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by Grace Lin


School Library Journal:

Gr 4-6— In this sequel to The Year of the Dog (2006) and The Year of the Rat (2007, both Little, Brown), Pacy Lin and her family visit relatives in Taiwan to celebrate her grandmother’s 60th birthday. The crowded, noisy streets and markets of Taipei confuse and unsettle Pacy; she can’t understand the language or the signs, and the art class she takes is much more difficult and frustrating than she expected, which is a disappointment for the artistic girl. On the bright side, the wide variety of dumplings available becomes a high point of her trip and she loves being with her extended family. Throughout the month, Pacy struggles with who she is—American? Taiwanese?—and how she fits in. But as the vacation continues she opens up to new people and places and realizes she is just fine as herself, a Taiwanese-American girl. This is a good addition to the earlier books about the Lin family—it’s humorous and thoughtful, with serious issues approached with a light touch. Lin clearly describes the pleasure and confusion of being in another country, especially one where there’s a language difference. Readers new to the series will enjoy meeting Pacy, and fans will be satisfied as well.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA –Terrie Dorio (Reviewed January 1, 2012) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 13, p119)


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Ages 9-12, Cultural Differences, Identity