Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Year of the Good Book

I'm trying out Amazon's new MP3 widget in my sidebar. You can listen to a 30 second clip of my top songs at the moment and buy them if you so choose. Amazon MP3s are DRM free which means you can put them on your iPod! yay! Trust me, Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go will be the best $.99 you'll ever spend. Because it's "Tainted Love" and then it morphs perfectly into a little Baby, baby, baby where did our love go? while still maintaining the "Tainted Love" feel. It totally works. Also, I'm a big fan of This Is Us which is what my sister and her husband recessed to at their wedding. This is us on our wedding day... on our way to a barbecue which is exactly what it was...

Other musical things you wouldn't think work, but totally do:

Anyway, by this time you're thinking "Jennie, this isn't a music blog. It's a book blog. Get on with it already..."

So, we have a Fusion Story today. But this Fusion Story is a sequel, so I had to read the first book first. Yes, I'm anal. SHUT UP! I'm a librarian, I'm supposed to be! It's what they pay me for.

The Year of the Dog Grace Lin

This story starts and ends with Chinese New Year. This year is the Year of the Dog, which is the year that Grace was born in, so it's supposed to be a lucky year. It's also supposed to be the year where she discovers what her gift is, but she's having a hard time of it! Maybe a new friend, Melody, can help Grace discover her gifts, or at least be a good partner for adventure along the way.

Very episodic in plot, this book draws heavily from Lin's life, so it's extremely realistic and covers day-to-day life perfectly. It's so heavily drawn from Lin's life that it turns out that Melody is really Alvina of Blue Rose Girls (where Lin also blogs!)

Lin's illustrations are sprinkled throughout, as are special side stories from Chinese tradition, family stories, and stories of what happened to Grace before The Year of the Dog. Very fun and a great recommendation for 3rd graders.

The Year of the Rat Grace Lin

This is actually the Fusion Story. It takes place a few years after The Year of the Dog, once again starting with Chinese New Year. The Year of the Rat is a year of change and this year brings a big one-- Melody is moving to California!

Grace knows she wants to be an author and illustrator when she grows up, but she hears that being an artist is a "cold door" and that she might starve! If being an artist is a "cold door" should she try and find something else to do?

Then a new Chinese family who just moved to the US from China move into Melody's old house. Their son, Dun-Wei is Grace's age and everyone thinks they should go together, just because they're both Chinese! Grace doesn't want to be stuck with the new kid "Dumb Way" but if she sticks up for him when the other kids tease him, she might be stuck...

If you liked the first one, you'll love this one. It's longer and Grace handles some bigger issues that face all kids. I especially "liked" (that's really not the word I'm looking for) how the kids changed "Dun-Wei" into "Dumb Way" mainly because of this conversation:

Mark (my boyfriend at the time): What's your name in Chinese Class?
Me: Wei Rong [Wei being one of the 3 Kingdoms and Rong meaning hibiscus flower]
Mark: Wait, your name is WAY WRONG?

Let's just say Way Wrong stuck. But it was a good dodge in Chinese class when I got called on and completely botched the answer "Dui bu qi. Wei Rong is WAY WRONG. Can you call on someone else? Xie Xie"


Terry Dawson said...

I had not tried the MP3 widget -- interesting! Though some might think "27 Jennifers" to be a rather excessive number.

Tarie Sabido said...

Hahahahahahaha! Your Dumb Way/Way Wrong story is hilarious - I love it! :D

Chinese tuition said...

Nice reading, I love your content. This is really a fantastic and informative post. Keep it up and if you are looking for Secondary Chinese then visit Chinese Distinction