What makes us embarrassed about who we are? Can you think of one good reason to be ashamed of who you are? What will it take for each us to just be proud of who and what we are? Asian and Pacific Islander children receive many messages in their lives that reinforce the idea that they need to change; that they need to be more “American”. Living on that line between cultures is Apple Pie Fourth of July is the story of a girl, speaking to us about her shame and embarrassment at being Chinese American. She resents and mocks her parents for running their restaurant the same way on Independence Day as they would on other days of the year. Her final realization that Chinese food, that what her parents offer is as American as the iconic Apple Pie.
- Why does the main character feel like her parents don’t understand American things?
- What does the main character mean when she says American?
- Describe how she might feel about being Chinese American? Why is it important to be both Chinese and American?
- What do you think of when you hear the word American? (If the responses only include stereotypical American images, challenge your students with the following prompts.)
- Why do you think the family is on the roof eating apple pie at the end of the story?