A chorus of essays from a variety of voices, backgrounds, and experiences, exploring what it means to be human and true to yourself.
What does it mean to be yourself? To be born here or somewhere else? To be from one family instead of another? What does it mean to be human? Collected by Lori Carlson-Hijuelos, A Path to the World showcases essays by a vast variety of luminaries—from Gary Soto to Nawal Nasrallah to Ying Ying Yu, from chefs to artists to teens to philosophers to politicians (keep your eyes peeled for a surprise appearance by George Washington)—all of which speak to the common thread of humanity, the desire to be your truest self, and to belong.
Lori Carlson-Hijuelos was born in Jamestown, New York. She went to College of Wooster for her BA in Spanish literature and linguistics and received her MA in Hispanic literature from Indiana University. She has taught at several universities, most recently Duke, and is the editor of several books and collections for children and young adults, including Cool Salsa, American Eyes, Voices in First Person: Reflections on Latino Identity; and Burnt Sugar Caña Quemada. She lives in New York City.
A collection of essays, this work is meant to inspire young people to find themselves. Different topics, such as names or cooking are covered, but all relate to identity and what makes one unique. The collection contains writing by 30 authors with many backgrounds, from writers to chefs to teens. Different cultures are represented. Some of the essays are new, but some are reprinted. While one would expect to see variety in a collection of essays, there are some extreme differences in this one. Most of the essays are a couple of pages in length, but some are even shorter. The essays also vary in quality; there are standouts, but others might leave readers confused. VERDICT This will be a hard book to convince teens to check out, as there are few names that they will recognize, and notably, few current young adult authors. Overall, this is not a necessary purchase for libraries.