Underneath the delicate lotus imagery, this small, understated story is infused with passion and determination. The Thai schoolgirl Dawan, having won a scholarship to study in the city, must fight for permission to accept it, a problem complicated by her own brother's being next in line for the honor. As Dawan desperately tries to win support for her case--from a cousin who has lived in the city, a respected Buddhist monk, her own timid mother--she hears warnings about the corruption of urban life (which, for readers here, can't help but take on a new seriousness in light of recent events). But the central issue is Dawan's inferior status as a girl, a liability she confronts again and again with rage so powerful it makes this otherwise modest narrative vibrate. Illustrated, interestingly enough, by the author's younger brother, Sing to the Dawn won an award from the Council on Interracial Books for Children and ends with a plea for a scholarship fund the author has founded.