Sunday, February 7, 2021

~ MMGM HISTORICAL FICTION PRAIRIE LOTUS ~

  Image result for lotus flower photo free download
 
~  MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY HISTORICAL 
FICTION FEATURE ~
--  'PRAIRIE LOTUS'  --
AUTHOR LINDA SUE PARK
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Author Bio, Links to Excerpt, Educator
Guide & Resources from the Author's Website~
 

ABOUT THE BOOK {from the publisher's website}:

Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multilayered book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America’s heartland, in 1880. Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople’s almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story. Narrated by Hanna, the novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers. Afterword.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from Amazon}:

Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Medal book A Single Shard, many other novels, several picture books, and most recently a book of poetry: Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems). She lives in Rochester, New York, with her family, and is now a devoted fan of the New York Mets. For more information visit www.lspark.com.

--MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AND RESOURCES FOR THE BOOK FROM THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE MAY BE FOUND AT:

https://lindasuepark.com/books/books-novels/prairie-lotus/

--EDUCATOR GUIDE PROVIDED COURTESY OF THE PUBLISHER, HMH BOOKS: https://drive.google.com/file/d/13lRcj-3JvgP858V7Zt6cOEz6m7JyzUQd/view

--EXCERPT PROVIDED COURTESY OF THE PUBLISHER, HMH BOOKS:  https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/prairie-lotus/9781328781505

 Image result for lotus flower photo free download

My Thoughts:

I came across this book in one of my online library catalog quests to find a new middle-grade sewing book to read. I limited my search to 'children's' collection, and this book popped up in the search results.

The catalog record indicated it passed my personal litmus test for my favorite types of books to read for Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday:
--Middle-Grade Fiction ✅
--Sewing ✅
--Historical fiction ✅
--Diverse Cultures ✅
 
I usually read the Author's Note at the end of most books prior to beginning to read the text of the book. This time, I restrained myself and decided to wait until the end of the book to read this author's detailed note. I'm so glad I waited because I was immediately immersed in the story without any preconceived notions about the narrative.

Without divulging any information about the background of this novel or the author's motivation in writing this story, I'd like to share my thoughts with you.
 
Special Note:  The book is listed on Amazon and in the library catalog as being appropriate for ages 10-12. There is a frightening incident in the story in the final section which involves two drunken white townsmen who attempt to assault Hanna. In my experience as a classroom educator, I feel that this incident and the ramifications of its impact on Hanna's life are above the understanding of a mature ten-year-old or eleven-year-old.

'Prairie Lotus' follows the journey of fourteen-year-old Hanna Edmunds and her father from Los Angeles, California, to South Dakota. The protagonist is a fourteen-year-old young woman of mixed heritage. Her father is white, and her mother was Asian. More information about her mother's heritage is revealed as the story unfolds.
 
Hanna learned to sew at a young age from her skilled mother. Her love of sewing and clothing design are evident throughout the story. I especially enjoyed this aspect of the story because of my background in and passion for needlework since I was eight years old.
 
Even though her mother passed away a few years before the story begins, Hanna and her father continue to grieve deeply. They are forced to keep moving further eastward due to the blatant racism and cruelty against Hanna due to her parentage. When they finally arrive in the Dakota Territory in April 1880, father and daughter are both hopeful things will work out for them so they can make this their permanent home.
 
Mr. Edmunds has a goal of building a dress goods shop in the small railroad town of LaForge. He and his wife previously owned and operated a similar shop in Los Angeles. 

There are many obstacles along their road to opening the shop in LaForge. With determination, hard work, and dedication to their mutual goal, Hanna and her father make it work.
 
This is a moving story, and I felt fully invested in it emotionally due to the author's beautiful writing style. I was touched by Hanna's ability to show respect and kindness to the very people who mistreated her for no reason other than her heritage. Hanna treats people as she wants to be treated . . . A great example for young readers.
 
Highly recommended to classroom teachers, librarians, and parents who wish to open up valuable discussions about the issues covered in this book.
 Image result for lotus flower photo free download
 

 

Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.


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8 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fantastic story. My daughter is adopted from China, and I'm always interested in stories that tell how it was like for Asians immigrating here. I'll have to see if my library has this one. Thanks.

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  2. There aren't a whole lot of middle grade books that involve sewing, are there? My students haven't blinked at the assault-- most of my readers want gory murder mysteries! I would say this would be fine for 6th grade and up, although not out of place in an elementary library.

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  3. I had a sixth grader who read and reported on this book and enthusiastically recommended it. Sounds like the main character carries the story well. I'm also a big fan of historical fiction if done right. Thanks for the review.

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  4. I've read and loved the Prairie Lotus and thought it was age appropriate. Like you, I loved why Linda Sue Park shared her reasons for writing the novel. It does make you think a little more deeply about the time period. Lovely review!

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  5. I love your litmus test for MG books! Prairie Lotus sounds excellent—at this point, it sounds like one of those books I just need to read if I am going to consider myself an MG book reviewer. Thanks for the wonderful post!

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  6. I've heard so many good things about this one, and I've really enjoyed Linda's other work. She has such a beautiful writing style. I didn't know that sewing was Hanna's interest. I find that very rare and very refreshing.

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  7. I have seen this cover around- but I didn't know anything about the story. It really sounds like a fascinating read. I will look for this one. Thanks for sharing.
    ~Jess

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