[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]
The Magic Fish is told in a series of fairy tales – different versions of Cinderella and the Little Mermaid – which reflect the lives and emotions of the two main characters, Tien, a 13-year-old boy living in America, and his mother, a refugee from Vietnam.
This book does something special: it takes different themes (LGBTQ, Vietnam refugees, coming of age) set in different locations and different times, and tells a story that is very easy to follow and understand. Each scene is color coded: America is pink, fairy tales are blue, and Vietnam is yellow, so the story is not confusing at all.
My two cents: The characters tell a German version and a Vietnamese version of Cinderella, and you will be surprised by both!