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Butterfly Yellow by Thanhhà Lai
While sorting through 2019 YA books at the Reinberger, one book caught my eye: Butterfly Yellow by Thanhhà Lai. This book focuses on the relationship between a brother and sister who were separated during the Vietnam War. Hằng brought her baby brother, Linh, to the airport so they could flee from Vietnam to America for safety. But Linh was taken from her—and Hằng was left behind in Vietnam. After six years, Hằng begins her new life as a refugee in Texas. She reconnects with Linh, but realizes that he doesn’t remember her, or their homeland. However, Hằng still hopes to become closer to her brother despite this cultural gap.
Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu
As a kid, I loved to read books set in alternate and dystopian worlds, like The Giver by Lois Lowry and The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu also takes place in an alternate world: a town where everything is perfect and equal. All of the houses look exactly the same, every berry is ripe, and all the residents are friendly.