CHANG AND THE BAMBOO FLUTE by Elizabeth Starr Hill


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Age Range: 9 - 11
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In a simply told sequel to Bird Boy (1999), young Chang, born mute, finds a way to help his family after flood-borne wreckage damages their houseboat. Chang can communicate with his father’s trained fishing cormorants well enough, but is shy around people, expressing himself best with his beloved flute. Younger readers will easily understand how much he’s willing to give up when, after his mother’s precious wok is swept away in a spring flood, he offers his flute to an unscrupulous merchant for a replacement. Fortunately, his friend Bo Won, a blind storyteller, has a better idea, persuading Chang to overcome his reluctance to play in public. Chang’s impromptu concert earns him enough for not only a fine new wok, but something delectable to cook in it too. Lin, a Taiwanese artist, brings the traditional setting into sharper focus with large, carefully detailed black-and-white scenes; Hill puts her sensitive musician into situations that allow him to display courage and quick thinking, as well as a willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 2002
ISBN: 0-374-31238-9
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2002


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