Pacy and her family travel to Taiwan for one month to celebrate her grandmother’s 60th birthday, giving this Chinese-American girl another lens through which she can examine her identity.
When Pacy’s dad calls Taiwan an island of treasure, or bao dao, which sounds similar to the Chinese word for dumplings, she wonders—could Taiwan’s treasure be food? In a companion novel to The Year of the Dog (2006) and The Year of the Rat (2008), gentle Pacy is back, brimming with questions of identity and self-discovery. At home in New York, Pacy is one of the few Asians in her class. She tries hard to fit in. In Taiwan, she looks similar to everyone else, but she doesn’t speak Chinese or Taiwanese. So she doesn’t fit in there either. Pacy’s mom signs her up for a painting class, and Pacy is excited. She’s a good artist; surely she’ll make some friends. But painting with a bamboo brush on rice paper is difficult! The one talent that made her feel safe is suddenly gone; Pacy doesn’t know who she is anymore or where she belongs. Luckily, there is a lot of loving family to surround her, and a lot of incredible food to eat (especially dumplings). This third outing is as warmhearted as the first two.
Deftly weaving together historical anecdotes and simple line illustrations, Lin once again touches the heart of growing up in a multicultural family. (Fiction. 8-12)