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The Year of the Rat (A Pacy Lin Novel) Paperback – January 1, 2009

35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Grace Lin is the award-winning and bestselling author and illustrator of Starry River of the Sky, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, The Year of the Dog, The Year of the Rat, Dumpling Days, and Ling & Ting, as well as picture books such as The Ugly Vegetables and Dim Sum for Everyone! Grace is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Massachusetts. Her website is www.gracelin.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: A Pacy Lin Novel
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316033618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316033619
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Think of the great themes found in children's literature. The new kid in class/on the block/in the family. One's relationship with one's parents. And, of course, friendship. Friendship binds children's literature together. Series books thrive on it. Think of The Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, or any of their modern incarnations. Classic children's literature used friendship as a focus as well. The Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace are one of the finest examples of this, and it's hard to find a modern day equivalent to Lovelace's throne. Think hard now... how many chapter books can you think of that have that same balance of sweetness, family, love, and friends in a perfect little package with a classic kind of feel? "Classic", in the sense that it's a book that will age well and be beloved for generations. Few books or series fit the bill, but one definitely sticks out in my mind. Grace Lin's semi-autobiographical stories of Pacy and her life in New Hartford contain just the right balance of sweetness and story. Without ever becoming trite or saccharine, Lin hits gold yet again with "The Year of the Rat", the sequel to her justly applauded (and popular) The Year of the Dog.

The start of the New Year is supposed to be a time of happiness and anticipation. But the fact that this Chinese New Year is The Year of the Rat means that there are also changes afoot. For Pacy, that means learning that her best friend Melody is going to be moving away soon. Unhappy but unable to do anything about it, Pacy and Melody vow to keep in touch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on November 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Pacy and Melody are best friends. The year of the rat means changes. Some of these changes Pacy isn't ready for. Her friend might move clear across the country to California and Pacy struggles to find the courage to keep the dream of being an artist and author even when others in her family tell her it's a 'closed door'. Later a new boy from China arrives. Others make fun of him. They call him Dumb Wit and say he's weird. Pacy knows this is wrong but doesn't want to be associated with him. What should she do? Pacy encounters prejudice and struggles to find the courage to make her own change.

This is a great tale about being proud of your heritage and who you are. I'm a big fan of multicultural tales. Tales that makes children proud of who they are. Pacy's tale is one I know other children face. I loved the stories within that tell of what her own Taiwanese parents went through when first coming to our country. Also Pacy's story reminds me of similar tales of Central American students I had and how others made fun of their differences.

The story also goes over Chinese holidays, a wedding, and a few folk tales. This story would be a great addition to a classroom library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Austin on May 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Year of the Rat is as wonderful as its predecessor, The Year of the Dog. My eleven-year-old and I loved reading this aloud together, learning more about Pacy and her challenges during a year of changes as she loses her best friend, struggles with school friendships, and faces conflicting feelings towards a new classmate from China. As in the first book, we especially loved the stories of Pacy's mom as she uses her eye-opening experiences of life in Taiwan and immigration to America to gently teach her daughter some life lessons. Again we enjoyed the weaving in of Taiwanese food and culture. The adorable black&white line drawings top off this highly-recommended book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Jonker on April 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read the book that preceded "Year of the Rat", "Year of the Dog", toward the end of Aught 7 and was nothing but pleased. The book was not so much a story as a collection of events in the life of a grade school kid. At that age, school, family, and friends is about all there is. The characters were undeniably real. The semi-autobiographical protagonist made for some great examinations of Asian/American cultural differences that youngsters could understand. Well, Grace Lin continues the theme in "Year of the Rat" with similarly successful results. A book that doesn't wow as much as it satisfies. Or maybe I should put it this way: "Year of the Rat" just walks the walk, no talk necessary.

Pacy is a couple years older than last time and the Year of the Rat is about to begin. This particular year is destined to bring change, and it certainly comes through. Pacy's best friend Melody is moving, and our heroine is crushed. Her life plan, to be an author and illustrator, is also brought into question when Pacy learns that it is considered a "cold door" profession (see: bound to leave you broke as a joke). She begins to second guess herself. Pshhhhhhhheeeeeewwwwwww - Crash! That's the sound of change, my friends. These worries make for an unexpectedly stressful year. But there are some other changes in store for Pacy. The internal kind that allow her to see her year in a new light.

I've got to say, the book is a pleasure to read. Simple black and white illustrations scattered about to shed light on the text. Girls from a variety of cultural backgrounds will identify with the struggles of making friends and fitting in. An easy one to recommend.
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