To learn more about It's Monday! What Are You Reading? visit Mentor Texts
A great book about Mai who goes to Vietnam, against her will, to be with her elderly grandmother for the summer. A great coming of age story.
My favorite quote: “When you can complain out loud, I know you're still strong. When your pain has advanced beyond lament, when it's unbearable to hear your own story, that's when I know to truly worry. Though hidden in silence, your pain would still surface on your breaths, your eyes, your pores, I will know. Take long inhales, my child, you are more bendable than you realize.”
The love story of Mai’s grandparents is so beautiful!
AR level: 5.3
Grade appropriate: 5th and up. I don’t normally do this, but I’m going to advertise it as a “girls’ book.” The body awareness will be very familiar to girls, but not appropriate for boys.
Overall: 4/5-- A sweet book. A real contender for the Newbery Award, this WILL be on our Mock Newbery list. Last year's list
Creativity: 5/5-- It’s not like most of the other books out there right now. But then again, it’s about growing up and family and friends. It’s universal while still being set in an exotic location.
Characters: 5/5-- Mai, the main character, grows so much throughout the book. Real character development!
Engrossing: 3/5-- This is the kicker for me. I started reading it and, while it was good, I wasn’t excited about picking it back up each time. Just not as riviting…
Appeal to kids: 3/5-- I don’t think this is going to be one they are lining up for, but it’s a shame. Great book.
Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
Sexuality: mild-- Mai's friend is in a bathing suit & there is much discussion about her body. Mai and the Vietnamese girls talk about underwear. One girl, trying to get a boy’s attention, flips up her skirt to show her underwear.
Drugs/Alcohol: mild-- the adults drink cognac & 7-up.