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Profiles of KAD Relations with the Black Community: ’92 to ’20

Profiles of KAD Relations with the Black Community by Yi Woo Ae, is a study and exploration of the ways in which the lives of minorities, especially the Asian and Black communities, in the United States are intertwined. The book is divided into three complimentary and enlightening parts: a short history, profiles, a quick-start guide, and an explanation of traumas that result from adoption.

The author, who is a Korean adoptee, offers a unique and varied perspective on these issues. She makes a case for the Korean Adoptees acting as a crucial link in the Black Lives Matter movement. She advocates for the strength of the Black-Korean relations and also states the need for including adoption-based and race-based trauma in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The writing is engaging and clear– giving a background history and showing the intersection of different lives in a well-researched and factual manner. It is very interesting to see how she overlaps her personal experiences with the underlying narrative.

Watching the Black Lives Matter movement unfold, while I felt moved and enraged, I was unable to comprehend the nature of the movement in its entirety. This book went a long way in helping me understand the way Asian communities perceive and interact with African American communities. While I am not a part of either community, it helped me to identify the key variables of these issues and I found myself pondering the ways in which my own community interacts with others. I was especially drawn to the profiles- the anecdotes and confessions of KADs growing up in an environment that is simultaneously their own and foreign. They are insightful because they talk about the grounded reality of racism and show the ways in which their lives and thought processes are impacted by it. Even though this is targeted towards Koream adoptees– as a guide for them on how to have difficult conversations, I felt like I came away more confident in both my knowledge and curiosity.

Profiles of KAD Relations with the Black Community is a profound book of depth and intelligence that shines a light on a little understood, and acknowledged, problem in society. This is a thought-provoking book that is well researched and provides wise and rational insight on a topic that is vitally important.

Pages: 272 | ASIN: B08NLLMB9W

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Lillee Can Be

Lillee Can Be by [Joseph, Adam Zebediah]
Adam Zebediah Joseph’s Lillee Can Be delivers a sugary sweet children’s book with a punchy, poetic pace and solid sense of cohesion overall. The book focuses on the school and extracurricular lives of two young twins in an unspecified setting, making it an allegory of sorts. Specifically, the twins provide a totally relatable dynamic for any reader with a sibling, as the book directly confronts feelings of inferiority, unequal recognition, and other relevant issues that many children experience.

Likewise, the author is perfectly on trend with the wave of subtle social justice and advocacy messages within children’s and young adult literature currently. For example, Joseph boldly tackles sexism, gender identity, equal pay, and other concepts beyond merely familial themes, yet he does it with humility, honesty, and ease, without any preachy or condescending tones. Although the male character is unnamed, the female character (or mini SHE-RO!) offers an affirmative, fun, feisty, and feminist protagonist for readers to emulate. Lillee, the main character, demonstrates resilience and displays fearless fortitude as she faces gender boundaries and revolutions about our world, social norms, and cultural mores in this vibrant but also bold, bubbly book.

As far as the pros and cons, I love that the book perceptively resonates with girl power. I also applaud how his writing cleverly employs a rhythmical quality that makes you want to sing or rap each page aloud-of course with a fist pump, too! I further appreciate the teachable lessons in this book beyond character education and tolerance, since Adam Zebediah Joseph also cites many careers for young children to pursue. Occupational terms in this book and illustrations make it suitable for a teacher, counselor, parent, or family member and embed superb context clues for the definitions. However, I was a bit dismayed that the male twin character remained nameless throughout the entire piece. This anonymity seemed to counter the equity themes that this book so adamantly advocated. While I also liked the pictures, I wanted a bit more multicultural depictions to truly illuminate the themes that book defends: equality, respect, inclusion, etc.

In sum, this book provides a mirror for young readers to assess not only themselves and their personal relationships around them, but also a path for sociopolitical awareness. Read it yourself to see if a fairy godmother emerges or if other lessons enlighten these characters as they grow and mature. The author shows empathy and wisdom to tackle themes with such poise and poetic power!

Pages: 50 | ASIN: B07F7XCTLV

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