The Year of the Dog

By Grace Lin

The Year of the Dog is a sweet coming-of-age chapter book.

It opens at the beginning of a new year when Grace, an American girl of Taiwanese descent, decides the Year of the Dog is going to be her year.

Grace wants to find her talent. At the same time, she explores the differences between her culture and American culture. The most tender moments come when Grace’s parents relay their childhood memories and give readers a window into her roots.

Grace and her sisters are on their own at school until Melody, another Asian girl, arrives. The girls become friends, enter a science fair together, and share their love of food. By the end of the year, the girls survive school and all of the pitfalls — a boy is involved in one of them — that come with it.

This was a fun read. Drawings by a small hand punctuate the chapters, and the text takes readers back to the innocent school days. The Year of the Dog is for readers in grades 3-5. While Simone falls a bit short of that mark, I handed the book over to her and she is enjoying it. Check it out.