Sunday, March 4, 2012

Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama

Author: Gail Tsukiyama
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: from School Library Journal
When Pei Chung is eight years old, her father leaves her at the house of Auntie Yee so that she can work in the silk factory. Her grief at the unexplained abandonment is softened by the kindness of Yee and the other girls, and slowly she begins to thrive in her new independence. The friendship between Pei and Lin, who is the support of her once wealthy and powerful family, is forged with the lives of the silk workers who begin to demand better conditions. The China of 1919-1938, when the Japanese threat became a reality, is woven into the threads of factory life and that of families faced with ruin. 

My thoughts:
This historical non-fiction is a beautifully written piece that draws the reader into the lives of these girls/women. It's suitable for the YA audience, however, as far as for middle school readers, I think it's not the easiest sell for middle school because of the pacing of the book, however, with the right reader, the characters are very captivating and the historical events will inspire more research from young history buffs.

If you are buying this book, make sure you also buy the sequel, Language of Threads, or the ending of this book will leave you frustrated
If you are on the Big Island, Ms. Tsukiyama will be a part of the Big Island Reading Festival at the HPA campus on April 21, 2012 starting at 9:30. It's free and open to the public. She'll be doing a reading as well as three breakout sessions throughout the day.

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