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Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas

by Pauline Chen

Published by Bloomsbury, 2007
133 pages
ISBN: 1599901226

Ages 8-10

Peiling hates the first day of school after Christmas vacation, when all the kids giddily exchange news of what they received. Her Chinese American family doesn’t celebrate Christmas. This year, however, Peiling convinces her parents to embrace the holiday. She has a picture-perfect vision of what Christmas should be, and everything seems to be going along fine until her mother attempts a traditional Christmas dinner. The embarrassing meal is all wrong, at least to Peiling, and in the aftermath of the celebration, she feels let down. Her disappointment at home is compounded at school, where she’s been standing in for another student during rehearsals of The Prince and the Pauper but doubts she’ll ever get the chance to shine on stage. Pauline Chen’s novel has some wonderful moments of quiet revelation in the context of a story that blends humor and depth, and features a cast of warm and appealing characters.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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