Friday, November 20, 2009

Poetry Friday: Tofu Quilt

Jacket description:
"Growing up in Hong Kong in the 1960s, Yeung Ying is tired of hearing how important boys are. After all, she can write letters and recite poems as well as-even better than-her boy cousins.

Luckily, Yeung Ying's mother thinks 'girls and boys are just the same.' Despite protests from her husband's family, Ma uses what little money the family has to send her daughter to private school. There Yeung Ying begins to fall in love with books and writing. Combining this new passion with the colorful experiences of her daily life, Yeung Ying discovers that even girls can dare to dream."

Tofu Quilt, a collection poems by Ching Yeung Russell, is actually a story of the poet's life. Each poem helps to connect the pages into a beautifully written story, allowing for an experience of life in Hong Kong as a young girl, as well as a pretty great interpretation as to what it's like to turn a dream into reality. Russell wanted to be a writer more than anything, but was consistently turned away by male family members. She lets the reader in on just how she came to realize that big dream that previously seemed so impossible.

I loved the individual poems and the seemless way they seemed to flow into a single book. The main character was incredibly likable and left me really cheering for her, in hopes that she would indeed get to write (though I knew she was the author and obviously HAD succeeded).  The added glossary of Chinese words was very helpful and the cover was intriguing. Overall a great addition to any poetry collection, but one that can also be handed to a preteen/teen that enjoys historical fiction.

Tofu Quilt
Ching Yeung Russell
136 pages
Poetry, Middle Grade
Lee & Low Books
October 2009
Review copy received from publisher

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Affiliate and will receive a small commission from your purchase. Thanks!

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