The Silence that Binds Us
New York Times bestselling author Joanna Ho’s debut YA novel explores themes of racism, classism, loss, friendship, and mental health in an achingly powerful book that will challenge closely held beliefs. Perfect for fans of The Astonishing Color of After and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.
In the face of injustice will you speak up or stay silent?
Maybelline Chen isn't the Chinese Taiwanese American daughter her mother expects her to be. May prefers hoodies over dresses and wants to become a writer. When asked, her mom can’t come up with one specific reason for why she's proud of her only daughter. May's beloved brother, Danny, on the other hand, has just been admitted to Princeton. But Danny secretly struggles with depression, and when he dies by suicide, May's world is shattered.
In the aftermath, racist accusations are hurled against May's parents for putting too much “pressure” on him. May’s father tells her to keep her head down. Instead, May challenges these ugly stereotypes through her writing. Yet the consequences of speaking out run much deeper than anyone could foresee. Who gets to tell our stories and who gets silenced? It’s up to May to take back the narrative.
Joanna Ho is the New York Times bestselling author of Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, Eyes that Speak to the Stars, and Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma. She has been an English teacher, a dean, a professional development designer and a high school vice principal. Her passion for equity in books and education is matched only by her love of homemade chocolate chip cookies, outdoor adventures, and dance parties with her kids
“A grieving teen fights Asian hate by finding her voice in this complex, timely story.” -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"With a layered, sensitive voice…Ho’s weighty novel delves into themes of racism, classism, loss, and healing." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The Silence that Binds Us is a propulsive reminder that race-based discrimination takes a multitude of forms, all of them insidious and traumatic. I adored this ornately carved window into the core of shared humanity. A fascinating exploration of what happens when deeply rooted cultural norms collide with privilege-centered notions of 'fairness.' Read and re-read. Then read it again." -Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin
"Zinger after zinger, Joanna pierces us with the truth we can’t ignore even as she cocoons us in love. Just like May, she’s taking back the narrative with her powerful pen." -Abigail Hing Wen, New York Times bestselling author of Loveboat, Taipei
“A held-breath of a novel that finds courage amidst brokenness, and holds a candle to the dark.” -Stacey Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Downstairs Girl
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