by Laurence Yep

Paperback, 2001



Call number

PB Yep

Call number

PB Yep

Local notes

PB Yep




HarperCollins (2001), Edition: 25th, 248 pages


In the early twentieth century a young Chinese boy joins his father in San Francisco and helps him realize his dream of making a flying machine.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

248 p.; 5.25 x 0.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member linseymomof2
Dragonwings is a book about a boy from China that lives with his mother and grandparents in China. His father lives in San Francisco California and sends for him. He and his father have a dream of making a flying machine in the early twentieth century.

I liked this book because I am a history person
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anyways but I thought that this book sheds light on a different culture that I knew nothing about before.

I would use this book in a history lesson to learn more about other cultures and traditions. Then I would ask the students to share some of their favorite cultures and traditions.
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LibraryThing member su_library_student
I found this Newberry Honor book to be slow and uninteresting at times. The story is about a young Chinese boy who joins his father in California during the early 1900s. Although it was nice to read a story that portrays Chinese as intelligent and hardworking, this doesn't make up for the slowness
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of the story.
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LibraryThing member Melodie1
This book is awsome i almost felt like i was in the story with the boy he worked with his uncle who saved everyone but died in the end but still he tries very hard.You almost felt his pain through the pages it tells you about a whole new life how people see it differently.
LibraryThing member debnance
At last, Moon Shadow was allowed to go to the Land of the Demons (America) from the Middle Kingdom (China). He had to always be on guard in America as the demons created danger everywhere. His father’s dream was to fly an airplane, a dream that started when his father read about the Wright
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Brothers attempts to fly in the newspaper. Moon Shadow and his father decided to set out to achieve this dream. The world of San Francisco in the early 20th century as seen from the eyes of Chinese Americans. And, you guessed it, there is a big sequence that takes place in 1906. In San Francisco.
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LibraryThing member librisissimo
Substance: Story of a young Chinese boy sent to live with his father in America. The two develop a friendship with a widow and her daughter, ignoring the cultural taboos. The father develops an obsession about building an airplane after reading about the Wright brothers, and risks his job and life
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to complete it.
Style: For an older junior reader, because of the explicit references to bigotry and racial prejudice.
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LibraryThing member benuathanasia
Another one of my childhood favorites. A good look at emigration, early 20th century history and American life. I love Yep's writing.
LibraryThing member mirrani
One in a series, Dragonwings can also stand on its own and stand on its own it most certainly does. Seeing America through the eyes of a young immigrant is a treasure enough, but being able to follow him through his journey to somehow combine his own culture with what is expected from those around
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him is a unique perspective and a must-do experience. As an educator it has helped me to better understand my international students and their families and I am certain that reading this book would easily help a child find peace in an uncertain world.

This is a book about discovery of a culture, but it is also a book about discovery of who you are, about never letting go of your dreams, and about devotion to family, no matter what has happened between you. Within these pages readers will also experience destruction and helplessness, as the earthquake hits and everything the characters have known changes as a result. All of these things from hope and survival to family and personal growth are important for young readers to hold on to, and hold on they will, because the story is so well told that I seriously doubt many will want to put this book down. I know that I am personally going to search for the other books in the series, now that I have read this better-known one.
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LibraryThing member YAbookfest
Moon Shadow is eight years old when his mother sends him off to live with his father, Windrider, in America in 1903. At first they live and work with Uncle in his laundry but conflicts with the gangs within the Chinese community force Windrider to venture into the "demon" part of San Francisco. The
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father is a talented mechanic with a dream to fly, which he pursues relentlessly, even though it makes life harder for himself and his son.
While I love immigrant stories and there is much in this that reveals the struggles and hard-won achievements of the Chinese-Americans, it sometimes moves too slowly and gets bogged down in details about building an early plane.
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LibraryThing member katieloucks
A very well-told story. Good for children and adults alike
LibraryThing member JoanAxthelm
A picture of life at the turn of the 20th century for Chinese immigrants in San Francisco. The story takes on racism, the great earthquake and fire, and the courage to follow one's dream even though it seems to disrespect family and heritage. An powerful book with a seed of news article about a
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Chinese man who built an airplane and beat the Wright brothers' record of time in the sky.
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LibraryThing member electrascaife
A young boy from China is sent to live with his father in turn-of-the-century San Francisco, where they work in a laundry service, washing clothing and linens for the demons. Moon Shadow learns how to negotiate the dangers of walking the demon streets as an Asian, makes unlikely friends with an
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older woman and her niece, and helps his father follow his dream of learning to fly, Wright Brothers style.

I liked this one okay, but the story seemed a bit scattered and the characters not as fully sketched as I wanted them to be. Yep tries to work some magical realism into the story (the father believes that he is a dragon who is being punished by being reborn as a human), but it doesn't quite seem to mesh well enough with the main story of living in early 1900's San Francisco as an Asian and the difficulties that brings.
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LibraryThing member kslade
Pretty good story from point of young Chinese boy in San Francisco area about 1900 and later. Whites are considered "demons" and often hate the Chinese. He leaves his mother behind to be with his father who wants to build an early airplane. They also experience SF earthquake and fires.




½ (128 ratings; 3.6)
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