Parents' Guide to

The Silence that Binds Us

By John Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Taiwanese American fights Asian hate in timely tale.

Book Joanna Ho School 2022
The Silence that Binds Us

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The story in The Silence that Binds Us is incredibly important and, in many ways, told well in Joanna Ho's first young adult novel. While still fiction, the story speaks to a common scene or collection of anti-Asian racist beliefs, and Ho takes incredible care in walking readers up to the tricky steps of race relations, dynamics, politics, and social interactions. Welcome is the focus on issues like disagreeing with your own family about how to deal with racism, the differences in the kinds of racism various people of color face, and the histories of how racist beliefs begin and get perpetuated.

This book takes the time to explain a lot, and while at times preachy, everything covered also feels necessary and like it could be formative for teen readers. Teen culture and dialogue are captured well, even if some side characters feel a bit like checking off boxes. This isn't exactly a fun read, but it's an important one.

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