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The Year of the Rat

by Grace Lin

Published by Little, Brown, 2008
182 pages
ISBN: 031611426X

Ages 8-11

A sequel to The Year of the Dog (Little, Brown, 2006), this warm and funny novel opens with a scene from Pacy’s family’s Chinese New Year celebration. “Happy Year of the Rat!” her father toasts. Since the rat is the first animal of the Chinese New Year calendar, the Year of the Rat symbolizes new beginnings. New beginnings also mean changes, Pacy soon realizes: her best friend Melody is moving away. As the year unfolds, Pacy learns how to live without Melody at her side, and in doing so discovers what kind of person and friend she wants to be. She also questions her desire to write and illustrate books when she grows up, uncertain if it’s a profitable career path. When Melody finally returns for a visit, she comments on how much taller Pacy seems. It’s clear the Pacy has grown in other ways too, especially in her acceptance of change. Grace Lin’s second novel follows a similar recipe as her first, but has an even richer and more lasting flavor.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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