Book Review: Dumpling Days by Grace Lin

Dumpling Days
written and illustrated by Grace Lin
Little, Brown and Company, 2012
ISBN:  978-0-316-12590-1
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from purchased copy.

BLURB There was no day that dumplings couldn't make better.

Pacy is back! The beloved heroine of The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat

As the month passes by, Pacy eats chicken feet (by accident!), gets blessed by a fortune teller, searches for her true identity, and grows closer to those who matter most. has returned in a brand new story. This summer, Pacy's family is going to Taiwan for an entire month to visit family and prepare for their grandmother's 60th birthday celebration. Pacy's parents have signed her up for a Chinese painting class, and at first she's excited. This is a new way to explore her art talent! But everything about the trip is harder than she thought it would be--she looks like everyone else but can't speak the language, she has trouble following the art teacher's instructions, and it's difficult to make friends in her class. At least the dumplings are delicious...

I'll confess right now that Grace Lin is one of my favorite authors.  I've really enjoyed everything she has written.  I really enjoy reading books about other places in the world and Lin introduces Taiwan beautifully.  While I've never been in a country where I did not speak the dominate language, I sympathized with Pacy's confusion and frustration in trying to communicate with those she met.  I've had students at my school who speak no English and I'm often baffled at how to communicate with them, especially when I have a whole class full of students to help or instruct.  This book gave me a glimpse at the other side of things.

Lin's writing is so down-to-earth and flowing, it is easy to read her stories and feel like you are listening to someone in the same room.  I would call her writing, comfortable and pleasant.  The illustrations provide a nice touch, giving the reader a glimpse into Pacy's world and point-of-view.  Highly recommended.


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