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Laurence Yep

Author of Dragonwings

88+ Works 16,715 Members 248 Reviews 7 Favorited

About the Author

Laurence Yep was born in San Francisco, California on June 14, 1948. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1970 and received a Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He primarily writes fiction for young adults, but has also written and edited show more several works for adults. His first novel, Sweetwater, was published in 1973. His other books include Dragonwings, Dragon's Gate, Shadow Lord, Child of the Owl, The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Newbery Medal Honor Book, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Jane Addams Children's Book Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photo credit: Joanne Ryder
(image courtesy of HarperCollins Children's Books)


Works by Laurence Yep

Dragonwings (1975) 2,476 copies
Dragon's Gate (1993) 1,563 copies
The Star Fisher (1991) 912 copies
Hiroshima (1995) 842 copies
Isabelle (2014) 598 copies
Child of the Owl (1977) 472 copies
Shadow Lord (1985) 466 copies
Mia (2008) 425 copies
Dragon of the Lost Sea (1987) 415 copies
Cockroach Cooties (2000) 384 copies
The Rainbow People (1989) 315 copies
Later, Gator (1995) 279 copies
Dragon Steel (1985) 199 copies
Designs by Isabelle (2014) 194 copies
When the Circus Came to Town (2002) 187 copies
The Tiger's Apprentice (2003) 182 copies
The Lost Garden (1990) 174 copies
Dragon Cauldron (1991) 171 copies
To the Stars, Isabelle (2014) 168 copies
The Serpent's Children (1984) 159 copies
Dragon War (1992) 158 copies
Ribbons (1996) 133 copies
The Traitor (2003) 131 copies
American Dragons: Twenty-five Asian American Voices (1995) — Editor — 125 copies
Bravo, Mia! (2008) 124 copies
City of Fire (2009) 122 copies
Thief of Hearts (1995) 115 copies
The Man Who Tricked A Ghost (1995) 109 copies
Mountain Light (1985) 104 copies
The Junior Thunder Lord (1994) 91 copies
Dream Soul (2000) 91 copies
Sweetwater (1973) 90 copies
The Magic Paintbrush (2000) 89 copies
City of Dragons (1995) 79 copies
The Amah (1999) 75 copies
Dragon Road (2008) 75 copies
Angelfish (1841) 74 copies
Sea Glass (1979) 69 copies
The Case of the Lion Dance (1998) 66 copies
The Cook's Family (1998) 65 copies
Tiger's Blood (2004) 63 copies
Dragons of Silk (2011) 59 copies
The Ghost Fox (1605) 57 copies
Tiger Woman (1995) 48 copies
Tiger Magic (2006) 43 copies
City of Ice (2011) 42 copies
Tongues of Jade (1991) 42 copies
Monster Makers, Inc. (1986) 41 copies
The Star Maker (2010) 40 copies
Seademons (1977) 37 copies
The Curse of the Squirrel (1987) 34 copies
The Butterfly Boy (1993) 30 copies
Auntie Tiger (2008) 24 copies
City of Death (2013) 24 copies
Liar, Liar (1983) 15 copies
The Mark Twain Murders (1982) 12 copies
The Tom Sawyer Fires (1984) 9 copies

Associated Works

Guys Write for Guys Read (2005) — Contributor — 768 copies
World's Best Science Fiction: 1969 (1969) — Contributor — 179 copies
Quark/2 (1971) — Contributor — 53 copies
Protostars (1971) — Contributor — 45 copies
Strange Bedfellows (1973) — Contributor — 40 copies
Spooky Stories for a Dark and Stormy Night (1945) — Contributor — 36 copies
Visions of Tomorrow: An Interstellar Collection (1976) — Contributor — 33 copies
Demon Kind (11-in-1) (1973) — Contributor — 18 copies
Alfa Vier: SF-Verhalen (1976) 12 copies


Common Knowledge



Found: YA?? Fantasy-ish, eastern dragon?? in Name that Book (September 2021)
Dragonwings, Laurence Yep in World Reading Circle (September 2013)


side note: I think it's weird that my tags on one edition don't carry over to another, but perhaps that's in case people use tags for shelf organizing? I dunno.

Ribbons is the first of several books that follow Robin, an eleven year old biracial dancer. Robin's parents want to bring over her maternal grandmother from Hong Kong to live with them in San Francisco (re-reading as an adult, I recognize a temporal sign post: a few years prior to Great Britain "returning" the colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997, though you could pick up on this being a '90s book with corded phones, cassette tapes, and giant heavy camcorders). However, the process is expensive and requires sacrifices... like ending ballet lessons for Robin. To her, dance is freedom so she becomes very resentful when Grandmother finally arrives and her life feels upended, moving in with her brother so Grandmother can have her room, etc.

Upon reread, I noticed that the Ribbons books (for lack of a series title) all tie into fairy tales- The Cook's Family was Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, The Amah was Cinderella, and this one is the Little Mermaid (I don't remember what Angelfish connects to, though). Robin & Grandmother eventually connect over the shared understanding of walking through pain to be free, setting up for a really lovely dynamic between grandparent and grandchild.

Skirting around the edges of Ribbons is also the concept of face: Robin's parents don't want people to know the reason ballet lessons are on pause is because they can't afford it, and while Robin's uncles Eddie and Georgie are seemingly successful, it very much looks like a front to look prosperous (luckily, Grandmother cuts to the core and puts her children in line). There's a fair amount of self-sacrificing and then lying to others pretending everything's fine, which I feel is such a specific cultural note that rings true.

Like The Cook's Family cover, I do think this was a missed opportunity to show a mixed-race child, but also as an ABC I appreciate putting Robin on the cover at all because Laurence Yep's books were among the few that had kids with similar backgrounds to me, that look like me.
… (more)
Daumari | Dec 28, 2023 |



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