Book Recommendations – 8 Books That Will Make You Cry, Break You, but Put You Back Together Again

In case you’re new to the Pond’s book recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has come up with their latest costume, they will always recommend a few books that inspired them!

It’s been a tough year, hasn’t it friend? Sometimes when things are hard and there’s just so much building inside you, there are few things more liberating and cathartic than a really good cry. Unfortunately, I don’t possess the extraordinary ability to cry on command, but whenever I need a good cry, I pull up YouTube and masochistically re-watch the first five minutes of Pixar’s Up. But sometimes, you want something that not only makes you cry, you also want something that puts you back together again.

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Book Recommendations: Asian Pasifika Heritage Month Edition – 35 Asian and Pacific Islander Books to Read Today and After API Heritage Month!

Book Recommendations: Asian Pasifika Heritage Month. 35 Asian and Pacific Islander Books to Read Today and After API Heritage Month

Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

What a month May has been for the Pond! We hosted 16 Asian and Pasifika authors this month, and I am so proud and happy with the awesome stuff that my co-bloggers and I did to uplift and share Asian and Pasifika literature this month. And of course, thank you to everyone who visited, shared and supported our work, and joined in our celebrations for Asian Pasifika Heritage Month. (Here is a full list of all the features we did this month!)

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Book Review: Clues to the Universe by Christina Li – A Quiet Middle-Grade about Science, Grief, and Searching For Lost Fathers

Clues to the Universe byC
Synopsis:

This #ownvoices debut about losing and finding family, forging unlikely friendships, and searching for answers to big questions will resonate with fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Rebecca Stead.

The only thing Rosalind Ling Geraghty loves more than watching NASA launches with her dad is building rockets with him. When he dies unexpectedly, all Ro has left of him is an unfinished model rocket they had been working on together.

Benjamin Burns doesn’t like science, but he can’t get enough of Spacebound, a popular comic book series. When he finds a sketch that suggests that his dad created the comics, he’s thrilled. Too bad his dad walked out years ago, and Benji has no way to contact him.

Though Ro and Benji were only supposed to be science class partners, the pair become unlikely friends: Benji helps Ro finish her rocket, and Ro figures out a way to reunite Benji and his dad. But Benji hesitates, which infuriates Ro. Doesn’t he realize how much Ro wishes she could be in his place?

As the two face bullying, grief, and their own differences, Benji and Ro must try to piece together clues to some of the biggest questions in the universe.

I was provided an eARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

I’ve always loved ‘quiet YA’ – young adult stories that aren’t about saving the world but are about the mundane yet meaningful low stakes that focus on the growth and emotional journeys of its characters. Well, if you love quiet YA just as much as I do, may I propose ‘quiet MG’? Though a lot of contemporary MG feels like quiet MG – stories about a young person’s growth as they overcome an everyday conflict that leads them to learn something about themselves – there’s something about Clues to the Universe, the debut middle-grade book by Christina Li, that feels like your quintessential quiet MG. And friends, I adored Clues to the Universe, and I’m excited to tell you why.

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Our Friend is Here! Asian Heritage Month Edition – Christina Li, Author of Clues to the Universe, On The Book that Helped Her See Herself

Our Friend is Here: Asian Heritage Month. A discussion with Christina Li! author of clues to the universe; the book that helped me see myself. illustration of xiaolong the axolotl, holding her arms out wide as if showing off something, with christina as a hedgehog wearing a flower crown and doing the victory hand gesture and holding a cup.

Our Friend is Hereis a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Asian Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where Asian authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being Asian, Asian books, and the experiences of being an Asian reader. (Note: Here is an explanation of why we are calling this guest series ‘Asian Heritage Month’.)

There have been discussions about ‘windows,’ ‘mirrors’, and ‘sliding glass doors’ in literature; ‘windows’ provide a view to another world – whether real or imagined, and ‘sliding doors’ allows readers to walk through and enter another world, and another experience, which can shape the way we see ourselves and others. For a lot of marginalised readers, windows and sliding doors are abundant, but mirrors – a book or text that reflects an experience back at us, allowing us to see ourselves in a story – are a little more difficult to find — or may not even exist at all.

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