Friday, March 28, 2014

Year of the Dog

Year of the Dog by Grace Lin- fiction

Lin, Grace. The Year of the Dog. New York: Little, Brown and Company. 2005. Print.
ISBN-10: 031606002X

Summary: Pacy is an Asian-American girl trying to find her place in the world. When her mom tells her that this year, the Year of the Dog, is the for family, friends and finding oneself, Pacy, the middle child with two sisters, sets out to find her talent. During this year she meets a new friend, struggles with disappointment, and begins to discover a talent all her own. The Year of the Dog is a sweet story about family and friendships.

Strengths/weaknesses: The Year of the Dog gives great insight into one Asian-American family. Pacy attends a school where she and her older sister are the only Asian students in the school. Even with the arrival of another Asian-American student, Pacy still struggles with being different-her friend can speak both English & Taiwanese and Pacy complains that doesn’t see kids like herself in books or plays. Students can relate to Pacy in feeling different from their peers at times. 
Although set in current day, the author uses Pacy’s mom to relate tales of what it was like growing up in Taiwan. These stories help contrast Pacy’s experiences in an American school. 
While this book is recommended for ages 8-12, the writing style may be too simple for some advanced older readers in this range. 

Uses: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated in May and this would be a great book to use. Students can read about & discuss Chinese horoscopes-find out what year they were born & symbolic meanings, practice calligraphy and Chinese symbols. 

Audience: Year of the Dog is recommended for ages 8-12

Read-Alikes: Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary, Ivy and Bean books by Annie Barrows , The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (for the older end of the age range)

Awards/Honors: (from the author’s website
• 2006 Fall Publisher's Pick
• Starred Booklist Review
• 2006 ALA Children's Notable
• 2006 Asian Pacific American Librarian Association Honor
• 2006 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) GOLD Winner
• 2007-2008 Texas Bluebonnet Award Masterlist
• 2007 Nene Awards Recommended List (Hawaii's Book Award Chosen by Children Grades 4-6)
• 2007 Cochecho Readers' Award List (sponsored by the Children's Librarians of Dover, New Hampshire)
• NYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2006
• Kirkus Best Early Chapter Books 2006
•2006 Booklist Editors' Choice for Middle Readers
•Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice 2007
•Boston Authors Club Recommended Book
•2007-2008 Great Lakes Great Books Award nominee
•2007-2008 North Carolina Children's Book Award nominee
•2007-2008 West Virginia Children's Book Award nominee
•2009 Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award (OR) nominee

•2009 Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice Award (WA, OR, ID) nominee

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