Prairie Lotus

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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.---from the publisher

272 pages                                      978-1328781505                       Ages 8-12

Keywords:  historical fiction, Asian American, Asian American author, diversity, diverse books, fitting in, prejudice, racism, acceptance, accepting others, 19th century, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old

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Inspired by her love for The Little House on the Prairie books, Linda Sue Park has crafted a another stunning novel. Main character, Hannah, has a white father and a Chinese mother. She is considered a half-Chinese and half-white girl. After her mother’s death Hannah and her father move from California to a Little House–inspired fictional settler town.

Hanna’s mother had been, an aspiring and talented dressmaker and before becoming sick, taught Hannah her skills. Now Hannah and her father seek a fresh start in Dakota Territory. It’s 1880, and they endure challenges similar to those faced by the Ingalls’ family and so many others: dreary travel through unfamiliar lands, the struggle to protect food stores from nature, and the risky uncertainty of establishing a livelihood in a new place.

It was hard to experience the extreme xenophobia of the town’s white residents, which ranges in expression from microaggressions to full-out assault, and Hanna’s fight to overcome it with empathy and dignity. Hannah feels she must take her abuse if she and her father are to have a chance of survival on the frontier.
Do not skip the author’s deeply and personal note about the story’s inspiration.

While I thought the book excellent and meaningful I did not think the cover did justice to what you experience inside. The bonnet Hannah wears on the cover is significant, but Hannah appears a little cartoonish for such a serious and Important subject matter.

Nevertheless, this is another Linda Sue Park home run book.

(Historical fiction. 8-12)
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