Reviews for Year of the Rat


Booklist Reviews 2007 November #2
Readers first encountered Grace, the daughter of Taiwanese parents, in The Year of the Dog (2006), in which she met a new friend, Melody, and found her life's purpose as a writer. Now, it's the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, a year with the reputation for changes. Sure enough, Melody, Grace's "almost twin," moves to California, leaving Grace to try and make new friends and learn how to be true to herself and her writing. In a moving subplot, Grace comes face to face with her own prejudice: an Asian boy joins her class, and Grace wants no part of him. As in the previous offering, the text is given depth by Grace's parents' stories about their own childhoods, and enlivened by charming ink drawings, which range from the illustrations of people that inhabit Grace's world to simple items, such as birthday cakes and holiday food. An endearing story that will touch readers Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
The Year of the Rat, the first in the twelve-year Chinese cycle, signifies new beginnings. However, Pacy finds it difficult to face the major change in her life: her best friend, Melody, the only other Asian student in her school, is moving away. Pacy is left with friends who do not understand her. When classmate Charlotte claims that Pacy can only be a "cute couple" with new Chinese student Dun-Wei ("Dumb-Way") and that she simply does not "fit anyone else," Pacy has to wonder, "Would nobody else ever like me because I was Chinese?" Pacy also starts doubting one of her resolutions for the year: working toward becoming a writer/illustrator. Even her father warns against such a "cold door" (i.e., financially risky) career. Lin deftly handles Pacy's dilemmas and internal struggles with sensitivity and tenderness, keeping a hopeful and childlike tone that will inspire empathy. As in the first story about Pacy, The Year of the Dog (rev. 3/06), readers will find engaging cultural and family anecdotes. Appealing line drawings appear throughout the book. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #3
The Year of the Rat, the first in the twelve-year Chinese cycle, signifies new beginnings. However, Pacy finds it difficult to face the major change in her life: her best friend, Melody, the only other Asian student in her school, is moving away. Pacy is left with friends who do not understand her. When classmate Charlotte claims that Pacy can only be a "cute couple" with new Chinese student Dun-Wei ("Dumb-Way") and that she simply does not "fit anyone else," Pacy has to wonder, "Would nobody else ever like me because I was Chinese?" Pacy also starts doubting one of her resolutions for the year: working toward becoming a writer/illustrator. Even her father warns against such a "cold door" (i.e., financially risky) career. Lin deftly handles Pacy's dilemmas and internal struggles with sensitivity and tenderness, keeping a hopeful and childlike tone that will inspire empathy. As in the first story about Pacy, The Year of the Dog (rev. 3/06), readers will find engaging cultural and family anecdotes. Appealing line drawings appear throughout the book. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 December #1
Being rude on Chinese New Year can bring bad luck. After Pacy teases her older sister at the New Year's dinner, a series of bad things happen. Her best friend Melody moves to California and a Chinese boy, "fresh off the boat," moves into Melody's house. Pacy's elementary-school classmates make fun of Dun-Wei and she's embarrassed by the connection. Former friends make her uncomfortable, and school doesn't go as well. Still hoping to be an author and illustrator, Pacy can't figure out how her personal talents will fit into the class talent show. Just in time for the Year of the Rat comes this follow-up to Year of the Dog (2006), which introduced Pacy's Taiwanese-American family. As before, Lin liberally illustrates self-contained short chapters with small line drawings. From time to time relatives tell stories from their own earlier lives, recalling Chinese folklore, growing up in Taiwan and Pacy's infancy. Readers of this gentle, appealing sequel will appreciate the way the engaging protagonist discovers she can survive the changes a new year brings. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 January #2
Grace Lin's plucky heroine from The Year of the Dog returns in The Year of the Rat. Here Pacy deals with a friend's move and works to improve her writing and artwork. (Little, Brown, $14.99 192p ages 8-12 ISBN 9780-316-11426-4; Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 March

Gr 3-5-- This compact sequel to The Year of the Dog (Little, Brown, 2006) charts an eventful year, based on the author's own childhood. As the story opens, Pacy (who uses an American name, Grace, at school) is celebrating Chinese New Year with her family and friends. Their gatherings always center on food and the delightful stories her parents tell of their lives in Taiwan and of coming to America. As Pacy's dad relates the story of the rat and the Chinese zodiac, her mother notes that the Year of the Rat is a time for making changes. Change quickly becomes the hallmark of the protagonist's year: her best friend moves to California, and Pacy must adjust to a new teacher and new relationships. When a boy from China arrives at her school, her classmates tease him for being different. Pacy watches guiltily until she finds the courage to speak up for him. Lin's handling of the situation as related through a child's perspective is graceful and sensitive. Young readers will find this episodic, character-driven short novel appealing and relate to its authentically childlike Pacy, whose family's Thanksgiving feast includes both huo guo (Chinese hot pot) dishes and a small turkey. Lin's plentiful detailed line drawings add to the story's appeal. This heartwarming sequel will leave readers hoping for more about this engaging heroine and her family.--Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

[Page 170]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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