If you’re a reader of English books, think of your favourite book or bestselling series, and chances are, they will written by an author from the West. Some popular children’s authors you’re likely to recognise are J.K. Rowling, Enid Blyton, Dr. Seuss, and Roald Dahl, who are all of a Western heritage.
But did you know that there are some very brilliant authors from other cultures, who also write stories for an English audience? You don’t have to know another language to dive into their culturally rich books, which will open your eyes to a different world and ways of living!
In our book list today, you’ll find some of the best English children’s stories by writers from the Chinese culture. Get ready to dive into fantasy, adventure, and modern folktales while learning more about the Chinese culture!
1. The Garden Of Empress Cassia (Gabrielle Wang)
Mimi has a special talent in art, but little did she know what she could do with it. Growing up in Australia in a Chinese family, her parents discouraged her passion in art. But her teacher Mrs O’Dell was different. When Mrs O’Dell gifts Mimi an extraordinary set of oil pastels, Mimi discovers the magic of art, how it heals, and how she can be a force of inspiration to others.
A charming, oriental tale, The Garden Of Empress Cassia offers a poignant glimpse of what it’s like to live as an immigrant, depicting relatable scenes of being raised by Chinese parents. Completing this unique story about identity, culture, and passion are the fantasy and philosophical elements that will suck in any reader.
Suitable for: 8 years and up
2. A Ghost In My Suitcase (Gabrielle Wang)
After her mother’s passing, Celeste is determined to return to her family’s ancestral home in Shanghai to scatter her ashes. There, she meets her grandmother, who reveals to her a shocking secret about her family – and her. With her newfound identity and power as a ghost-hunter, Celeste needs to settle their unfinished family business, and protect her loved ones.
Gripping and emotional, A Ghost In My Suitcase is an exceptional tale that mixes Eastern and Western cultures, along with fantasy and adventure. Young readers will find something to love in this book, be it the rich cultural aspects or the thrilling storyline.
Suitable for: 8 years and up (mention of the supernatural)