The legend of auntie Po
Book - 2021
"Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman's daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan--reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch"--
- Graphic novels
New York :
- Item Description
- Chiefly illustrations.
- Physical Description
- 290 pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm
- Includes bibliographical references (page 287).
- Main Author
In a mountain logging camp in 1882, Chinese American Mei and her father run the camp kitchen and make delicious meals for the workers after their days of laboring. Mei makes the pies and regales the camp's children with stories, including the legend of Po Pan Yin, an elderly Chinese woman who logs the forest with her giant blue ox. Mei is accused of stealing Paul Bunyan, but Mei molds Auntie Po into her own guardian spirit. Mei must navigate an increasingly dangerous world after passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, as well as her friendship with and growing romantic feelings for Bee, the daughter of the boss. On the surface, this story is the birth of a folktale, but the author explores much deeper topics: grief, family, loyalty, racism, and self-discovery. Mei's journey tugs at the heartstrings, and, while we want her to get her heart's desires, the ending reflects a more realistic outcome for Mei and Bee. Watercolors are beautiful and illustrations are crisp and simple, conveying a childlike air while tackling serious subject matter. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
In 1885, following the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese American Mei, 13, works alongside her father at a California logging camp, feeding 100 white lumberjacks and 40 Chinese workers. In her free time, Mei regales the women and children at camp with stories of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, reimagined as the legends of Auntie Po and her faithful blue buffalo, Pei Pei. Through these tellings, Mei navigates the dangers and politics of lumber camp work, her yearning to hold on to her cultural identity, her burgeoning acknowledgment of her queerness, and the waning dream of university education. When tragedy strikes, Mei's faith in her invented god, Auntie Po, falters. But by connecting with traditions old and new, and harnessing the healing power of storytelling within her community, Mei begins to recognize her agency in a prejudiced world. Khor (The American Dream?) straddles myth and harsh realities via stunning digital pencil and hand-painted watercolor art that highlights cornerstones of Chinese culture. Much will resonate with diasporic readers, though any reader will find Mei's journey cathartic. Informative spreads serve as sources of logging trivia, and an author's note clarifies identity intersections and historical omissions. Ages 10–14. Agent: DongWon Song, Howard Morhaim Literary. (June)¦ Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.
A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST Part historical fiction, part fable, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885.Cover may vary. Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman's daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan--reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch. Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a myth, and about immigrant families and communities holding on to rituals and traditions while staking out their own place in the United States.