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Flying the Dragon (Paperback)
Summer 2012 Kids' Next List
“Skye is a soccer-loving American girl, whose relatives are moving to the U.S. for her grandfather's cancer treatments. In order to help the grandfather whom she has never met, she will have to take a Japanese-language course on Saturdays, and that means losing her place on the all-star soccer team. Skye's cousin, Hiroshi, has to leave his home in Japan, move to America, and take English lessons. As the cousins struggle with change, their language barrier, and a rivalry for their grandfather's affection, training for rokkaku -- competitive kite fighting -- brings them together and helps them find the strength and courage to overcome the obstacles they both face.”
— Amy Hussin, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, WI
Flying the Dragon tells the story of two cousins in alternating chapters. American-born Skye is a good student and a star soccer player who never really gives any thought to the fact that her father is Japanese. Her cousin, Hiroshi, lives in Japan, and never really gives a thought to his uncle’s family living in the U.S. Their lives are thrown together when Hiroshi’s family, with his grandfather (who is also his best friend), have to move to the U.S. suddenly. Skye resents that she is now "not Japanese enough," and yet the friends she’s known forever abruptly realize she is "other." Hiroshi has a hard time adjusting to life in a new culture, and resents Skye’s intrusions on his time with Grandfather. Through all of this is woven Hiroshi’s expertise, and Skye’s growing interest in, kite making and competitive kite flying, culminating in a contest at the annual Washington Cherry Blossom Festival.
About the Author
Natalie Dias Lorenzi is a traveler, writer, wife, mother, and teacher, specializing in English as a Second Language. She has taught in Japan and Italy, and now teaches in a Washington, DC–area school where 85% of the students are immigrants. She also writes curriculum guides to new books for writers and publishers. Flying the Dragon is her first novel.
"A quiet, beautifully moving portrayal of a multicultural family." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review "[A] solid choice for middle grade audiences." - School Library Journal * IndieBound Kids' Summer Next List 2012 * Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 2013-2014 * NY Public Library's - 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing * CCBC Choices 2013 * Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year * IRA Children's and Young Adult Book Awards (Intermediate Fiction Honor Book)