Review Blog

Oct 16 2007

The year of the dog by Grace Lin

cover image

Little Brown and Company, New York, 2007
(Age 10+) Grace is an American, and her parents are Taiwanese, so accepting her place in the scheme of things causes her some anxiety. Wanting to join the school play, Wizard of Oz, she auditions for Dorothy, but others in her class laugh and tell her that Dorothy is not a Chinese girl, but American, so where does Grace fit?

This funny story of Grace's search for her place in the world will be instantly recognized by anyone who has felt an outsider. Sometimes people tell her she is Chinese and she quite rightly retorts that she is Taiwanese, but when attending a camp for Taiwanese Americans, she has problems here too, as she cannot speak either Chinese or Taiwanese and so feels outside even there. Her parents have insisted she learn English as she is American not Chinese or Taiwanese.

All rolled into the story of the year of the dog, Grace learns some new talents, discovers a new friend and finishes her book for the class project. It is indeed a lucky year for Grace.
Fran Knight

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