Book reviews of action adventure and realistic fiction chapter books by an 11-year-old girl in 6th grade.
To cover the Culture Revolution, I selected Little Leap Forward, a chapter book about living during this time in China. Zen Shorts still remains one of my all time favorite picture books because is manages to combine Chinese Philosopher Chuang Tsu’s parables in a way that is accessible to kids and yet leave adult readers pondering Big Ideas. Finally, for everyone who has a Joy Luck Club story from their homeland, I hope that you all have had a chance to read this book that broke the ground for a new Asian American literature genre twenty-five years ago.
While not all these books are from when I was young, they all have an old fashioned innocent feel. In fact, my number one pick, Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin reminds me so much of my favorite Little Bear series in that it has a tight story line that is both silly and sweet. Easy readers are a rite of passage for both kids and parents. I remember searching for easy readers that were not mind numbingly boring as both parent and child are attached at the hip during this period of literacy.
I chose these books because there was something special about each of them that helps me to connect to my Chinese roots and I hope that you enjoy them to, even if your ancestry isn’t Asian.
The first book is a picture book that is a really wonderful way to visit another culture with your children. The second book is for young adults. As for the food, I was intimidated to make Sri Lankan food, but the owner’s son who manages the two cafes assured me that this was an easy and delicious recipe that he loved as a child. As for Sri Lanka interior design, it reminds of me of Ralph Lauren when he tries to create romantic images of British Colonial Style. It’s elegant cane furniture crossed with Polynesian style.