SLJ's Best Books of 2006

Books between cultures on the just-released School Library Journal's best books of 2006 list of 67 titles include:

LOOK, Lenore. Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything. illus. by Anne Wilsdorf. S & S/Atheneum/Anne Schwartz Bks. RTE $15.95. ISBN 0-689-86460-4.

Gr 1-3–The exuberant second grader befriends her deaf cousin, newly arrived from China, in what turns out to be a mutual learning experience involving sign language, vegetables, summer school, and friendship. A nifty chapter book about an earnest, if slightly misguided, heroine. (July)

YANG, Gene Luen. American Born Chinese. illus. by author. Roaring Brook/First Second. pap. $18.95. ISBN 1-59643-152-0.

Gr 7 Up–This heartfelt coming-of-age story, illustrated with crisp cartoon panels, blends traditional Chinese fables and legends with modern humor and school yard dynamics. An engaging graphic novel that addresses issues of racism, sterotyping, and spirituality.

Min, Katherine. Secondhand World. Knopf. Tr $23. ISBN 0-307-26344-4.

YA—An insightful and engaging Korean American high school student struggles with her perceptions of herself, her parents’ seeming rejection of her as an individual, and the increasing expectations made of her by another outsider, an albino boy. (Oct.)

MirĂ³, Asha. Daughter of the Ganges: A Memoir. Atria. Tr $24. ISBN 0-7432-8672-3.

YA—Adopted from an Indian orphanage by Spanish parents, the author visited her birth country as a teenager and later returned to make a documentary film as she sought any evidence of her roots. Crossing cultures and choices of media with which to investigate her past, MirĂ³ offers considerable insight on how adoption affects one’s sense of identity. (Nov.)