Apr 8, 2011

Book Review: Dragon Chica by May-lee Chai

Dragon Chica, a novel by May-lee Chai
Publisher: GemmaMedia; Original edition (October 27, 2010).
Genre: immigrant fiction, YA.
Source: Library.

Comments: Poetic descriptions, excellent characterization, this moving novel incorporates the history of the Cambodian war and atrocities into the story of an immigrant family - a mother and five children- struggling in the U.S. to start a new life, deal with the horrible past of death and loss, and to fit into the American society and way of life. I would give this a very high rating for literary fiction.

 Goodreads book description: "Nea, a Chinese-Cambodian teenager, flees to Texas as a refugee from the Khmer Rouge regime when a miracle occurs. Although her family has been struggling to support itself, they discover that a wealthy aunt and uncle have managed to make it to America as well. Nea and her family rush to join their relatives and help run a Chinese restaurant in Nebraska. But soon Nea discovers their miracle is not what she had expected. Family fights erupt. Then the past – and a forbidden love– threaten to tear them all apart.

Dragon Chica follows Nea, an indomitable character in the tradition of Holden Caulfield, Scout Finch and Jo March, as she fights to save her family and herself."

Read excerpts from the novel at May-Lee Chai's blog. Other reviews: Marjolein Book Blog and  Largehearted Boy.
Challenges: Immigrant Stories Challenge 2011, Chinese Literature Challenge 2011

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