Why This Series?
Few tools are more powerful than stories in helping students to make connections across cultures and develop cultural appreciation and sensitivity. Authors, from this perspective, are educators: as they engage their readers' interest, they also open their eyes. They are the natural allies of teachers.
But how do they practice their craft, and why do they do it? Why do they think it is important for students to think about the cultural and historical questions their books raise? In this "Asian American Authors Series," Primary Source chose four celebrated writers of works relating to Asians or Asian Americans and asked them to reflect on these issues.
Some of the short videos that emerged are intended for teachers, since the authors are commenting on the role of books like theirs in the classroom and why teaching about other cultures matters. Other videos are meant for a student audience and may accompany a reading of one of the authors' books. Students often enjoy getting to know the creator of a work that they love and learning about that author's experiences and motivations. In the spirit of fostering young people's curiosity about multicultural literature – and meeting some of its most talented authors and illustrators – Primary Source is pleased to present original interviews with Mitali Perkins, Grace Lin, Jean Kwok, and G.B. Tran.