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Life in a country away from home

Here are my latest book recommendations for Northwest Asian Weekly.

Written by Amy Laizans, Illustrated by Sophie Scahill
Little Steps Publishing, 2013

Jane and her best friend are like most other kids their age living in Australia. They like to play outside in the sun, jump rope together, and read books aloud together. The two girls even help their mothers in the kitchen from time to time.

In fact, the two girls are so close, they are inseparable and consider themselves sisters.

But then one day during lunch at school, a classmate asks Jane if she speaks English. And while she was born in Australia and her best friend — the narrator of “Sisters,” who remains nameless — emigrated from Germany, it is Jane’s language skills that come into question.

This is because Jane is Filipino.

Although “Sisters” is a book geared toward grade school children and written in simple language that young readers can easily understand, it touches on the very complex and complicated issues of race and immigration. The narrator and Jane’s friendship is tested as the latter’s race is put on the spot and the former — and readers as well — question why it should even matter.

To read the rest of the article, click here.


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