The inspiration behind the story
Hi, I’m Nancy! I'm a senior in high school from southern California.
As an immigrant myself, I wrote Hana & Arnie to address the stigma that's been building against certain immigrant groups in our country.
This past summer, as I read news articles about the construction of the border wall and saw images of migrant children being kept in cages, I felt angry and powerless.
I thought back on the idea of xenophobia. Fear of immigrants. I thought about how immigrants are often blamed for issues they do not directly cause. How immigrants are sometimes treated as scapegoats, accused of being threats and dangers to society. As an immigrant myself, I found that dehumanizing.
People fear what they don't understand. And the border wall is a perfect example of that fear of the unknown. I wondered, would the border wall even work? Could it make things worse? What about the value that immigrants bring to the US?
I thought about these questions as I experimented with creating the story.
People want to keep things the same.
Yet, where would we be if it weren't for the diverse ideas that immigrants bring and their oftentimes unseen contributions to society?
That's why I hope the ultimate message of Hana & Arnie is the importance of immigrants, diversity, and compassion.
This is the story of Hana, a young girl who sets out to solve a mystery with the help of an unexpected friend. Hana & Arnie is a book about questioning assumptions, but more importantly, about having empathy for others and embracing diversity.
The following are mock-ups and drafts of the illustrations that will be in the book.
The following are pencil sketches of the storyboard. All final art will be hand-painted acrylic on canvas which will then be scanned in high definition and printed on premium paper.
The book will be 10x8 landscape, hardcover with dust jacket, premium paper lustre, and 30 pages.
Here are some preview pages of the book (** formatting, texts and illustrations are not finalized and are subjects to change)
This book needs to exist because:
- The book contains deeper world meaning and subtle references to today’s political climate and what we ought to learn from it.
- It inspires children to develop a sense of compassion and kindness for others and to look past stereotypes. This is important, especially in our current political climate.
- To inspire children to think critically and develop their own thoughts and judgment instead of blindly following authorities.
- To have more representation of minorities. Few children’s books feature Asian characters, and even fewer books feature Asian characters that do not solely focus on Asian culture.
Meet the Team
Author & Illustrator: Nancy Xu
I have always loved reading and doing art ever since I could remember. So it has always been my dream to create my own picture book! ( my 10 year old self would be jumping up and down right now)
I immigrated from China to the U.S. in 5th grade and am so so grateful to be in a welcoming community. However, I know that I was one of the lucky few. When I learned history at school, I was drawn toward stories of immigrants and refugees because their stories resonated with me--they seemed like people I could know. This inspired me to create a book to celebrate compassion and diversity.
To me, Hana & Arnie is a story about immigrants. That feeling of lost, of being stuck in between the "old" and "new" worlds and identities, and of being labeled "different", are things that I think every immigrant could relate to. That's why I believe that having a story celebrating diversity is so important.
I hope to pursue psychology at college to understand more about the human psyche and the cause of discriminations and xenophobia. In the future, I hope to continue to use my art to speak out about immigration issues and advocate for immigrants.
Project Manager & Communications Director: Sarah Wang
Hi, I'm Sarah and I'm also a senior at Arcadia High School! I was a super talkative kid growing up and at some point, I decided to channel that energy into something more productive: communications and community service. To say the least, Mom was relieved.
Though I consider myself an American through and though, my Taiwanese roots have always been a huge part of my cultural identity (and my breakfast, lunch, and dinner). But sometimes, I questioned the authenticity of my identities: Am I really American if I don't look like anyone in the movies? Am I really Taiwanese if the only Mandarin I can read is my name? Hana & Arnie embodies what I came to realize: it's the combination of both worlds that make me truly and uniquely me and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I plan to pursue political science and sociology in college, but given my track record, that'll probably change. I dream of taking my passions to an international level and working to ease the humanitarian crisis, climate change, and the refugee crisis. But only one thing's for sure: I'll still be munching happily away on my food blog.
Risks and challenges
Right now, the illustrations and the texts are being finalized. And the finalized version of the book will be completed in May 2019.
Our marketing plan for this Kickstarter focuses on these core audiences:
1. Parents of young children
2. Elementary school teachers (Grades 1-3)
3. Immigrant families and DACA kids
If you have any questions about this Kickstarter, please don't hesitate to email us at email@example.com!
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