Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng
Stop - this book is only for fourth grade girls.
Okay - maybe also third and fifth grade.
Okay - anybody can read it.
Anna Wong is in fourth grade. She has a younger brother, Ken. She has a Chinese-born mother and an American-Chinese father. You will recognize many of the books that are are mentioned in the story. It is not so much that she she hides herself in books; she has a hard time making friends. Her mother actually had to say that perhaps it is time that she thinks of others.
Anna learns and grows by befriending her neighbor, the crossing guard, her mother's elderly employee and even her teacher. Her writing assignments in school and her Saturday Chinese class really make her think and have a practical effect on her life. This book even shows a few Chinese words. Anna should be proud of how she balances her cultural identity.
This book has many elements: multiculturalism, joy of reading, being a friend. It also has the depth of appreciation and sense of not being so hard on yourself. You will find a surprise on the back cover of the book. The surprise I can tell you; I really want to tell you. The surprise is instructions and illustrations for making your very own bag. I figured out how to make it even easier. Let me know if you have any ideas for making it. Enjoy the bag and BOOK!