Two stories; both true; both about young boys separated from family and homeland by racism, cruelty and ignorance. I am talking of course, about Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus and The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano by Ann Cameron.
Nakahama Manjiro and Olaudah Equiano are real life heroes that young children can aspire to. Not only did they manage to stay alive under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, but they used their words and talents to make a difference in the world around them.
I’ve been thinking about both stories lately because I’m pondering creating two new Afterschooling reading lists for children. One would focus on Asian American literature, and the other would be African American literature. If you have any must-reads for either of these lists, please let me know.