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The Year of the Dog (2007)

by Grace Lin

Series: Pacy Lin (1)

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1,0396114,419 (3.89)11
Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life.

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» See also 11 mentions

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Cute ( )
  barajash29 | Jan 22, 2020 |
In this middle-grade, realistic-fiction novel, we meet Pacy Lin, the Taiwanese-American child of two immigrant parents. When her family celebrates the Lunar New Year, she learns that the Year of the Dog is a year of self-discovery and becomes determined to find herself.

This charming story is relatable to any child struggling to find out what their talent is and facing the every day challenges of a child's life. Additionally, it gently explores the real-life racism that even elementary school children face. It will also make you very hungry with all the delightful descriptions of food.

It's an excellent choice for a book report both by virtue of the story itself and the list of discussion questions at the back. It's suitable for ages 8 to 10. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Aug 2, 2019 |
Lots of lessons to learn in this lovely story; I think I'll read more of Grace Lin's books. ( )
  cougargirl1967 | Mar 16, 2019 |
Much of this story is based on the author's own childhood experiences, per the author's note.

Pacy/Grace lives where there are few other Chinese or Taiwanese families. She struggles with the differences: what to audition for in the school play, food, and holidays celebrated. Then Melody joins her class. They become fast friends, and the families can share holidays and more. Meanwhile, Pacy is trying to find what she's good at. Science? Acting? Art? It's the Year of the Dog, which her mom says is the time to find yourself.

A good story for elementary-aged kids who are the "only" in their classroom. Also good for kids who are not, to help them learn empathy and what others may struggle with. ( )
  Dreesie | Mar 13, 2019 |
Elementary schooler Pacy Lin begins the Year of the Dog by celebrating Chinese (Lunar) New Year with her family. After eating a lot of delicious food, Pacy's mom lets her know that the Year of the Dog is all about good luck and finding your talents. Pacy decides to set out on a quest to discover her talents. After the celebration, Pacy goes back to school and meets the new student at her school, Melody, who is the only other Asian-American student at the school. Together, Pacy and Melody work hard to discover their talents, all the while learning more about their culture and their identities as Chinese and Taiwanese Americans. Pacy faces a lot of obstacles and difficulties, especially since she does not feel completely Asian or completely American. This book is an excellent book for Asian-American students because it represents young Asian-Americans in a positive light and provides other positive Asian role models for students to look up to. ( )
  aripley16 | Apr 17, 2018 |
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Special thanks to:
MY MOM, who gave me her stories and 14 photo albums dragged out of storage
MY DAD, who laughed when he read it, so I knew it must be good
MY SISTERS, LISSY AND KI-KI, who let me put them in even though I didn't make them as beautiful or as smart as me
MY HUSBAND, ROBERT, who told everyone this was my best book ever even before he read it
MY SCIENCE FAIR PARTNER, ALVINA, who grew up and became my editor
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"Happy New Year!" Dad lauhed into the phone.
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Disambiguation notice
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Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life.

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