Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Year of the Book

9780547684635The Year of the Book
Written by Andrea Cheng
Published at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the book

In Chinese, peng you means friend. But in any language, all Anna knows for certain is that friendship is complicated.

When Anna needs company, she turns to her books. Whether traveling through A Wrinkle in Time, or peering over My Side of the Mountain, books provide what real life cannot—constant companionship and insight into her changing world.

Books, however, can’t tell Anna how to find a true friend. She’ll have to discover that on her own. In the tradition of classics like Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy books and Eleanor Estes’ One Hundred Dresses, this novel subtly explores what it takes to make friends and what it means to be one.

Who is Andrea Cheng?

Andrea Cheng is the author of several children’s books, including Honeysuckle House, Where the Steps Were, The Bear Makers, and Brushing Mom’s Hair. She teaches English as a Second Language at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. She lives in Ohio with her family. This is her first book with Houghton Mifflin. Visit her website at:

My Thoughts

This book is definitively geared toward 4th and 5th graders.    The story is easy to read and a breath of fresh air in the midst of mystical novels popping out everywhere.    Through a time of struggles with her relationship with her friend, Anna learns to develop a maturity and an understanding on what her friend goes through.  She take refuge in reading books – which is fabulous – and discover how she could apply the settings of these stories in her personal life.   

I personally read this book as I wanted to make sure if it would be a good book for my daughter eventually.    I was pleased on how the story went and the fact that the main character enjoy reading so much.    I want my daughter to develop a love of reading and will definitively keep this one for her.   Right now she is four years old and is more interested in other type of books.   But this book is a keeper because the story is a reality no matter what year you are.     I love the fact that the main character is Chinese because at the same time you learn Chinese words - how to pronounce it and write it.  It was very interesting to learn these words.  

The illustrations throughout the book are marvelous.    In the book, you will also learn how to make a tangram, how to fold a Wonton, and how to make a drawstring bag.    I love it when a book teach you things at the same time as entertaining you.   And to be honest, I find the cover of the book is simple yet attractive.   

The Year of the Book would be a perfect juvenile fiction for your child who is going to camp.    It is small and won’t take too much place in their baggage.    The story is clean and the characters are fun.    I would have no problem recommending it to anyone with daughters of ages 10 to 12 years old.

The Year of the Book is available at your favourite bookstore, even

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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