BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Series Profile: First Person Fiction [in Bloomsbury Review]

First Person Fiction

Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat
Flight to Freedom by Ana Veciana-Suarez
Finding My Hat by John Son
The Stone Goddess by Minfong Ho

With the exception of the Native Americans – and some may still argue that they walked over the Bering Straits from Asia – every so-called American is actually an immigrant. Even as the term “American” may still connote a fair-skinned Caucasian who is blond and blue-eyed, in reality Americans come in every color, from every ethnicity and every culture.

In the publishing industry, Scholastic has been a major leader in depicting the lives of every type of young American with three highly popular series – Dear America, My America, and My Name Is America – all of which capture the American experience from colonial to modern times, including numerous historical immigrant experiences as well. The latest Scholastic series, First Person Fiction, focuses on the more recent immigrant experience. “Today’s immigrants have different expectations from the people who came a hundred or more years ago,” says Amy Griffin, senior editor of Orchard Books, the Scholastic imprint responsible for the series. “Before, it was about assimilation. Today, it’s about maintaining a balance between the culture of the world left behind, and marrying that home culture with the new culture that is America.”

First Person Fiction debuted in October 2002 with two titles – Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat and Flight to Freedom by Ana Veciana-Suarez – then added two titles, Finding My Hat by John Son and The Stone Goddess by Minfong Ho, in October 2003. The first two are scheduled for paperback release in February 2004. “We wanted to find writers who themselves had immigrated to America,” explains Griffin. “Because they would understand the struggles and get the voice right, readers could trust these writers’ knowledge of the immigrant experience.” … [click here for more]

Series profile: The Bloomsbury Review, January/February 2004

Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Published: 2003


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