You Are Here: Connecting Flights

You Are Here, the inaugural title from Allida, an imprint from Clarion/HarperCollins designed to showcase marginalized creators, offers 12 reassuring and absorbing illustrations of contemporary Asian American young people as they face seemingly insurmountable intolerance.

The young East and Southeast Asian Americans in these connecting stories endure a surge of overt racism in a Chicago airport after several travelers overdramatize a TSA incident involving a Thai family. One xenophobic traveler's words--"hopefully they go back to their own country"--spills into three different stories. The brewing hostility is stymied by characters asserting their belonging: "Now I'm mad," says one girl, who tells her sister to avoid "friends" who pretend she has Covid-19 during "Chinese Tag." A protagonist tells off a couple insulting her parents, sparking another character to confront her white friend's cultural appropriation. Underlying every bold move--an autistic boy starts writing a book centering someone like him, a musician channels Van Halen to prove he can be named Lee Chang and play guitar--is uncertainty, but the brief connections the tweens forge remind them they are not alone.

Ellen Oh (editor of Flying Lessons & Other Stories) brings together resonant voices, including bestselling authors Traci Chee, Erin Entrada Kelly, Grace Lin and Allida imprint co-leader Linda Sue Park. They portray young U.S.-born citizens of diverse backgrounds--Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai and Vietnamese--whose empathetic acts of solidarity demonstrate the resilience of the heart and the need for all Asian American experiences to be recognized as definitively American. --Samantha Zaboski, freelance editor and reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit