Review: Year of the Rat (No, Really!)

September 12, 2011

Lin, G.  (2009). The year of the rat. New York: Little Brown. 208 p. 978-0316033619. $5.99. Gr. 3-5.

Pacy Lin is back for another year of adventures. The Year of the Rat takes place two years after The Year of the Dog, well . . . we have missed a year in her life. Now her best friend Melody is moving. Pacy (or Grace) is also dealing with her choice to become an author/illustrator, because her cousin has informed her that it is a “cold door.” Lin, telling stories from her own childhood, deals quite well with a variety of mature topics. Her drawings are again a pleasure, helping to illustrate key parts of the story or her culture. This story adds more suspense than the first, although keeping it extremely realistic. This isn’t a mystery, it’s just a nice mature story about life that young readers should be able to connect with on many levels. Also, the paperback has a nice appendix of the story behind the story.

Additional Thoughts:

I’m not saying that I am the biggest Grace Lin fan, but I am definitely digging her writing. It is crisp and has nice pacing for stories that aren’t filled with heroes, mysteries, apocalypes, vampires, etc. I bet she’s a great storyteller and I can’t wait to read Dumpling Days, which I have an ARC of thanks to the awesome Abby the Librarian. So the Library Dictator PacyLin-A-Thon will keep rolling.

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