(16/20) From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry – “20 YA Novels for Adolescents”

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry is a young adult non-fiction novel written by Paula Yoo. It was published on April 20, 2021 and it consists of 384 pages. The awards and nominees for the novel are:

  • CCBC Choices.
  • YALSA Nonfiction Award, 2010-2023.
  • We Are Kid Lit Collective Summer Reading Lists, 2015-2022.
  • CALA Annual Best Book Award, 2008-2022.
  • Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, 1967-2022.
  • National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, 1996-2022.

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry is about the 1982 killing of Vincent Chin, the murder trials, and society’s reaction at the time. Due to the injustice surrounding the case, Asian Americans took to the streets in protest of the injustice. Vincent was murdered by two white men and during the federal civil rights trial, the murderers were only convicted of manslaughter, probation for three years, and had to pay a $3,000 fine.

I chose to read this novel because I want to learn more about other POC lives, struggles, experiences, and history. I’m Sudanese Egyptian American (African American) and I have been reading so many fiction and non-fiction novels with African American characters recently. I enjoyed reading all of them, but I want to expand my reading to young adult novels about other POC, such as Asian Americans, especially because I believe it’s very important that I learn about the people around me in the world.

With that said, I am familiar with Vincent Chin, but this is my first time reading a young adult novel about him and the murder case. When I found out that there was a young adult novel, I was very interested in reading it.

I would read this novel to my students as a whole group and I would recommend it to fifth graders and up. This is a non-fiction novel about the murder of an Asian American and the further injustice that continued to happen after the murder, so I would recommend it to young adults in general, not just a specific group of young adults. As I mentioned, it is important to learn about the people around us. In this case, for example, it is important that we young adults and everyone learn about Vincent Chin, even if we aren’t Asian Americans.

For read alouds, I would especially read:

  • Pg. 9, “Googling Vincent Chin”.

  • Pg. 35, “Vincent’s Wedding”.

I loved how this novel also shows the story of Vincent Chin from different perspectives, such as friends and families. It is a well written novel in the young adult literature genre and the writing style is great for getting the attention of young adults. I would love to explore more non-fiction novels like this and read more about POC lives, struggles, and experiences, as well as the injustices POC have had to face in the past and in the present. From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry is a young adult non-fiction novel that I highly recommend to young adults.

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