Search Results for: "by grace lin"
Every once in a while, being formulaic can produce splendid results. Take Grace Lin‘s 2010 Newbery Honor book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – what made it so successful? Spunky, independent-minded young characters, intricately layered storytelling within the story, and, of course, Lin’s signature whimsical, illuminating illustrations.
Lin’s latest has all that … and more. Rendi, used to luxury and privilege, runs away in a fit of (well-justified) anger and finds himself working as a chore boy in Master Chao’s humble inn in the tiny Village of Clear Sky. After a less-than-amiable start, he begins a tentative friendship with Peiyi, the innkeeper’s young daughter, who soon reveals that life at the inn is not without strife, especially of the emotional kind: Peiyi’s older brother is missing, Master Chao and the next-door neighbor Widow Yan can’t even be civil to one another, their animosity forces Peiyi to hide her friendship with Widow Yan’s daughter, who in turn is clearly suffering from lovesickness for a certain missing someone. What is causing all this sadness and resentment? And has no one else realized that the moon is missing? And why does only Rendi seem to hear the nighttime crying?
When a mysterious new guest, Madame Chang, arrives at the near-empty inn, Rendi and Peiyi are quickly drawn to her … especially to her stories. But for every story she tells, Rendi must repay in kind with a tale of his own. Stories and life soon intertwine, from which Rendi begins to distill new truths, especially about his own faraway family.
If Mountain was about thankfulness, this new companion title celebrates the restorative power of forgiveness. In our overcommitted, overscheduled lives that can too often blind us to our own insincerity and impatience (and worse!), we could surely use regular reminders of the magically healing potential of two (heartfelt) small words, “I’m sorry.” I’m sure my own family will tell you I have more than my fair share to share, ahem. Better get started …
Readers: Middle Grade
Published: 2012 Continue reading
Even though today’s calendar reminds you it’s Friday the 13th, no worries! Let me share with you the youthful wisdom of one Grace Pacy Lin: “There was no day dumplings couldn’t make better.” After a long-awaited four-year hiatus, Pacy’s back … with a peripatetic, toothsome adventure to share.
Pacy, the alter-ego of 2010 Newbery Honor author Grace Lin (for her splendiferous Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), stars in her third title, following The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat. This time, Pacy is Taiwan-bound for a month with her family to celebrate her grandmother’s upcoming 60th birthday.
Dressed identically with her two sisters in “hot-pink overall dresses” and grumpily stuck in the middle seat of a long flight, Pacy would much rather be heading to Hawai’i or California (where she could at least see her best friend Melody). Taiwan might be her parents’ “homeland,” but for Pacy and sisters, “our small town of New Hartford, New York – with its big trees and sprawling lawns, the one shopping mall, and the red brick school with the tall, waving American flag – was our homeland.” Yet as her father patiently explains, “‘This is an important trip … Traveling is always important – it opens your mind. You take something with you, you leave something behind, and you are forever changed. That is a good trip.’”
The food, with so many different kinds of dumplings, is one experience that makes Pacy’s trip deliciously “good” (never mind the chicken feet and stinky tofu). Even more important than filling her belly, though, is feeding her heart, talent, and soul as Pacy gets to know her extended family and experience her ancestral culture through art, travel, and even riding the city subway.
Lin gently explores the disconnect of a second-generation child making a first visit to a country both familiar and alien: Pacy’s feelings of not being American enough at home (“‘It’s hard to match you in a cute couple …You don’t fit anyone else,’” a school friend insists) and yet being rejected as an Americanized “Twinkie” by other Taiwanese Americans, then realizing that in spite of her heritage, she doesn’t quite fit in her parents’ homeland, either. By book’s end, Pacy’s empathetic understanding of her parents’ immigration to the U.S. is especially memorable.
In case you might think the story overly familiar, Lin manages to deftly add a 21st-century spin on the ‘stranger-in-a-strange-land’ tale, re-introducing Pacy’s favorite cousin Clifford (whose wedding figured prominently in The Year of the Rat) and his wife Lian, who are now living in Taiwan as a result of the growing opportunities of reverse immigration in today’s global economy. Lin keeps surprising you with SAT-prayers to the ancient God of Literature, a subway pickpocket, a garbage truck that sings the ice cream truck song, and so much more … of course!
Tidbit: Make sure to check out the adorable book trailer.
Readers: Middle Grade
Published: 2012 Continue reading
What a festive day this is in most Asian and the Asian American communities throughout the world … while the western Gregorian calendars tells us today is September 22, 2010, today is also the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar. Which means it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival in China, Tsukimi Matsuri in Japan, Chuseok in Korea, and Tết Trung Thu in Vietnam … and all of the above throughout Asian Pacific America.
In Grace Lin‘s latest title for kiddies, a Chinese American family unpacks a toothsome nighttime picnic as the moon reaches its full glow in the grand sky. The three daughters help arrange “the moon-honoring table,” with delicious treats, surrounded by the glow of paper lanterns decorated with rabbits (because “a white rabbit is said to live on the moon”). Basking in the soft moonlight, the family “thank[s] the moon for bringing us together and send[s] it our secret wishes.”
In our too-busy schedules of everyday hustle, bustle, to, and fro, Lin’s latest is a lovely, gentle reminder to take a moment or two (and more!) to share our gratitude with the most important people in our lives. What began as a harvest festival hundreds, even thousands of years ago throughout Asia, has today become the perfect reason to gather our family and friends: “The roundness of the moon symbolizes harmony, and its fullness symbolizes wholeness, so families come together to celebrate those virtues,” Lin explains in an endnote. “Just as the moon always returns to its fullness, the festival continues to reunite families and inspire peace and gratitude.”
So tonight, grab those kids, give thanks to the ever-reliable moon … and cuddle up together with this adorable book. Make sure to pull it out often, too … it’s not just the kids who need those repeated reminders!
To check out my recent interview with Grace Lin for Bookslut.com, click here.
Published: 2010 Continue reading
Spunky and independent Minli can’t bear to see her parents leading such harsh lives, especially her mother who is so discontented with the family’s poverty that she can’t even enjoy the glorious stories Minli’s father regularly tells her. Minli is determined to change her family’s fortune, and with the help of a talking goldfish, she sets out in search of the Old Man of the Moon high atop Never-Ending Mountain.
Along the way, she meets a dragon who can’t fly but knows how to be a true friend. Back at home, her parents wait for her return with ever-growing worry … but only with Minli’s disappearance does her mother finally recognize that the vastness of their true wealth has nothing to with gold. In the end, true fortune has to do with true thankfulness … a perfect reminder lesson for us all.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult
Published: 2009 Continue reading
Grace Lin uses her own childhood adventures in her second middle-grade title, the follow-up to last year’s successful The Year of the Dog. Pacy returns for another year of change and growth, with some tears and laughter thrown in, as she learns to deal with her best friend’s move to faraway California.
Readers: Middle Grade
Published: 2008 Continue reading
Here’s a delightful new spin on how adoptive parents and children are bound together. Using the age-old Chinese belief that a red thread binds people together in love, Lin has created a touching fable about a king and queen who, in spite of their near-perfect life, find themselves in great pain. A wise old peddler offers special glasses that reveal a red thread attached to their hearts. The couple must journey to the thread’s end to find their heart’s desire, a precious daughter to call their own.
Published: 2007 Continue reading
Robert’s Snow by Grace Lin and Robert’s Snowflakes: Artists’ Snowflakes for Cancer’s Cure compiled by Grace Lin and Robert Mercer
As her husband recovered from cancer treatments, Grace Lin wrote Robert’s Snow, the delightful adventures of a tiny mouse, to celebrate their good fortune. But just months later, Lin and her husband – also named Robert – were told that Robert’s cancer was back, and his best chance for survival was a breakthrough in research. They decided to help doctors by recruiting the most talented, award-winning children’s book illustrators such as Eric Carle, Ian Falconer, and Mark Teague to paint the most unique, memorable wooden snowflakes which they auctioned off. The project raised over $100,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Now in print is a collection of the best of Robert’s snowflakes. All royalties go back to Dana-Farber – can you think of a single reason that this shouldn’t be your most popular holiday gift this season??!!
Published: 2005 Continue reading
Move over, brothers – here’s an improved version of the now classic (though annoyingly exoticized) tale of Chinese siblings … this one’s all about girl power featuring seven sisters, each with remarkable talents, who band together to save the seventh and youngest. But what I really want to know is what happens to the scrawny, pathetic dragon? Does Sixth Sister actually remember to ever feed him her delicious noodle soup?
Published: 2003 Continue reading