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"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."
Publisher: HarperTrophy, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publisher,
Summary: Chin, a nine-year-old Chinese immigrant, tells us the story of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Ah Sing, Chin's father is a house servant to a prominent banking family. Chin and Henry Travis, the eight-year-old son, have become friends. The boys witnessed the damage, injuries, pain, and loss created by the earthquake. They participated in the rescue of family, friends, and neighbors from the rubble and learned a great deal about selflessness, responsibility, and leadership.
This action adventure is based on actual events of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 9 and up
Reading Level: 4.4
Age of Child: Read by a student at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, New Hope, MN. This was part of our Use Your ABCs classroom literacy project.
Young Reader Reaction: I picked the book because it looked interesting to read. I liked it after the first chapter. The book was alright. It wasn't that interesting to me, though. It was interesting sometimes, but it had words I didn't even know. I would buy this book for my little brother because he likes dragons.
Adult Reader Reaction: Yep is a prolific writer whose stories describe the immigrant experience of Chinese Americans in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The stories are fictionalized but the backdrop is authentic and the stories captivate the reader. The stories are full of action and will engage reluctant readers 10 and up.
Pros: The Earth Dragon Awakes is historical fiction that documents immigration of Chinese to America. The events and characters are authentic, and the stories are brief and action-packed.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. Like The Dragon's Child, this book offers wonderful insight into US history. The stories and characters are authentic, making it enjoyable reading for today's kids, too.
Educational Themes: This story focuses on the impact of the Earthquake of 1906 had on the city of San Francisco, particularly the Chinese-American community. It highlights the struggle that immigrant communities experience as they try to build communities and the obstacles, real and imagined, that immigrants deal with along the way. There are countless discussion topics that await the interested reader.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 4.4 The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - historical fiction, US history, geology, multicultural
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2008, February 2010
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