When I was in first grade, my school librarian pulled out a book to read to the class. “Today,” she said, “we’re going to read ‘The Five Chinese Brothers.’”Not surprisingly, the list she gives is heavy on books that modern Asian-American kids can identify with. The last book on the list, American Born Chinese, is one of Zoe's most recent "favorite reads."
“Chinese!” all my classmates whispered and turned to me, “just like you!”
Even as young as I was, I burned with embarrassment, resentment and despair. The Chinese brothers were mustard yellow with weird hats and long pigtails. I watched “Little House on the Prairie” on television and my favorite food was McDonald’s french fries. Those five brothers were not Chinese just like me.
1 month ago