Are you looking for an engaging chapter book that will help empower your daughter? Check out this book, The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin. I wanted to share this book as part of The Parent and Daughter Book Club for Girls Leadership.org, an organization that has a mission to empower young girls and the future women of our nation. T o learn more about Girls Leadership, check out their website here. To join the Book Club with your daughter, click here.
The Year of the Dog is an engaging story of an American girl with Taiwanese heritage named Grace who struggles to find her passion and talent with the help of her friends and family. She believes that The Year of The Dog is her year to discover her talent. The story begins with the Chinese New Year Celebration and follows Grace through all of her various adventures with her best friend Melody and close knit family. Grace learns through her own experiences, but is also guided by wise tales from her mother who came to America as a young adult.
I read The Year of the Dog aloud to my 7 year old daughter over the course of a couple of weeks. I found the process of reading aloud to be a bonding activity because we were able to experience the story together versus both of us reading the book alone to ourselves. We learned about the culture of Grace and the holidays and traditions she and her family celebrated. For example, I never knew about the tradition of the red egg party when there is a new birth in a Chinese family. My daughter learned new vocabulary related to a variety of topics but most importantly learned that all young girls regardless of race or culture encounter similar challenges in school and at home. For example, Grace was under the misconception that a boy liked her in class but was disappointed when it was someone else who he had a crush on. When Grace went to camp with other Chinese children, she was ridiculed for being “Americanized”. What Grace did discover during The Year of the Dog was that she had a talent for writing and love and passion for illustrating. Her book, The Ugly Vegetables won her four place in the contest and she couldn’t have been more proud over herself.
I loved The Year of the Dog because it teaches a child that we need to try a variety of various activities before we find what we are passionate about. For some, it takes longer than others. The book also reinforces the power of working hard for what is important to you, bonding and respecting your family, and being thankful for your culture, community and friendships.
Check out a Q & A with Grace Lin
To learn more about Grace Lin and her books, click here.
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