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The Legend of Auntie Po



written and illustrated by
Shing Yin Khor

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Kokila
ISBN
9780525554882
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Xenophobia , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Violence: Death
$20.76   $17.30
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Part historical fiction, part magical realism, 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.

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 America.Author’s note. Bibliography. Full-color illustrations were created using digital pencils and hand-painted watercolor. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Xenophobia , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Violence: Death

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

304

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Aug 2021

Book Genres

Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Topics

Myths and legends. Nineteenth-century US history. California. Lumber camps. Lumberjacks. Chinese Americans. Camp cooks. Paul Bunyan retellings. Chinese Exclusion Act. Discrimination. Friendship. Storytelling. LGBTQ.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

In this historical-fiction graphic novel, thirteen-year-old Mei Hao shares her homemade pies and homespun tales about the eponymous Auntie Po (a Chinese Paul Bunyan–type figure of Mei’s own creation) with her best friend Beatrice Andersen and many other eager listeners at Mr. Andersen’s 1885 Sierra Nevada logging camp. Mei works hard to help her father cook for the camp’s lumberjacks, plus separate meals for the Chinese workers, who aren’t given board or allowed to eat with the others. But she dreams of a day when she and Bee can open a hybrid bookstore–pie shop together, even as she realizes that dream—and her unrequited love for Bee—may well be impossible. While Khor’s brushwork is digital, the rawness and unpredictability of their hand-painted watercolors complement Mei’s fluctuating emotions and the harsh life at the camp, where incidents of racism and logging accidents can occur, both devastating. Khor frequently uses the whole page for their illustrations and works outside of panels, techniques that aptly enhance the historical and mythic scope of the narrative and that ultimately affirm Mei as the author of her own destiny. A multifaceted addition to the historical graphic novel genre, this unique bildungsroman successfully presents many formidable topics with intentional and comprehensive grace. NIKI MARION

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

In this historical-fiction graphic novel, thirteen-year-old Mei Hao shares her homemade pies and homespun tales about the eponymous Auntie Po (a Chinese Paul Bunyan–type figure of Mei’s own creation) with her best friend Beatrice Andersen and many other eager listeners at Mr. Andersen’s 1885 Sierra Nevada logging camp. Mei works hard to help her father cook for the camp’s lumberjacks, plus separate meals for the Chinese workers, who aren’t given board or allowed to eat with the others. But she dreams of a day when she and Bee can open a hybrid bookstore–pie shop together, even as she realizes that dream—and her unrequited love for Bee—may well be impossible. While Khor’s brushwork is digital, the rawness and unpredictability of their hand-painted watercolors complement Mei’s fluctuating emotions and the harsh life at the camp, where incidents of racism and logging accidents can occur, both devastating. Khor frequently uses the whole page for their illustrations and works outside of panels, techniques that aptly enhance the historical and mythic scope of the narrative and that ultimately affirm Mei as the author of her own destiny. A multifaceted addition to the historical graphic novel genre, this unique bildungsroman successfully presents many formidable topics with intentional and comprehensive grace. NIKI MARION

Grades 5-8
Graphic Novels Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Book-length narratives presented in comic book style, graphic novels foster both visual and verbal comprehension skills while exposing readers to interesting dialogue and satire, as well as affirming diversity.

JLG's selection of these unique books, some of them only published in softcover, are ideal for attracting reluctant readers and introducing them to literature they might not encounter otherwise. You may find that the 12 books in this category will turn your reluctant readers into eager readers.

14 books per Year
$242.20 per Year
Interests
Diversity,ESL,Fiction,Graphic Novels,Reluctant Readers,Transitional Readers,Funny/Humorous
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Grades 5-8
Graphic Novels Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$242.20 per Year

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