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|Circle of cranes|
Author: LeBox, Annette
Taken from her Chinese village to sew in a New York City sweatshop, Suyin, 13, learns she is the daughter of the Crane Queen, who needs her help.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 151720
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 58007
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/12)
School Library Journal (05/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (05/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2012 Suyin lives in a small, poor village in China; she’s part of an ethnic minority known for their needlework, but since her mother’s mysterious absence, her father has refused to let her learn the craft. Then an outsider appears, promising riches if the village sends a worker to America, and Suyin is chosen. LeBox infuses her contemporary parable of the plight of undocumented sweatshop workers in New York’s Chinatown with elements of the crane wife folktale. Even as Suyin struggles with harsh work conditions and exploitative bosses, she periodically enters a magical parallel world in which she discovers her heritage as a crane woman, part of an ancient sisterhood currently in dire straits due to the fate of Suyin’s mother. Only by proving her worthiness will she be able to transform from girl to crane, save the sisterhood, and gain the power needed to save her friends in the sweatshop. The book has strong curricular value, with concise and accessible explorations of labor politics, exploitative economies, and global immigration issues; in addition, the information about heritage crafts and feminine subcultures in China is fascinating. The thread of female solidarity and friendship is a significant appeal factor, giving the book a great deal of warmth, and readers will be gratified that Suyin and her compatriots achieve their dreams despite the odds. An author’s note gives additional background on both folkloric influences and contemporary American sweatshop practices. CG - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2012 Gr 7–10—On his deathbed, Suyin's grandfather, angry at his dead daughter-in-law, demands that the child be forbidden to learn embroidery, despite the fact that as a member of the Miao minority group in Guizhou Province, China, her worth as a woman is based on her skills with a needle. When her village chooses the 13-year-old to be smuggled to America, she feels even more rejected. After a treacherous voyage in the cargo hold of a ship, she ends up in a New York sweatshop, working to pay off her debt to the smugglers. What keeps her going is her desire to prove her worth to the Sisterhood of Cranes—a secret society of women who can transform into birds and keep the world of people and nature connected. Suyin's tribulations offer a glimpse into the horrifying world of human trafficking and sweatshops. Her time with the Sisterhood balances the horror of her daily life and gives her strength to help with the garment workers' strike, which leads to a tidier and happier ending than most children with paths similar to Suyin's experience. While many elements of the narrative structure and story will appeal to younger readers, the brutality and violence that the girl endures, especially as a friend takes a job at a seedy massage parlor, requires more mature readers.—Jennifer Rothschild, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Oxon Hill, MD - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2012 Suyin, the orphaned daughter of the Crane Wife, grows up shuttled among homes in her rural Chinese village. To help make her village rich, Suyin is assigned to a garment factory in contemporary New York City after a harrowing ocean journey, but her new home is no dream come true. Conditions are harsh: she is essentially kept prisoner, wages are withheld, labor rights agitators are beaten, and the threat of being cast out and forced to join a prostitution ring is constant. But Suyin finds solace in her friends and inspiration in her Crane Sisters, who visit her when she is alone, teach her the art of embroidery, remind her that all women are sisters, and bring her along with them on magical flights where Suyin is tempted to become a crane herself. Though Suyin rises out of servitude, she has friends who are not so lucky. Inspired by the folktale “The Crane Wife,” this novel engagingly melds an immigrant story with folklore and fantasy, broadening its potential readership. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.