The 2008-2009 Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) Best Book Awards Committee has chosen Steer Toward Rock by Fae Myenne Ng as the Best Adult Fiction Book, The Writer as Migrant by Ha Jin as the Best Non-Fiction Adult Book, Dragon Road by Laurence Yep as the Best Young Adult Book, and Mei Ling in China City by Icy Smith as the Best Children’s Book.
The prizes promote Chinese American culture and heritage and are awarded based on literary and artistic merit. The goal of the CALA Annual Best Book Award is to heighten awareness of the best books of Chinese topics or literature written by an author of Chinese descent. The Award is to honor English or Chinese language books originally published in North America in 2008.
The award will be presented at the CALA 2009 Annual Award Banquet on Sunday, July 12 2009 in conjunction with the ALA Conference in Chicago. The CALA 2009 Award Banquet is from 6:30pm-10pm, July 12, 2009 at the Phoenix Restaurant located at 2131 S Archer Ave # 2, Chicago, IL 60616.
Dragon Road by Laurence Yep is one of my top picks for 2008. My students were "shocked" to hear about the Hong Wah Kues. Yes, I did use wikipedia as a resource for my students – try to find this in the usual encyclopedia suspects in middle school. There was a magazine article that didn’t have as much information. Kathleen S. Yep wrote an interesting article about them and included a poster emphasizing the racial prejudices they experienced. While researching the time period, I found a Timeline of Asian American History between 1930 and 1939 with this little paragraph:
1938 FENG SHAN HO SAVES JEWS IN GERMANY!
As consul general for the Chinese Nationalist government in Vienna, after Adolf Hitler invaded Austria in 1938, Mr. Feng Shan Ho helped many Jews escape the Nazis by issuing them visas to China. In one particularly close call, Mr. Ho managed to stave off Gestapo agents at the door of a Jewish home where he had gone to deliver a visa. Upon his 1973 retirement, Mr. Ho settled in San Francisco. In addition to being honored as one of a handful of Gentile diplomats identified by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial who saved the lives of more than 200,000 European Jews, he become a well-known figure in the community and a founding member of the Chinese Lutheran Church.
Mei Ling in China City by Icy Smith, illustrated by Gayle Garner Roski,
East West Discovery Press, 2008.
Check out PaperTigers review by Kristen O. Daniels.
How did I miss this title? I could not find enough information on the web about the title, though the little bit I read made this very appealing. I’ll definitely be visiting East West Discovery Press in the future and I’ll update you as I learn more.
I did see Mei Ling in China City won an award through Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, also. Tell me what you know about this title.