The Year Of The Rat

In this sequel to Year of the Dog, Pacy has another big year in store for her. The Year of the Dog was a very lucky year: she met her best friend Melody and discovered her true talents. However, the Year of the Rat brings big changes: Pacy must deal with Melody moving to California, find the courage to forge on with her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator, and learn to face some of her own flaws. Pacy encounters prejudice, struggles with acceptance, and must find the beauty in change.Based on the author’s childhood adventures, Year of the Rat, features the whimsical black and white illustrations and the hilarious and touching anecdotes that helped Year of the Dog earn rave reviews and satisfied readers.

One thought on “The Year Of The Rat

  1. Ann Parker says:

    Grace Lin has written two wonderful books about Pacy, a young Chinese/Taiwanese-American girl who is appreciates both her Chinese and American cultures but who is learning how to navigate each. Her books are based on her experiences growing up in America with two parents who emigrated from China, so they have a refreshing authenticity about being torn between two cultures. The descriptions of the Chinese food prepared by her mother and relatives makes my mouth water, but Pacy and her two sisters also insist to their mother that she prepare a turkey at Thanksgiving, because that is what Americans do. Her mother finds the smallest turkey she can and hides it among all the traditional Chinese food on the table. Her mother shares stories from her own childhood in China which many modern American children can relate to – being embarrassed in front of the entire class by cruel teachers or not wanting other children to know your grandmother walked you to school.

    But even as an American school child, Pacy knows she is a little different, so she is relieved when Melody, another Chinese-American girl, comes to her school. While the other students accept both Pacy and Melody, they can truly be themselves when they are together or when they are sharing holidays or traditions with their families.

    Lin perfectly captures the challenges of growing up between cultures, particularly since Pacy’s family is also Taiwanese, something that often confuses Pacy. Are they Chinese? Taiwanese? American? Something else? When she goes to summer camp, she is humiliated by a group of Chinese-American girls who make fun of her for not being able to speak Chinese. So what is she? However, Pacy meets the challenges with humor and grace, and in the end, she really is just an American kid enjoying her friends, worrying about what her talents are, and enjoying the traditions she shares with her family.

    The Year of the Rat brings changes to Pacy when her friend Melody moves out of state, and a new student comes to school, one who is truly Chinese – so much so that he doesn’t speak English. Once again Pacy is faced with trying to figure out who she truly is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *