PEILING AND THE CHICKEN-FRIED CHRISTMAS by Pauline Chen

PEILING AND THE CHICKEN-FRIED CHRISTMAS

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

More than anything, Peiling wants to celebrate Christmas. Even though her Taiwanese family lives in Ohio, they don’t acknowledge the American holiday because they celebrate the Chinese New Year. Embarrassed at school because she’s different, Peiling pleads with her parents, who concede, but the Christmas she has in mind doesn’t pan out. Instead, her mother invites her Jewish teacher, steams the turkey instead of roasting it and fixes chicken-fried steak. Her aunts prepare the traditional American dishes with Asian ingredients; her relatives perform karaoke instead of singing carols; and her great-aunt insists on playing mahjong and is beaten by Miss Rosenweig. Though the plot is contrived with stock characters (taunting classmates, uncle who wears an earring), the predictable story does convey the feelings of a child who wants to fit in without losing her ethnic traditions. It’s the lines in the class play, The Prince and the Pauper, that resolve Peiling’s bicultural differences. Overtly purposeful. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59990-122-0
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2007




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