April and the Dragon Lady

Lensey Namioka, Author Graphia Books $6 (224p) ISBN 978-0-15-200886-4
April Chen, a 16-year-old Chinese American, has a problem: her grandmother. A ``dragon lady'' of the old school, Grandma belongs to an entirely different world, both culturally and generationally, and her ideas about a woman's place clash with April's more Westernized views. She openly disapproves of April's Caucasian boyfriend and attempts to undermine her plans to go away to college--as a sure token of the author's skill, Grandma comes across as both manipulative and sympathetic; the reader will share April's affection and even her respect for the cunning old woman. Namioka ( Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear ), an altogether accomplished novelist, deftly weaves narrator April's compelling account of her quest for her own path with a well-developed subplot involving the girl's widowed father and his own struggle for independence. Her characterizations are particularly strong: the Chen family members, and especially the feisty, likable April, are thoroughly believable, and her sensitive handling of April's dilemma and eventual solution sheds light on the Chinese American culture in a manner that at times recalls Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club . Ages 12-up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 978-0-7857-3850-3
Prebound-Sewn - 214 pages - 978-0-606-06182-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-9590-1
Hardcover - 214 pages - 978-0-15-276644-3
Paperback - 214 pages - 978-0-15-205669-8
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