Cover image for The star fisher
Title:
The star fisher
Author:
Yep, Laurence, 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow Junior Books, [1991]

©1991
Physical Description:
viii, 150 pages; 24 cm
Summary:
Fifteen-year-old Joan Lee and her family find the adjustment hard when they move from Ohio to West Virginia in the 1920s.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
850 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.2 6.0 5961.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.1 9 Quiz: 10859 Guided reading level: S.
ISBN:
9780688093655
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Searching...
Searching...
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

"This poignant, gently humorous novel is about prejudice and acceptance....15-year-old Joan Lee is a child of two worlds. As a Chinese American, she has never felt her separateness more than now, in 1927, in this new place in West Virginia. Only Miss Lucy, their landlord and neighbor, seems welcoming....There's nothing coy about Yep's portrait of prejudice, which he sketches from several angles."--Booklist. "A pleasure to read, entertaining its audience even as it educates their hearts."--Horn Book.


Author Notes

Laurence Yep was born in San Francisco, California on June 14, 1948. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1970 and received a Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

He primarily writes fiction for young adults, but has also written and edited several works for adults. His first novel, Sweetwater, was published in 1973. His other books include Dragonwings, Dragon's Gate, Shadow Lord, Child of the Owl, The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Newbery Medal Honor Book, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Jane Addams Children's Book Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-10. Based on real people and on stories about Yep's own West Virginia grandparents, who also operated a laundry in a converted school, this poignant, gently humorous novel is about prejudice and acceptance. Like the star fisher in the bedtime story she tells her little sister, 15-year-old Joan Lee is a child of two worlds. As a Chinese American, she has never felt her separateness more than now, in 1927, in this new place in West Virginia. Only Miss Lucy, their landlord and neighbor, seems welcoming. But stubborn, practical Mama, who dresses like the Americans but speaks no English, finds Miss Lucy's overtures humiliating. Joan recognizes Lucy's generosity but can't make a dent in her mother's pride, nor can Lucy break through the coldness that greets her at school--until she teaches Mama how to bake a terrific apple pie. There's nothing coy about Yep's portrait of prejudice, which he sketches from several angles--ignorant Sidney calls the Lees "darn monkeys" and paints racist slurs on their front gate; Joan's classmate Berenice is shunned because her mother works in the theater; and Mrs. Lee thinks Americans are "lazy." Yep's message is clear and strong. So, too, is his depiction of Joan's difficult relationship with her mother, a woman whose strengths and vulnerabilities Joan comes to understand better by the novel's close. ~--Stephanie Zvirin


Publisher's Weekly Review

Based on the author's own experiences, this Christopher Award winner movingly describes a Chinese American family's adjustment to their new home in West Virginia in 1927 and the prejudice they encounter there. Ages 10-14.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-- On the first night in their new home in a small West Virginia town, 15-year-old Joan Lee lulls her little sister to sleep with the story of a magical kingfisher who is held captive in human form by her mortal husband, but who is later helped by her daughter. She soon joins her mother in the stars, but is sometimes seen, cometlike, attempting to bridge heaven and Earth. Joan, the oldest daughter of the only Chinese family in 1927 Clarksburg, at first sees only herself in the story's symbols: caught between two worlds. As she braves the curiosity and prejudice of the townspeople, helps bridge a friendship between her mother and an elderly neighbor, and gets acquainted with an enigmatic classmate, she realizes that she is not the only one struggling to find a niche. Joan's story will appeal to any reader who has ever felt excluded, but she and her family seem to hold many more stories begging to be shared. Based on tales Yep gleaned from his mother and her family, whose resilience and humor shine through, The Star Fisher offers tantalizing glimpses of interesting characters, but abruptly shifts focus from a family story with the younger sister as a strong character to a relationship between mother and daughter. Basically, there is too much depth and complexity here to be confined to one book. --Carla Kozak, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.