English Professor Caryn Lesuma aspires for Pacific Islander representation in young adult literature
, 2022-07-07 19:50:25,
Laie is home to Pacific Islanders who grow up mixed within different cultures, shared Caryn Lesuma, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts & Letters and a Laie native. Many are seeking a sense of who they are, just as she did when she was younger, said Lesuma. As a part-Samoan, she added, she grew up trying to figure out who and what she represented.
Growing up in Laie, Lesuma said it was the norm for Pacific Island students to only earn college admission through athletic scholarships. However, books surrounding Pacific Islander young adults demonstrate “there are many ways to be a Pacific Islander,” she said.
When she was younger, there wasn’t much literature with Pacific Islander characters who she could identify with, shared Lesuma. As an academic, Lesuma said one of her areas of study is Young Adult Literature of Oceania (YALO). She said YALO books explore issues relevant to Pacific Islander young adults and help to represent their journey in understanding who they are.
There is value in representing the youth and providing literature for them to identify with, to help them “consolidate their identity and feel comfortable in their own skin,” said Lesuma.
A love for reading
Lesuma said her mother always enjoyed reading. When she was a…
To read the original article, go to Click here