Charlesbridge Publishing, Hardcover, 9781580893282, 272pp.
Publication Date: July 2010
Narrated by two teenage boys on opposing sides of the conflict between the Burmese government and the Karenni, one of Burma's many ethnic minorities, this coming-of-age novel takes place against the political and military backdrop of modern-day Burma. Chiko isn't a fighter by nature. He's a book-loving Burmese boy whose father, a doctor, is in prison for resisting the government. Tu Reh, on the other hand, wants to fight for freedom after watching Burmese soldiers destroy his Karenni family's home and bamboo fields. Timidity becomes courage and anger becomes compassion when the boys' stories intersect.
About the Author
Mitali Perkins is the author of numerous books for teens and younger readers, including Monsoon Summer and Secret Keeper. She was born in India and immigrated to the United States with her parents and two sisters when she was seven. Bengali-style, her and her sisters names all rhyme: Sonali means gold, Rupali means silver, and Mitali means friendly. About Open Mic, she says, Humor crosses borders like no other literary device. Shared laughter fosters community and gets us talking about issues that might otherwise cause division or discomfort. Mitali Perkins lives with her husband just outside Boston.