School Library Journal
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Gr 4-6-In this sequel to The Year of the Dog (2006) and The Year of the Rat (2007, both Little, Brown), Pacy Lin and her family visit relatives in Taiwan to celebrate her grandmother's 60th birthday. The crowded, noisy streets and markets of Taipei confuse and unsettle Pacy; she can't understand the language or the signs, and the art class she takes is much more difficult and frustrating than she expected, which is a disappointment for the artistic girl. On the bright side, the wide variety of dumplings available becomes a high point of her trip and she loves being with her extended family. Throughout the month, Pacy struggles with who she is-American? Taiwanese?-and how she fits in. But as the vacation continues she opens up to new people and places and realizes she is just fine as herself, a Taiwanese-American girl. This is a good addition to the earlier books about the Lin family-it's humorous and thoughtful, with serious issues approached with a light touch. Lin clearly describes the pleasure and confusion of being in another country, especially one where there's a language difference. Readers new to the series will enjoy meeting Pacy, and fans will be satisfied as well.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In the series that includes The Year of the Dog (2006) and The Year of the Rat (2008), this longer book picks up Pacy's story as her family flies from upstate New York to her parents' homeland, Taiwan. Embarrassed that she and her two sisters are dressed in matching hot-pink dresses for the trip, Pacy is a reluctant traveler. But once she arrives in Taipei, she begins to open up to the new relationships, foods, and ways of thinking she finds there. Thoughtful and sometimes amusing, this episodic journey narrative captures Pacy's emotions and reflections, whether they involve an unfamiliar (and literally alarming) high-tech toilet or her newfound understanding of what it means to be both American and Taiwanese. The first-person narrative pauses at intervals to include stories that Pacy's relatives share with her, both traditional tales and memorable accounts of family members dealing with superstition, political oppression, and loss. While this engaging book broadens the series in a meaningful way, it also works well as a stand-alone title.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist