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7/16/2003 6:00:53 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1920
Subject: Recommended Young Adult Books
Let's use this section to share information about Asia-related books that our students have benefitted from reading. Where possible, please provide complete bibliographic information and a brief description of the setting, plot, and where it might fit in the California curriculum.

Many publishers have sections of their web catalogs devoted to young adult works, some which are set in Asia. The Asia Society has a far from extensive list of young adult books:
http://www.asiasource.org/books/ab_mp_03_kids.cfm?BookSection=141
[Edit by="Clay Dube on Jul 31, 6:11:33 PM"][/Edit]
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7/16/2003 10:35:18 PM

jfirestein
jfirestein
Posts: 28
Subject: Re: Recommended Young Adult Books
Last year I taught the short story "Patriotism" written by Yukio Mishima. It's a beautifully written story from the Norton Anthology of short fiction. It deals with the ritual suicide of a Japanese officer ansd his new wife when he finds out he will be called by the Emporer to put down a rebellion his former comrades have started, sparing him his involvement because of his new marriage. I teach it in conjunction with Thoreau and Martin Luther King's teachings on Civil Disobedience, using it as a compare and contrast writing assignment: nonviolent vs. violent resistance. My 11th graders love it; many cry during the reading. You can read about this writer, who dramatrically killed himself after taking over a military installation in thew 70's and reading from his political agenda, here (http://ecr.lausd.k12.ca.us/staff/jfirestein/page165.html) and read the assignment I give to accompany it here (http://ecr.lausd.k12.ca.us/staff/jfirestein/page178.html).[Edit by="jfirestein on Jul 16, 10:35:51 PM"][/Edit]
[Edit by="jfirestein on Jul 26, 7:21:11 AM"][/Edit]
[Edit by="jfirestein on Jul 26, 7:22:36 AM"][/Edit]
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7/25/2003 8:26:07 PM

emarrs
emarrs
Posts: 16
Subject: Re: Recommended Young Adult Books
Thank you for the information and the links. This is the type of tie-together that my students in juvenile hall need. They talk about dying for the gang and revere the "dead homies" and really need to see how others face death, honorably and consciously.
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7/27/2003 6:28:31 AM

bkennedy
bkennedy
Posts: 17
Subject: Re: Recommended Young Adult Books
During my practice teaching (LA Academy Middle School), we did an integrated unit on Gangs. The students read (and viewed) Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, and read (or had "read alouds" for the DRWC class) from selected "gang" literature. There's a particularly powerful selection about "Gang School" called "KILL" where a former gang member takes the class of 20 or so through the various reasons it's ok to kill -- then asks whether they would be willing to die for the same reasons. Although most of the students were familiar with Hispanic culture or knew that there were "black" gangs, they were not as familiar with Asian gangs. I was interested in including other literature to include in the unit, and wonder if anyone knows of any?
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7/29/2003 9:46:20 PM

esmythe
esmythe
Posts: 15
Subject: Re: Recommended Young Adult Books
A great place to find books about Asia for k-12 is the Shen Books, co. 1-800-456-6660 or go to their web site: shen.com. If you orger a catalogue, much of it is annotated and they also have categories that make it easy to track books related to a theme (e.g. fairytales, loss, etc.) One of my all time favorites for finding books not readily available in the typical chain store is Dover Press. THey have extensive collections of stories in public domain and collections of folk/fairytales from various countries...And they are cheap too!
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8/5/2003 3:20:09 PM

pshea
pshea
Posts: 4
Subject: Re: Recommended Young Adult Books
One of the lessons I do in class with the net is to have students log on to lapl with their public library cards, search for specific topics (ex Asian stories)and order specific books ,education films to be sent to local library. Students can print out lists , read , check on whether books are sent etc. I did this and 4 books just appeared at the Los Feliz branch. I picked them up
and will bring them in tomorrow ( W 8-06 ) Korean, Thai, Vietnamese .
Penny
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8/7/2003 7:50:51 PM

esmythe
esmythe
Posts: 15
Subject: Biographies for Young Adult Books
One of the messages on our discussion board asked for recommendations of biographies of Asians. (I thought it was on this site?? Guess not! Hopefully the person will find it here.
Some titles:
Homesick: my own story by Jean Fritz. She was an American who grew up in China--gives a great account of life in China. ISBN# 0-698-11782-4...It's an oldie-1982 pub. date describing the 1950's.

A Little Tiger in the Chinese Night: an autobiography in art by Song Nan Zhang--Short p. 48/ ISBN# 0-88776-356-1 Set after WWII; great illustrations!

A Special Fate: Chiune Sugihara, Hero of the Holocaust by Alison Gold ISBN# 0-590-39525-4 p176. " A biography of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese consul in Lithuania, who saved the lives of thousands of Jews during WWII by issuing visa against orders of his superiors." LA Library Services (I haven't read this one yet..but I definitely plan to when I get back.)

Red Scarf Girl: a memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-li Jiang...ISBN#0-06-027585-5 P. 285. (Another one I haven't read yet.)

Hope this helps. Emily
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8/14/2003 4:00:33 PM

lwilliams
lwilliams
Posts: 20
Subject: Re: Adult Books Recommended For Young Adult s
Dear Friends,
The Soloist by Mark Salzman has been on my bookshelf for a few years. Every now and then I start to read it; then, remember that I already did. What comes back to me is that it is about a former child prodigy who lost his gift for the cello and, thereby, the organizing principle of his life. when he was 18. He teaches cello at a “large university” in Los Angeles, and will be, “thirty-six years old this spring, which is young for a retired concert soloist but old for a virgin.” I vaguely remembered that he rather reluctantly began to tutor a young Korean-American prodigy, but couldn’t remember how it ended or anything else about the book except that I’d liked it very much.
The other day when I picked it up, I decided to reread it, if only because I needed an excuse to procrastinate. Turns out the book is about WAY more than I remembered.
Renne Sundheimer, the former soloist, is called to jury duty in the trial of a young man who murdered his Zen Master during an exacting retreat. The koan (riddle) upon which he was to meditate for hours on end was, “If you meet the Buddha on the road and he is in your way, kill the Buddha.” The defendant, Peter Weber, suddenly shouted that he understood his koan; he had found enlightenment. When the Zen master demanded a demonstration of his understanding, Peter wrested his stick from him and beat the Zen Master to death.
Much more of the book is spent in the courthouse than teaching his young prodigy, so the part I forgot is significant. The defense attorney is pleading insanity, the defendant seems not to care much about the outcome, and the expert witnesses shed the light of their various points of view on the subjects of Zen, Buddhism, Christianity, insanity and so forth.
Renne reflects on his life, and key relationships, particularly with his brilliant and saintly German tutor, whose death predated by less than a year Renne’s loss of the ability to play. When not reflecting, he’s lusting – after a sexy, married fellow juror.
I won’t give anymore away, because I really hope you read the book (it's a quick read), but I want to make three points.
First, I didn’t remember the part I now realize makes the book a complex and original piece because I didn’t have any mental pegs to hang it on. (In spite of the fact that Persig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenancewas one of my life changing books). Having the background in Buddhism that I got from this class allowed me to understand the book much more deeply than on the first reading. When we get frustrated that we can’t do justice to all the richness of literature, history, thought, and art that the world has to offer, let’s not forget that we can at least give our students pegs on which to hang their life’s lessons.
Second, reading a good book a second or even a third time may be more rewarding than picking up the latest best seller.
Third, not only do I wholeheartedly recommend this book for High School readers, I also discovered that Salzman is the author of two other books, both well received, both suitable for teenagers, and both about China: Iron & Silkis a non-fiction series of episodes capturing life in the People’s Republic of China. The Laughing Sutra is fiction, and according to The Washington Post, is “a rich blend of fantasy, philosophy, history and romance.”
By the way, Renee finally kills the Buddha.
Lou
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12/24/2015 2:54:07 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1920
Subject: red scarf girl
Red Scarf Girl is a popular book in American schools. The author is available for paid appearances and has additional resources at her website: http://www.jilijiang.com/red-scarf-girl/

Horrible pollution has caused some to use those red scarfs in new ways (slide show: http://pic.chinadaily.com.cn/2015-12/23/content_22785348.htm):
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12/24/2015 2:57:27 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1920
Subject: red scarf girl - comedy
Some can always find a bit of dark humor from Baiducao (https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2015/12/badiucao-%E5%B7%B4%E4%B8%A2%E8%8D%89-anti-smog-red-scarf/):
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1/2/2016 4:46:29 PM

tdarkjian
tdarkjian
Posts: 32
Subject:
I remember reading The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, when I was in high school. Although Buck is not Chinese, she spent a significant amount of time living there, and I remember the book being very well written. There are definitely many historically significant pieces in the book that would make it a great teaching tool for learning about Chinese history.

The book focused on the life of a peasant farmer living in rural China (pre-revolution, around the 1920's). Much of the book focuses on the day-to-day life of a poor farmer. The story describes mundane aspects in the lives of the characters, from how a farmer obtains a wife, to childbirth, farming practices, and the like. I remember discussions of opium use among the wealthy, buying more land to get wealthy, and losing property when crops did not do well. I don't remember all the specifics, but the book has also been made into a movie (which I have also watched, and liked less than the book), so you could watch that to get a quick glimpse at what the book is like.
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