Magic Has No Borders

­HarperTeen. May 2023. 352p. ed. by Charaipotra, Sona & Samira Ahmed, eds. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063208261.
Gr 7-10–This collection of short stories featuring South Asian characters and magic fills a void while celebrating culture and genre. With a vivid front cover and artwork introducing each short story, it invites a wide range of audiences. Each tale features Southeast Asian myths or legends intertwined with diaspora experiences of culture, religion, and geographic location, with notable authors, such as Sabaa Tahir and Tracey Baptiste and newer voices, such as Naz Kutub and Tahir Abrar, setting the tone for a deeply imaginative reading experience. Contributing authors raise the bar in this volume with their thoughtful interpretations, which range from fun to frightening. This collection is aimed at a wide audience of teens, whether this mirrors experiences they have had or not. Some selections include notes at the end that provide an enriched understanding of the tale; all would have benefitted from this, but regardless, every tale is magic and needs no explanation. The editors made a conscious effort to be inclusive of underrepresented groups across different genres for teens featuring South Asian characters.
VERDICT As short story collections go, this strong selection featuring South Asian characters is joyous and original. Add it to the shelf.

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