Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan is a sweet story about a Pakistani-American girl growing up in Milwaukee.
Amina Khokar is in middle school now, and it seems like everything is changing. At school, her best friend is talking about changing her name from Soojin to Susan. Worse yet, she’s befriended Emily, a girl who used to tease them. At home, her high school-age brother is clashing with their parents just when they’re preparing to welcome her conservative uncle from Pakistan for a long visit.
Amina loves to sing, but only her family and best friend know about her talent. The thought of performing a solo brings back memories of her stage fright during her second grade play. And she’s positively dreading the Quran recitation competition hosted by her mosque. When the mosque is vandalized, though, she must find her voice in order to help her community.
Amina’s Voice is about friendship and family, faith and forgiveness.
Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung is a fish-out-of-water story with a twist.
Seventh grader Chloe Cho is the only Asian student in her school. It drives her crazy when the other kids thinks that she gets good grades and plays the violin well just because she’s Korean.
The other thing that drives her crazy is her parents’ reluctance to talk about Korea. She’s curious about her heritage: she and her best friend make mandu (Korean dumplings), she buys a hanbok (Korean dress), and she listens to K-pop. But her parents always claim that their memories are too painful to discuss.
Things begin to change when Mrs. Lee arrives at Chloe’s school. She Korean-American, she teaches Social Studies, and she assigns Chloe to be the South Korean delegate to the class’s Model United Nations. But delving into her family history leads Chloe to some unexpected discoveries about who she really is.
I can’t say more because I don’t want to provide any spoilers. Suffice it to say that this book is not quite what you expect, but it is good fun.