This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by bestselling and beloved YA authors who are themselves immigrants and the children of immigrants.
From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today…journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah, from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey, from Fiji, America, Mexico and more… Come On In.
With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands, who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL, give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question “where are you from?” and so much more, Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience.
‘Come On In’, a collection of stories based on the collective human experience of immigration, focusses on every aspect of it- pain, stress, grief and loss of one’s identity. These stories strike a chord because of the themes they represent. While parents make most of the decisions when it comes to immigration (legal or not), it is the children who have to adjust the most, leaving behind the land and the language they were born into. Likewise, kids born to immigrant parents fail to find their identity and struggle to establish a home for themselves.
‘Where I’m From’ by Misa Sugiura is all about the stereotypes a child, who has left her land of origin has to face, thus leading them to want to associate themselves with their culture. The dilemma continues as the child is now confused about their current citizenship and past life. In ‘When I Was White’ by Justine Larbalestier an Irish girl is tricked into marrying a Black man and relocate to Harlem Street. She is them asked to start living like a respectable Negro woman, in exchange for acceptance in society.
‘The Curandera & the Alchemist’ by Maria E. Andreu highlights the yearnings and hopelessness of a child, now living in America without valid papers. She loses her motivation to go about her life because one wrong decision might lead to detention and jail. ‘The Wedding’ by Sara Farizan is a bright and sunny tale of a marriage between an American man and a Persian woman, and that the acceptance of one another’s future is of utmost importance for harmony and happiness.
As an #OwnVoices reader, I was deeply affected by two stories from Indian-American authors- ‘The Trip’ by Sona Charaipotra and ‘First Words’ by Varsha Bajaj. ‘The Trip’ is the story of a teenager in an airport, with an American passport. The intense scrutiny and psychological torture she undergoes is because of her place of birth- Kashmir, an area flagged by most countries. ‘First Words’ hits home with its description of the typical Indian mentality- America will solve all problems. This family leaves everything behind in order to give a better life to their deaf son, but it is their firstborn daughter who is affected most by the migration, eventually losing her will to speak unless absolutely necessary.
‘Come On In’ is all about strength and courage, the immensity of it when the family in question is an immigrant. There’s so much to lose, proportionate to their desire to adopt this new land as their own. With unique voices, this collection holds a plethora of experiences, to be read and understood and to work on ourselves and the society to give these families a better and loving future.
About the Author:
Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, where he now lives, writes, and spills hot sauce on things. He’s the author of several YA novels including LET’S GET LOST, NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES, and NORTH OF HAPPY.
Find the tour schedule here.
The e-book was provided by the ‘Hear Our Voices’ as a part of a promotional Book Tour. The opinions in this post are solely my own.
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