of Pacific Rim Voices' projects is Papertigers.org, which highlights children's and YA literature focusing on the Pacific Rim and South Asia. Explore the site to find resources, book lists, and other goodies such as this list of great reads about Southeast Asia.
- There's a huge list of Asian-American images in picture books at Kay Vandergrift's website.
- Read a few children's books online from Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore at the International Children's Digital Library.
- More specific to YA, there are a handful of not-to-be-missed posts over at The YA YA YAs dealing with Asian-Americans in YA lit, including a fun guest post by author Cherry Cheva whose novel She's So Money is about a high school senior who also happens to be Thai-American.
So what we've got is: go check out these links. Read books by Lat, Cherry Cheva, and anyone else you can find on any of the booklists above or in the many fabulous posts today for One Shot Southeast Asia. And--don't just read them today, this week, this month. Read them whenever you can.