The Silence That Binds Us
May is a Taiwanese American teen who navigates complex issues of systemic racism as she struggles to cope with the death of her older brother Danny. When a prominent white community member blames May’s parents and their Asian culture for Danny’s suicide because of the academic pressure he claims Asian families place on their children, May confronts the racism through her writing and poetry. Suitable in a secondary classroom, this book may provoke group or class discussions and further research about systemic racism, as well as anti-Asian and anti-Black hate in North America. Timely topics of teen suicide and mental illness may also be addressed, and the main character’s experience may inspire personal written reflections about identity, culture, and family.