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Podcast: Jordan Melic’s YA Novel about Singapore History

On this month’s episode of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we are very happy to welcome author Jordan Melic to discuss his fascinating debut novel A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven.

A Young Adult novel combining adventure, history, and mythology, A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven follows siblings Ah Ti and Kueny as they find themselves in different times and places that led to modern-day Singapore, spanning many generations and belief systems, from ancient China to colonial Malaysia. Jordan, who grew up in Singapore and now lives in Paris, tells us how his depictions of past eras reflect a personal and universal struggle to reckon with one’s own history.

It is cinematic, moving, and often humorous storytelling, as well as a meditation on national and historical identity that both young adult and adult readers have responded to since the book was published in Singapore earlier this year. 

We’re also excited for this opportunity to highlight the world of English-language literature in Singapore–which can often be hard to find here in the U.S. On that note, we’ve tried to make it easy to get your hands on a copy. You can check out A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven at the library, available in our Teen and Podcast collections. Or, take a look at the book’s publisher Math Paper Press, or enter to win a free copy to keep from the library (details below)! 

Enter our drawing to win a copy: email, with your name before midnight on Thursday, August 27th (CST). We’ll put all entries through a randomizer and select two lucky readers to receive a copy. The only requirement is that you (or someone you know) must be able to pick up the book from the Deerfield Public Library. (We can do curbside pickup or you can pick up during our open hours, and we will quarantine the book ahead of time.) 

We hope you enjoy our 41st episode with Jordan Melic. Each month we release an episode featuring a conversation with a notable guest, including authors, artists, and leaders from Deerfield, Chicagoland, and the whole world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page.

You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to

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