Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices is an anthology centered around, as the title suggests, life between cultures. The collection includes everything from a young Asian-American trying to be "uber-asian" in order to fit in, to a geeky black student struggling against the negative image of affirmative action. The stories are written in prose and poetry, and the book even includes a comic. Throughout the ten stories, the various authors present a picture of modern race relations, stereotypes, and the art of fitting in.
This anthology is a bundle of funny, sad and interesting stories that give the reader a taste of "life between cultures." It contains a good mix of humorous stories and serious ones, and the variety keeps the reader on their toes.
My favorite short story in the collection is "Brotherly Love." In this story, a young Mexican boy has a heartfelt conversation with his older sister. The story explores cultural ideas of what "real" men act like, and gives the reader a chance to connect emotionally with the main character.
The ten authors who are represented in the book did an excellent job explaining the thoughts and emotions experienced by multi-cultural teens. Some stories made me laugh, others made me sad. The stories shared definitely make the reader question stereotypes- and want to get to know their multi-cultural neighbors better!
This book is a short, easy read that discusses some hard topics. Written in prose, poetry and even a comic-book format, the anthology has something for everyone. I would recommend this book to pre-teens and teens who enjoy realistic fiction, true stories, poetry, and learning about different cultures.