By Linda Sue Park
Book Source: Purchased
Book Status: Available
Today’s book is a fiction novel that does an amazing job of introducing racism and how people are treated differently because of their looks and where they “come” from. Not all kids are ready for the non-fiction books on anti-racism or making a difference. Fiction could be used as well.
1. The main character is half Chinese half white. This results in people in her town treating differently.
2. One example of this is most of the other kids are pulled from the school, when Hanna is allowed to attend. Hanna has never attended school before but is very smart. This makes me think of when people don’t send their kids to their neighborhood schools because of the other kids attending. I see in my neighborhood – we do have cultural schools that could be where some kids are going, but a lot of kids are going to schools outside our town. This is especially true of non-black kids! My brother and I are some of the few white children in the district.
3. Hanna’s parents also struggled to be accepted in the other’s culture. Her father is white and her mother was Chinese. It was even illegal for them to get married.
4. When the bad thing happens to Hanna, she gets blamed because she is the “outsider”. She has to rely on two “insiders” to help fix it. Although this bothers me, it is an example of how those who are “insiders” can use their voice to help the “outsiders”.
5. This is a good book because it could help introduce these concepts to a kid. They may initially think because this a book of the past, it no longer happens. But it still does. They may see parallels to what the news is sharing. It could open up a conversation.