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Flying the Dragon Hardcover – July 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580894348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580894340
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-7-Hiroshi's grandfather is ill and needs treatment found only in the United States, and so the family is uprooted from Japan just before the big kite competition that he and his grandfather have been working toward. Hiroshi's reluctant guide to his new life in Virginia is his cousin, Skye, who would rather play soccer than get in touch with her Japanese side. Initially at odds, she and Hiroshi find common ground in coping with their grandfather's illness and come together through the traditional art of rokkaku fighting kites. The cousins' alternating chapters capture the pain of being an outsider as Skye and Hiroshi both struggle in unfamiliar situations. Hiroshi is frustrated by his limited English and embarrassed by his childish ESL reading materials while Skye feels awkward about her all-American lunches in her Saturday Japanese classes, where everyone else brings a bento. Readers will find much to relate to in this thoughtful exploration of culture shock, a family feud, and the loss of a beloved grandparent. The prose is straightforward but evocative, using imagery such as cherry blossoms to symbolize the fleeting nature of life. Readers will rejoice in the story's triumphant ending and will come away with a surprising knowledge of rokkaku kite battles, as Lorenzi integrates Japanese language and cultural elements seamlessly into the narrative. With its broad appeal for both boys and girls, this title is a solid choice for middle grade audiences.-Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"A quiet, beautifully moving portrayal of a multicultural family." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review "[A] solid choice for middle grade audiences." - School Library Journal * IndieBound Kids' Summer Next List 2012 * Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 2013-2014 * NY Public Library's - 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing * CCBC Choices 2013 * Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year * IRA Children's and Young Adult Book Awards (Intermediate Fiction Honor Book)

More About the Author

Natalie Dias Lorenzi is a teacher, librarian, mother, wife and traveler. She has lived in seven US states, Germany, Italy and Japan, and traveled to more places than she can count (and she can count pretty high). Like Skye and Hiroshi, the main characters in her debut middle grade novel Flying the Dragon, Natalie knows what it's like to make a complete fool of herself in another language. That said, she highly recommends the technique of throwing yourself into a new language, even if you're not ready. Visit Natalie at www.nataliediaslorenzi.com (no passport required).

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This is a quick, yet very engaging read.
Aeicha @ Word Spelunking
And there's a beauty and grace in the writing that invites you into this story and introduces you to fully fleshed out characters, warts and all.
J.C.Phillipps
This book gave me insight into the culture of new immigrants and the obstacles they face.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura Resau on May 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
With honesty and gentle humor, Lorenzi beautifully captures the emotions of a recently arrived Japanese immigrant boy and his bicultural American cousin. I was rooting for Hiroshi and Skye as they struggled to overcome language and culture barriers to find common ground-- their love for their grandfather and shared cultural heritage. This poignant and heart-warming story made me laugh, cry, and cheer along with the children. Young readers of all backgrounds will find plenty to relate to here-- immigrants will identify with Hiroshi's culture shock and frustration, while their peers will gain empathy, learning to value new cultural experiences. Highly recommended!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My 9 year old son read this with his 3rd grade class and encouraged me to read it as well. This book is perfect for 3rd, 4th and maybe 5th grade, both boys and girls.

I'm glad they are reading books like this in school; it promotes cultural understanding, being true to oneself and embracing being different. This book was well written, moved fast enough to keep the attention of an active 9 yr boy and a mom who rarely holds still.
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Format: Paperback
The book was wonderful-- poignant without being overly so, funny at times, sweet, and lovely. The story arc was satisfying without being predictable. The tension between Skye and Hiroshi wasn't overly dramatic, just real. The family relationships were true and honest. I loved it and the kids in my MG book club did, too.

It was awesome. I highly recommend this book for the middle-grader in your life, or any adult who loves MG.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A amazing read. "Flying the Dragon " was totally worth putting on hold and waiting for 2 WEEKS to get. l greatly enjoy when Skye & Hiroshi fly in the rokkakua kite battle together. They learned the true meaning of being cousins. Though Skye & Hiroshi go through rocky times, in the end everything works out. Hope you enjoy the book MY librarian wrote.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was a wonderful book to read with my 10 year old son. The story was rich and well told. I really enjoyed the mixing of cultures, character development, and culmination of the story. This is a great read for young and old alike.
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I just cried and cried and cried at the end but it made me happy to I will never forget this book and I will recommend this book to a lot of people I red this book because at my school they r now selling bluebonnet books but I wanted to by them on my iPad! I will never ever forget this amazing book! This is how I felt😄😊😃😂😭😓😔😞😥😰😨😪😡😌😳😲
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By geraldine knee on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is truly a work of art, and you will never be able to put it down!! Sorano and Hiroshi rock!!!!
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By PDXbibliophile on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Flying the Dragon is a sweet coming-of-age story told from two perspectives. Skye is Japanese American, but has always lived a totally American life. She has never been to Japan, never met her father's Japanese family, does not speak Japanese and barely knows how to use chop sticks. When her father's family comes from Japan and moves in down the street, Skye's cousin Hiroshi complicates her life. He doesn't fit in at school, and Skye's classmates want to know why she is hanging around the strange new kid. Hiroshi is suffering culture shock. He thought being in the same class with his cousin would help him make the difficult transition, but Skye wants nothing to do with him, and he doesn't know why. Things are difficult at home, too. Hiroshi's life-long best friend is his grandfather, but now grandfather is spending more time with Skye than him. Grandfather, one of Japan's most respected kite makers and competitive kite flyers, even invites Skye to learn how to make and fly kites. In Japan Hiroshi was grandfather's apprentice and was just starting to make a name for himself with his outstanding kite fighting skills. Hiroshi is hurt by what he sees as rejection from both his cousin and his grandfather. Flying the Dragon realistically shows how the two families re-connect after many years and how Skye and Hiroshi learn to appreciate their families, their cultures and each other. The descriptions of kite fighting and kite fight competitions are fascinating. I would expect that many readers will be going on line for instructions on building and flying soon after reading this excellent story.
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