Happy Monday Everyone! It’s Becky and I am here to share with you my latest pick of 2020 of a book that I feel should be considered for the Newbery Award. In case you’re not familiar with the award it is an award given out annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished contribution for children’s literature. Book considered for this award must be aimed at an audience from birth to 14 years of age.
Title: The Magic Fish
Author: Trung Le Nguyen
Summary: Tiến is stuck between two worlds. His parents immigrated from Vietnam, and he is their connection to society. Tiến and his mother practice her English by reading fairy tales together. Through the stories, they learn about themselves, their family, and their histories. As Tiến and his mother spend time together, he struggles to find a way to tell her about his sexuality.
Newbery Consideration: Magic Fish may seem like an odd choice for the Newbery, but the award is for books for audiences up to fourteen years of age, and Tiến story appeals to young teens. Tiến’s family experience as immigrants to the United States is relevant and relatable. They are hard-working members of society but are still struggling. Their experience is one that many people in the United States are living. Also, Tiến struggle with telling his mother about his sexuality was perfectly developed. His moments of insecurity mirror hundreds of teens. Plus, the way Nguyen blended fairytales, Tiến’s parent’s pasts, and Tiến’s contemporary life make the book feel fresh. Trung Le Nguyen created an original graphic novel that is relevant and engaging that I hope the Newbery Committee will take into consideration.