Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE YEAR OF THE RAT by Grace Lin

THE YEAR OF THE RAT

By Grace Lin

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-316-11426-4
Publisher: Little, Brown

Being rude on Chinese New Year can bring bad luck. After Pacy teases her older sister at the New Year’s dinner, a series of bad things happen. Her best friend Melody moves to California and a Chinese boy, “fresh off the boat,” moves into Melody’s house. Pacy’s elementary-school classmates make fun of Dun-Wei and she’s embarrassed by the connection. Former friends make her uncomfortable, and school doesn’t go as well. Still hoping to be an author and illustrator, Pacy can’t figure out how her personal talents will fit into the class talent show. Just in time for the Year of the Rat comes this follow-up to Year of the Dog (2006), which introduced Pacy’s Taiwanese-American family. As before, Lin liberally illustrates self-contained short chapters with small line drawings. From time to time relatives tell stories from their own earlier lives, recalling Chinese folklore, growing up in Taiwan and Pacy’s infancy. Readers of this gentle, appealing sequel will appreciate the way the engaging protagonist discovers she can survive the changes a new year brings. (Fiction. 8-12)