Reviews for Fire Horse Girl
Booklist Reviews 2013 January #1
*Starred Review* Seventeen-year-old Jade Moon was born in 1906, the year of the Fire Horse, an ominous sign for Chinese girls. It signals willfulness, stubbornness, and impetuousness, all characteristics that embarrass her father and grandfather and cause derision and cruelty by her too-small village. So when Sterling Promise, a long-lost adopted cousin, appears and proposes she immigrate to America using false "paper son" papers, Jade Moon and her father agree to the plan. Jade Moon views this offer as escape and freedom; her father as the only opportunity to marry off his undesirable daughter. The interminable boat ride--and even more onerous imprisonment off California's Angel Island--finally transitions to her treacherous entry into America. Jade Moon's disguise as a young man and her homelessness pave the way for her involvement with the tong, a Chinese organized crime syndicate, and breathtaking danger at every turn. First-time author Honeyman has researched the history of Angel Island and early-twentieth-century San Francisco carefully, yet the ultimate strength of this story is in her character Jade Moon. Her voice, authentic and consistent, transcends this historical fiction/adventure/love story to embrace every young woman who has ever searched for the real person hidden under the veneer of society's expectations. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 November #2
Hoping to escape the curse of being a Fire Horse girl, a Chinese teen emigrates to San Francisco in 1923, where she encounters deceit, disappointment and danger. Chinese girls born in the year of the Fire Horse are ruled by their fiery temperaments. A Fire Horse girl, 17-year-old Jade Moon's temper, stubbornness and selfishness ensure that she is scorned and single in her rural village. When handsome, smooth-talking Sterling Promise appears, professing to be her uncle's adopted son, he convinces Jade Moon and her father to go with him to America to make their fortunes. Wary of but attracted to Sterling Promise, Jade Moon sees this as her chance to begin a new life. Arriving in San Francisco, they are detained in prisonlike barracks on Angel Island--where Jade Moon discovers that her father and Sterling Promise have betrayed her. To avoid returning to China, Jade Moon poses as a man and slips into Chinatown, where she's ensnared by a gang involved in prostitution. In a defiant first-person voice, Jade Moon describes the desperate lives of Chinese immigrant women as she relies on her Fire Horse persona to save herself. Period details about American anti-Chinese sentiment and the hidden side of Chinatown provide historical context to Jade Moon's disturbing story. Perilous, page-turning adventure in old Chinatown. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 November #4
Sixteen-year-old Jade Moon was born in the unlucky year of the fire horse, making all her faults "burn with increased strength." In 1923 China, she is trapped in a small town where she is vilified by neighbors and ignored by her father and grandfather. Hope arrives in the form of a man named Sterling Promise, who needs Jade Moon's father's help getting into America. Jade Moon joins them, though she doesn't entirely know why ("Women are brought to America either to be wives or prostitutes," Jade Moon is warned en route. "You may have dreams, but your father and Sterling Promise have plans"). Debut author Honeyman faces head-on the racism and hardship that awaited Chinese immigrants; when Jade Moon's application for entry is denied, she steals Sterling's identity and papers, ending up in San Francisco's Chinatown disguised as a man. Historical details create a strong sense of setting, and readers will recognize (well before Jade Moon does) that her inner fire is an asset, and that she's much more than the sign under which she was born. Ages 12-up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Jan.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 January
Gr 9 Up--Jade Moon, 16, was born in the year of the Fire Horse, a cursed year for girls. She is too bold, too brash, too stubborn, and is told she will bring nothing but sorrow and bad luck to her family. When a stranger named Sterling Promise shows up at her home in China carrying papers to America with her dead uncle's picture, a plan is hatched for Jade Moon, her father, and Sterling Promise to journey to a new country. The long voyage ends with Jade Moon being forced to spend desperate months on Angel Island waiting to be approved to enter California. However, when the headstrong girl realizes that her father and Sterling Promise are using her for their own ends, she sets out on her own. The action picks up when she cuts off her hair, disguises herself as a boy, and ends up working as hired muscle for one of the tongs in San Francisco's Chinatown. Her time working for them infuses the story with a classic 1920s gangster flavor, a refreshing twist on the Chinese immigration story. While some aspects force readers to suspend disbelief (e.g., the fact that Jade Moon is immediately installed in the house of the head of the tong and that she is able to hide her gender for so long), the action and Jade Moon's unbreakable spirit will win them over.--Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA [Page 112]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
VOYA Reviews 2013 February
Jade Moon Chan is an unlucky Fire Horse (an unlucky Chinese zodiac for girls) with a quick temper, remarkable stubbornness, and selfish tendencies. In their small village of Jinjiu, China, the Chan family lives in the shadow of the prosperous Wu family and at age sixteen, Jade Moon is a disappointment for her failure to be a good daughter and a desirable match for someone's son. When a visitor by the name of Sterling Promise arrives on the Chans' doorstep bearing tragic news, Jade Moon is hopeful for a new life. Together with her father and Sterling Promise, Jade Moon embarks on a long journey to America, eventually arriving at Angel Island, the "Ellis Island of the West." After months of detention and interrogation, Jade Moon is shocked and betrayed when she realizes that her only way forward is a daring scheme only a Fire Horse could imagine: she disguises herself as a boy, escapes the island, and slips in among the powerful thugs who control Chinatown. Risking her very life, Jade Moon needs all of her inner strength plus sheer luck to survive, especially when she uncovers the sinister corruption that threatens the lives of other young Chinese women arriving on the shores of the Gold Mountain Honeyman provides fascinating insight into Chinese immigration to America in the 1920s. This novel would be a great whole class read or recommended read for a U.S. History class. Moreover, Jade Moon is a complex heroine and this book offers fascinating discussion points for the themes of feminism, gender roles, and diversity. Adult fans of Amy Tan may also enjoy this thoughtful, well-crafted story.--Joanna Lima 3Q 5P J Hughes, Mark Peter. Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up. Delacorte/Random House, 2012. 304p. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-385-73712-8. 3Q 5P J After forming a surprisingly successful band and inspiring their fellow students at Opequonsett High School, the five quirky members of Lemonade Mouth are looking at a summer of part-time jobs and working on new songs in a garage studio. Scouted at a local concert by a major talent agent, Olivia, Wen, Stella, Mohini, and Charlie quickly find themselves on a merry-go-round of advertising, television, and other trappings of corporatism while trying to remain true to their revolutionary roots and deal with new problems at home. Relationships, philosophies, and the band itself will struggle to survive the summer intact Lemonade Mouth Puckers Up is the follow-up to 2007's Lemonade Mouth (Delacorte, 2007/VOYA, February 2007), which inspired the popular 2011 Disney Channel musical movie of the same name. Happily, Puckers Up stands well on its own, insinuating plenty of backstory for new readers and quickly establishing a feel for each protagonist. As before, different characters narrate each chapter, sometimes in a different font, and this continues to work well at providing different viewpoints and creating natural transitions in time. The band, this time around, has to remember what they value as, again and again, each chance at success comes with a concession to their message of being true to self over the images imposed by others. At the same time, they must deal with family changes as Wen's father starts a weiner-moblie business, Olivia's mother resurfaces, romantic status quos are threatened, and enemies become friends. It almost seems too much to cram into one summer.--Lisa Martincik 5Q 3P S A/YA Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.