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Readers first encountered Grace, the daughter of Taiwanese parents, in The Year of the Dog (2006), in which she met a new friend, Melody, and found her life's purpose as a writer. Now, it's the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, a year with the reputation for changes. Sure enough, Melody, Grace's almost twin, moves to California, leaving Grace to try and make new friends and learn how to be true to herself and her writing. In a moving subplot, Grace comes face to face with her own prejudice: an Asian boy joins her class, and Grace wants no part of him. As in the previous offering, the text is given depth by Grace's parents' stories about their own childhoods, and enlivened by charming ink drawings, which range from the illustrations of people that inhabit Grace's world to simple items, such as birthday cakes and holiday food. An endearing story that will touch readers--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2007 Booklist
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Grace Lin's plucky heroine from The Year of the Dog returns in The Year of the Rat. Here Pacy deals with a friend's move and works to improve her writing and artwork. (Little, Brown, $14.99 192p ages 8-12 ISBN 9780-316-11426-4; Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal
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Gr 3-5-This compact sequel to The Year of the Dog (Little, Brown, 2006) charts an eventful year, based on the author's own childhood. As the story opens, Pacy (who uses an American name, Grace, at school) is celebrating Chinese New Year with her family and friends. Their gatherings always center on food and the delightful stories her parents tell of their lives in Taiwan and of coming to America. As Pacy's dad relates the story of the rat and the Chinese zodiac, her mother notes that the Year of the Rat is a time for making changes. Change quickly becomes the hallmark of the protagonist's year: her best friend moves to California, and Pacy must adjust to a new teacher and new relationships. When a boy from China arrives at her school, her classmates tease him for being different. Pacy watches guiltily until she finds the courage to speak up for him. Lin's handling of the situation as related through a child's perspective is graceful and sensitive. Young readers will find this episodic, character-driven short novel appealing and relate to its authentically childlike Pacy, whose family's Thanksgiving feast includes both huo guo (Chinese hot pot) dishes and a small turkey. Lin's plentiful detailed line drawings add to the story's appeal. This heartwarming sequel will leave readers hoping for more about this engaging heroine and her family.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.