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Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.
Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.
Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman—who both contributed stories to this edition, as well—the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.
A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.
From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
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About the Author
Originally from New York City, Ellen Oh is the founder of We Need Diverse Books and the author of the Prophecy trilogy (Prophecy, Warrior, and King) for young adults. Spirit Hunters is her fourth book and her first for middle grade readers. A former adjunct college instructor and lawyer with an insatiable curiosity for ancient Asian history, Ellen lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and three daughters and has yet to satisfy her quest for a decent bagel. You can visit her online at www.ellenoh.com.
Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton met while attending the New School’s acclaimed Writing for Children MFA program. Sona is a journalist who has written for the New York Times, People, Parade, Cosmopolitan, and other major media. Dhonielle is a librarian at a middle school in Harlem, and taught English at a cutthroat ballet academy. Together, the pair cofounded CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent. Find them online at www.cakeliterary.com.
Melissa de la Cruz grew up in Manila and San Francisco. She is the author of the novels Cat's Meow (Scribner, 2001) and The Au Pairs (Simon & Schuster, 2004). She coauthored the nonfiction books How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less (Ballantine, 2003) and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-Inch Heels and Faux Pas (Ballantine, 2004). Her work has been translated into many languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix, named one of the top ten fantasy novels for youth by Booklist. She lives with her husband and two children in San Diego, California.
Aisha Saeed is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed novel Amal Unbound; the Bank Street Books Best Book Written in the Stars; Aladdin: Far from Agrabah; and Bilal Cooks Daal. Aisha is also a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and sons. You can find her online at www.aishasaeed.com.
Table of Contents
From the Editors 1
Forbidden Fruit Roshani Chokshi, Filipino 5
Olivia's Table Alyssa Wong, Chinese 20
Steel Skin Lori M. Lee, Hmong 47
Still Star-Crossed Sona Charaipotra, Punjabi 73
The Counting of Vermillion Beads Aliette De Bodard, Vietnamese 90
The Land of the Morning Calm E. C. Myers, Korean 109
The Smile Aisha Saeed, South Asian 139
Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers Preeti Chhibber, Gujarati 155
Nothing into All Renée Ahdieh, Korean 184
Spear Carrier Rahul Kanakia, South Asian 202
Code of Honor Melissa de la Cruz, Filipino 224
Bullet Butterfly Elsie Chapman, Chinese 238
Daughter of the Sun Shveta Thakrar, South Asian 259
The Crimson Cloak Cindy Pon, Chinese 282
Eyes like Candlelight Julie Kagawa, Japanese 302
Author Biographies 324
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.5 crowns Favorite Stories: Oliva's Table (my fave and it gave so so so much ghostie goodness), The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers (gamer world mixed with fantasy dealing with grief), Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi (except for that ending, tho), Nothing into All by Renee Ahdieh (um, goblins and complex brother/sis dynamics), and The Smile by Aisha Saeed (beautifully done). The Okay Stories: Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra, Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber, Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman, and The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon. Skipped/Meh Stories: Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz (too...2008), Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa (I fell apart since it was the last one in the book), Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar (it was trying real hard), The Counting of Vermillion beads by Aliette De Bodard (meh), Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee (too sci-fi), and Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia (writing style wasn't my jam). This was one of the best anthologies that I ever read. Even though I didn't jive with 6 of the stories, the ones that I did was really really good that outshone the bad. And most of them were for personal reasons - and the fact that I can never quite do anthologies. Overall, if you are ever going to read one anthology in your life, I recommend this one. 3.5 crowns and a Jasmine rating!