THE GOLEM AND THE DRAGON GIRL by Sonia Levitin

THE GOLEM AND THE DRAGON GIRL

Age Range: 9 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 There's a lot going on in this offering from a dependable author whose books range from the comic (The Mark of Conte, 1976) to the serious (The Return, 1976, about Jewish Ethiopian refugees) to picture books. The subject here is a friendship between Chinese-American Laurel and Jewish Jonathan, who has just moved into her former house. Both families are in flux: Jonathan has yet to make peace with a new stepfather; Laurel's normally equable mother is cranky and apprehensive about the arrival of her parents from China--she hasn't seen them since she was 11 years old. And, as they approach adolescence, both Laurel and Jonathan are reassessing their cultural heritages. The action centers on some mildly supernatural activity triggered by the move and the kids' transitional status--the uneasy spirit of Laurel's great-grandfather, still, apparently, in Jonathan's house; a model, constructed by Jonathan, in some ways akin to a golem. Among the many subplots (music plays a strong role; Jonathan's new dog epitomizes Laurel's fears; his uncle, a pleasantly quirky pivotal character, falls implausibly in love with a librarian), the Chinese grandparents steal the show. Their correspondence over the years may have been cursory; but in person they're lovely, kind, sensible people. The key is understanding: in each of the several tangles, it blows away fear, distrust, or anxiety. Levitin's entertaining, well-written story is a bit overneat but, still, it deals creatively with a number of significant themes. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8037-1280-4
Page count: 188pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993




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