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by Grace Lin

illustrated by Grace Lin


Gr 3-5 –A lighthearted coming-of-age novel with a cultural twist. Readers follow Grace, an American girl of Taiwanese  heritage, through the course of one year–The Year of the Dog–as she struggles to integrate her two cultures. Throughout the story, her parents share their own experiences that parallel events in her life. These stories serve a dual purpose; they draw attention to Grace’s cultural background and allow her to make informed decisions. She and her two sisters are the only Taiwanese -American children at school until Melody arrives. The girls become friends and their common backgrounds illuminate further differences between the American and Taiwanese  cultures. At the end of the year, the protagonist has grown substantially. Small, captioned, childlike black-and-white drawings are dotted throughout. This is an enjoyable chapter book  with easily identifiable characters.–Diane Eddington, Los Angeles Public Library –Diane Eddington (Reviewed March 1, 2006) (School Library Journal, vol 52, issue 3, p196)


  • ALA Notable Children’s Books – Middle Readers Category: 2007
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice – Books for Youth – Middle Readers Category: 2006


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Ages 9-12, Cultural Differences, Identity