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You are Here

You Are Here: Connecting Flights

In this collection of stories set in a crowded Chicago airport, events sparked by racist aggressions, cultural expectations, peer pressure, and insecurities, intertwine the journeys of twelve young Asian Americans.
You are Here

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You Are Here is an excellent choice for a whole class read aloud. Each story is manageable in one session. Just leave time for great discussion! And for students to further challenge the idea of a monolithic Asian American identity and explore the diverse multiethnic perspectives of Asian Americans.

After reading You Are Here, talk with students about what they’ve learned about what it means to be Asian American.

Discuss with students:

  • How did this book help you better understand the very broad term Asian American and its usage? What questions do you still have?
  • How did this book help you to better understand the experiences of Asian Americans? What questions do you still have?

Then share the resource What It Means to Be Asian in America from the Pew Research Center to help them find answers to their questions. Have students choose a character from the book and compare that perspective to those shared by participants in Extended Interviews: Being Asian in America or In Their Own Words: The Diverse Perspectives of Being Asian in America. Debrief with students about what similarities and differences they found in these stories and how it adds to their understanding or questioning of the term Asian American.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. Why do you think the book has this title? If you could give the book another title, what would it be?
  2. Do you enjoy short stories? What are some common themes you noticed throughout the stories in this book? What connected them together?
  3. Did you have a favorite character or story in this collection, or any that particularly stood out to you? What was it about this character or story that caught your attention?
  4. How did you feel about the racism, prejudice, and bullying these characters encounter at the airport? How did these issues affect the characters? What were the different things that helped them find and use their voices to stand up for what’s right? What strengths did these characters demonstrate?

Related Resources

What It Means to Be Asian in America from Pew Research Center
Asian Pacific American Center resources from Smithsonian Learning Lab
A Different Asian American Timeline
Defining Asian American from North Carolina Asian Americans Together

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