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Silk Umbrellas by Carolyn Marsden
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Silk Umbrellas

by Carolyn Marsden

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Personal Response: I didn't think I would like this book initially, but in the end I thought it was alright. I liked the determination that Noi had. She would not settle for a job at the radio factory like her sister was forced to take and strove to make better for herself. She also showed great bravery in putting her art out there for criticism. I think this is a great example of a book that is culturally authentic without being written by someone from the subject culture. With proper and responsible research a writer doesn't have to be of the subject culture to write something that is culturally authentic.
Older elementary and middle school. Grades 3 to 8

curricular connections:

World and cultural studies

art studies ( )
  cassiusclay | Jun 24, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763622575, Hardcover)

With spare, sure strokes evoking the customs and language of Thailand, the acclaimed author of THE GOLD-THREADED DRESS tells the graceful tale of a young artist’s coming of age.

"Your trembling is good, Noi," said Kun Ya. "That’s the way the butterfly moves. Let the movement spread to your whole body, not just your fingers. Paint with all of you. Become the butterfly."

Eleven-year-old Noi is learning to paint like her grandmother. She and her older sister, Ting, spend many rapt hours in the jungle watching as Kun Ya paints delicate silk umbrellas to sell at the market. But one day Kun Ma and Kun Pa announce that Ting must start working at a local radio factory to help support the family. As the days and weeks pass, Noi anxiously sees her own fate reflected in her sister’s constricting world. Can Noi find a way to master her fear of failure and stand up for her gift — and Kun Ya’s tradition — before the future masters her?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Eleven-year-old Noi worries that she will have to stop painting the silk umbrellas her family sells at the market near their Thai village and be forced to join her older sister in difficult work at a local factory instead.

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Candlewick Press

Two editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763622575, 0763633763

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