Jamie Santiago is just an ordinary high school teenager—he has a huge crush on a girl from school, he watches a ton of sitcoms, and he is constantly trying to keep his dad from feeding egg rolls to his white friends. Not to mention he also aspires to be the next Tinikling folk dance master. Okay, maybe he’s not so ordinary.
It’s hard enough balancing the demands of high school, but when the last ever Asian Folk Festival falls on the same day as Homecoming, it feels like Jamie’s world comes crashing down. He is forced to make an important decision between honoring his heritage and salvaging what’s left of his social life. With a racist bully at school and rising protests in Portland, Jamie sometimes wonders if it would be easier to forget his Filipino side entirely instead of trying to embrace it.
[Play the catchy sitcom music]
[Cue the laugh track to numb the serious stuff]
If only life were so perfect.
Tensions will rise in Love, Dance & Egg Rolls< as Jamie decides whether it’s more important to remain hidden in plain sight or step directly into the spotlight. Jamie will not only come face-to-face with a bully, but also with this thing called cultural identity.
About the Author
Jason Tanamor currently lives and works in the Portland, Oregon area. He is the critically acclaimed author of Vampires of Portlandia, Anonymous, and Drama Dolls. His writings have appeared in more than two hundred and fifty publications, including several Filipino journals and magazines. Ranker.com voted him Favorite Filipino and Filipino-American author. Tanamor’s parents immigrated to the US from the Philippines, and he often writes about his experiences as a Filipino-American. Growing up, he did not see many Filipinos in books and wants young readers to be able to “see themselves” when they read, so he has made it his personal mission to write characters that aren’t “faceless” or “white.”