The Year of the Rat (A Pacy Lin Novel)

by Grace Lin

Hardcover, 2008



Local notes

Fic Lin



Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2008), Edition: 1St Edition, 192 pages


In the Chinese Year of the Rat, a young Taiwanese American girl faces many challenges: her best friend moves to California and a new boy comes to her school, she must find the courage to forge ahead with her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator, and she must learn to find the beauty in change.

Original language


Physical description

192 p.; 5.5 inches


031611426X / 9780316114264



User reviews

LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
In this sequel to Year of the Dog, Pacy Lin is facing another new year. The year of the rat is a year for changes and Pacy is not at all sure that she wants anything to change. When Pacy's best friend Melody moves to California, Pacy feels lost. Her other friends at school don't understand her the way Melody did. Worse still, a new family from China is renting Melody's house and Pacy's parents expect her to befriend the social outcast Dun Wei. Pacy's questioning her friendships and her talents (after she learns that being an artist is considered a "cold door"... a career that won't bring much wealth), but if she can make it through the year of the rat, she might find that she herself has changed for the better.

I liked this sequel, which is told in the same style as YOTD. Pacy's parents interject stories from their lives and from Chinese legend into the modern-day story of Pacy's life. Pacy's mother tells what it was like to be an immigrant in America, Pacy's father relates legends about Chinese New Year. Although it may be more satisfying if you've read the first book, this book could stand alone.
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LibraryThing member joeydag
A lovely story about two young friends and a year of change. The author uses the year passing as a frame for several lovely Chinese tales and family stories. A good book for young readers and for ESL students.
LibraryThing member BTPiglet
I enjoyed this book; it was a quick read and I read it in one sitting. I liked how it seamlessly blended universal themes such as dealing with childhood bullies and friends moving with culturally-specific themes. In the story, the main character, which goes by Pacy at home and Grace at school, also struggles with the balancing act that comes with bridging two cultures. Lin does an excellent job of introducing information about Chinese culture into the story without it feeling clunky. This is mainly done through the use of stories her parents tell her or dialog between characters. Readers learn a little bit about the Chinese food, celebrations such as Chinese New Year, and wedding traditions while enjoying the main story line. We also learn a little bit about the background of the animal names for years and the symbolism of the Year of the Rat, which is new beginnings or changes.… (more)




(54 ratings; 4)
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