Cover image for The cook's family
Title:
The cook's family
Author:
Yep, Laurence, 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
184 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
As her parents' arguments become more frequent, Robin looks forward to the visits that she and her grandmother make to Chinatown, where they pretend to be an elderly cook's family, giving Robin new insights into her Chinese heritage.
General Note:
Sequel to: Ribbons.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780039929077
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

As her parents' arguments become more frequent, Robin looks forward to the visits that she and her grandmother make to Chinatown, where they pretend to be an elderly cook's family, giving Robin new insights into her Chinese heritage.


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. 4^-6. Although an author's note hangs the story on an actual incident, the setup of Yep's latest novel demands that we suspend our disbelief. As they pass a small restaurant in Chinatown, Robin and her grandmother are recruited by a waiter to pretend to be the family of the restaurant's Chinese cook, who is refusing to perform his duties. The fantasy is haltingly played out by all, with Robin and her grandmother returning to the restaurant the following week to pick up their roles (a real leap for Robin, who looks more like her Caucasian father than like her Chinese mother). For Grandmother, the game is a link to a homeland left behind; for Robin, it is a respite from her parents' bickering and a chance for her to understand more about her Chinese heritage. It is Robin's learning about Chinese history and custom that is the most intriguing part of the story, which also strikes at the heart of what family means in different cultures. --Stephanie Zvirin


Publisher's Weekly Review

This sequel to Ribbons takes a further searching and funny look at Chinese-American family life. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7‘Robin's home life seems to be falling apart. Her hard-working Caucasian father is often absent and her Chinese mother spends all of her spare time doing the books for her brothers' new store. There is little time for the family to be together, and Robin and her younger brother feel neglected. Therefore, when a waiter at a San Francisco Chinatown restaurant asks Robin and her grandmother to pose as the long-lost relatives of the lonely cook, the girl finds herself more and more interested in Chinese customs and what it means to be a good Chinese daughter. Dividing her time between her real family and her pretend one, she finally learns how to be expansive instead of divisive and helps her family come closer together. The remarkable charade that is at the heart of this book may seem unbelievable, but the author's note at the end of the novel reveals just how realistic it is. Elements of the characters and plot at times seem overdone, almost slapstick, and strain readers' trust‘yet these facets are always in tune with the bittersweet family setting Yep creates. The sense of place is immediate, showing acutely the differences between Chinatown and Robin's Richmond District neighborhood, and among several different Chinese-American cultures. This is a fun story, populated by the characters from Ribbons (Putnam, 1996), and a unique one that will appeal to readers on several levels.‘Nina Lindsay, Vista School, Albany, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.