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Dumpling Days (A Pacy Lin Novel) Hardcover – January 2, 2012


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Dumpling Days (A Pacy Lin Novel) + The Year of the Rat (A Pacy Lin Novel) + The Year of the Dog (A Pacy Lin Novel)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Pacy Lin Novel
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (January 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316125903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316125901
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #906,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review


Amazon One-on-One: Grace Lin and Wendy Mass

Wendy Mass is the author of A Mango-Shaped Space and Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. Grace Lin

Wendy Mass: Many of your books are based on your own childhood. How close are they to your real life? And why did you choose to do this? What does your family think?

Grace Lin: The Year of the Dog, The Year of the Rat, and Dumpling Days are very much based on my real life. While they can’t truly be called memoirs, almost everything in those books was based on true-life experiences. I think I did this partially because I was following the old adage of "write what you know" and also because it was my homage to the books that I loved as a child--Little Women [by Louisa May Alcott], Betsy-Tacy [by Maud Hart Lovelace], and the Little House books [by Laura Ingalls Wilder]. In those books, the authors very much wrote about their own lives, and knowing that those events were probably true made the books that much more magical to me.

My family enjoys being in my books. In fact, it was one of my sisters who "encouraged" it. My first published book was The Ugly Vegetables, a picture book about how my mother and I grew Chinese vegetables while the rest of the neighbors grew flowers. Well, I didn’t put my sisters in that book, and they were very annoyed with me. "When did you become an only child?" one accused, and they made me promise I would always include them in any other books about our family. You can see from my other books--Dim Sum for Everyone! to, now, Dumpling Days--that I’ve kept that promise--so far!

Mass: I am sure you often hear from readers about how they can identify with your characters’ experiences and feeling like they don’t quite fit in. Is there a particular comment or response that means a lot to you?

Lin: There isn’t a specific comment that means a lot, but there is a particular emotion behind certain readers that I treasure. Recently, I was at a book fair where I had to do a reading on a gigantic stage, competing with bands, games, cotton candy, costumed characters, etc., for attention. Only a handful of kids watched me, and I felt a little discouraged. But afterwards, one of those kids ran up to me with a bag filled with my books. I was her favorite author, and she had made her mother drive an hour to come to the fair just to see me! It was so amazing that my books had meant that much to her. I realized that for my books to truly touch a reader, even if it’s just one, is something to cherish, be thankful for--and not to forget!

Wendy Mass

Mass: In Dumpling Days, Pacy and her family visit Taiwan for a month. You did such a wonderful job bringing us the sights and sounds and especially tastes of the country. What made you decide to focus on the food? It made me want to run out and try soup dumplings!

Lin: You should definitely try soup dumplings, they are so good!

Honestly, I write about the things that I like to read--and I love reading about food! Farmer Boy [by Laura Ingalls Wilder] was one of my favorite books as a child, and I guess in some ways, Dumpling Days is an homage to that!

But, also, food is a very important part of Taiwanese culture, and there was no way I could accurately portray the culture without including a lot of food. It truly is a defining characteristic in Taiwan. There, when you first greet someone, instead of saying "Hello," you say "Have you eaten yet?"

Mass: Describing a country so different from America must have been a huge challenge. What kind of research did you do?

Lin: Well, much of it was based on my own memories of visiting Taiwan with my parents. I went through a lot of photo albums, talked to my parents (who in turn talked to my grandmother and other relatives), and in 2008, I went back to Taiwan for a visit to fill in some of the blanks. There, I got to retaste things like stinky tofu (still not a fan) and see Taipei 101 (which didn’t exist when I went as a child), and got my own "glamour" photos done. That was a hilarious and fun experience that I was glad I got to put in the book--and I used one of the "glamour" photos for the author photo in the back of the book!

Mass: I love how you weave small but powerful life lessons into your stories. Do you have these themes in mind before you start writing the book, or do they just arise naturally through the plot?

Lin: The themes usually happen organically with the plot. Because these stories are so heavily based on my true life, they are the real internal conflicts that I felt. While I hope the life lessons are things readers do take from the book, my first intention is to write a book that people will enjoy!

Mass: What’s next for Pacy and her family (and for Grace Lin!)?

Lin: I don’t know if I’ll write another Pacy book. I’m not sure if there is anything else that I want to say as that character. However, I felt the same way after writing The Year of the Rat, so I definitely won’t discount the possibility of writing another.

Right now, I’ve been focusing all my energy on writing (and illustrating) a companion book to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. The new book is called Starry River of the Sky and is supposed to come out in October 2012. Both Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky are very different from the Pacy books. Instead of being based on my life during childhood, they are inspired by Chinese fairy tales I read. They are a little bit of a change of pace, but I do think anyone who enjoys the Pacy books will like those, too!

From Booklist

In the series that includes The Year of the Dog (2006) and The Year of the Rat (2008), this longer book picks up Pacy’s story as her family flies from upstate New York to her parents’ homeland, Taiwan. Embarrassed that she and her two sisters are dressed in matching hot-pink dresses for the trip, Pacy is a reluctant traveler. But once she arrives in Taipei, she begins to open up to the new relationships, foods, and ways of thinking she finds there. Thoughtful and sometimes amusing, this episodic journey narrative captures Pacy’s emotions and reflections, whether they involve an unfamiliar (and literally alarming) high-tech toilet or her newfound understanding of what it means to be both American and Taiwanese. The first-person narrative pauses at intervals to include stories that Pacy’s relatives share with her, both traditional tales and memorable accounts of family members dealing with superstition, political oppression, and loss. While this engaging book broadens the series in a meaningful way, it also works well as a stand-alone title. Grades 3-6. --Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

Hello! Thanks so much for your interest in me and my books!

I grew up in Upstate NY with my parents and 2 sisters, whom are featured in many of my books, including "Dim Sum For Everyone!" and my novels, "The Year of the Dog" and "The Year of the Rat." My mother and I were the star characters in my first book, "The Ugly Vegetables"--I cut both my sisters out of that story! They were quite upset with me and made me promise never to cut them out again. And since then, I haven't...yet.

While many of my books highlight my family, not all of them do. My Newbery Honor-winning novel "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon," is an Asian inspired fantasy that some people call a Chinese 'Wizard of Oz,' and my early reader "Ling & Ting" is inspired by the old 'Flicka, Dicka & Ricka' books I read when I was young.

I hope you enjoy my books. Please visit my website: www.gracelin.com for more info about them (behind the scene stories and pictures) as well as other amusing anecdotes!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
"I also like the bits of information the author put in the book about Ghost Month.
M. Lee
I gave it a 5 Star Review because I have read all the other books and the book "Dumpling Days" is hilarious and good for all readers.
Paige Alamshenas
Grace Lin's writing and illustrations are childlike, yet elegant in their simplicity.
askmonkey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S J Miller on February 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
.My favorite Grace Lin book yet! Touching, funny, heartwarming and authentic, a great read whether you are 11 or 62... my granddaughter & I only recently found Grace Lin and are happy we did!!! We will be anxiously awaiting her next "dim sum"
...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Lee on June 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There are some books that you pick up and ask yourself, "Now, why didn't *I* write this?!" "Dumpling Days" by Grace Lin is one of them. As a mother who screens everything her 13-year-old daughter reads, when it comes to great reads to take on a trip, nothing beats stories that take you from planning a trip, going to the airport, flying in a plane (or whatever mode of transportation) and then actually describing every detail of the trip and making associations with relevant legends, songs and stories to make the trip come even more meaningful. In "Dumpling Days", the tale is even more significant, because it's not just a journey to a new country, it is also a journey whereby the characters discover (and rediscover) themselves and their culture. The author is long a favourite of mine - her work in "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" is excellent: well-researched and thoughtful, and I loved the way she incorporated a story within a story - which she also does to some extent in "Dumpling Days." As the book which continues the stories started in "The Year of the Dog" and "The Year of the Rat", it also reads well stand-alone. If you're travelling to Taiwan for the first time, especially, don't leave home without "Dumpling Days"! Said daughter's review follows:

" 'Dumpling Days' by Grace Lin was an awesome book about fitting in.

"Pacy Lin did *not* want to go to Taiwan for a month - she's already teased at home for looking Asian, so who *knows* how much she's going to be teased for not being able to speak Chinese? As Pacy finds her way around Taiwan, she learns that some things aren't that bad about Taiwan - Grandma, Grandpa, Ghost Month and, of course, dumplings. But can Pacy figure out what's really important to her?
Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Elvin on January 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Grace Lin does it again with the 3rd installment of the Pacy series (after Year of the Rat and Year of the Dog). These well written funny and sweet books detail Pacy's life as a Chinese American girl, along with all of the middle-school angst and drama that middle schoolers experience. This book is especially resonant as Pacy and her family visit Taiwan for her g-mom's 60th birthday, and she feels like she doesn't fit in.

I salute Ms. Lin for her sensitive touch and thougtful writing. My only complatint is that with this series we don't get as much of her astoundingly beautiful illustrations!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shipped much quicker than expected. The students truly enjoyed the book!
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By KLBS on February 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My child loves to read and can easily go through a book this size in an afternoon. This is one she comes back to again and again. She's asking for more books from the same author.
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By M. E. S. on February 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
My daughter loves these books and this is her review. She wont give it 5 stars because she thinks the author let the readers down by only having three books and not one for each zodiac as sort of promised by the first two books. She loves the interesting mini stories and drawings. She is in second grade and loves books that have learning stories in them about other cultures and from kids perspectives. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
What a great book! Newbery Honor-winning author Grace Lin perfectly captures what it feels like to be caught between worlds as a child, the fears, the joys, the laughter. It reminded me so much of visiting India as a kid, meeting relatives I saw only rarely and feeling self-conscious and inadequate due my inability to speak my mother-tongue. Grace Lin's writing and illustrations are childlike, yet elegant in their simplicity. I couldn't stop smiling as I read this book and even laughed out loud in parts (the garbage truck scene is hysterical). Fair warning though, if you love dumplings as much as I do, you will wish this book came with a list of suggested restaurants. I really really need to try soup dumplings!
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By Suellen Foster on October 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My granddaughter loved this book and found it very interesting. She is writing a "sell a book" project to her class.
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