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5 of 5
1 rating
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list price: $18
edition:Hardcover
published: Apr 2012
ISBN:9780803734432
imprint: Dial Books

Circle of Cranes

by Annette LeBox

reviews: 2
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adaptations, girls & women, fantasy & magic
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $18
edition:Hardcover
published: Apr 2012
ISBN:9780803734432
imprint: Dial Books
Description

A lyrical fantasy blending fairy tale elements with contemporary issues

Thirteen-year-old Suyin is a poor orphan who has a strange gift with languages and a mysterious connection to the cranes in her small Chinese village. When a shady human trafficker arrives promising luxury and riches beyond belief in America, the villagers elect Suyin - whom they consider lucky - to go as their benefactress. But instead of luxury, Suyin is forced to work in a sweatshop in New York City's Chinatown. Suyin's future seems hopeless, until her beloved cranes arrive and reveal that she is no ordinary girl - instead, she is the daughter of the Crane Queen. Now her mother's life is in danger, and Suyin must prove herself worthy of her position as the Crane Princess, in order to save her mother and the entire clan of cranes.

For fans of Grace Lin and Laurence Yep, this is a beautiful story of the meaning of family and finding one's true path in life.

About the Author
Annette LeBox lives in British Columbia near a marshy area inhabited by cranes. This is her second book. Her first, published by HarperCollins in 1996, is called Miss Rafferty’s Rainbow Socks.
Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Annette LeBox is an environmental activist who divides her time between Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, and a remote cabin in the Caribou grasslands.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
10 to 100
Grade:
5 to 17
Editorial Review

"The book has strong curricular value, with concise and accessible explorations of labor politics, exploitative economies, and global immigration issues; in addition, the information about heritage crafts and feminine subcultures in China is fascinating. The thread of female solidarity and friendship is a significant appeal factor, giving the book a great deal of warmth." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Inspired by the folktale 'The Crane Wife,' this novel engagingly melds an immigrant story with folklore and fantasy." — Booklist

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Circle of Cranes

Circle of Cranes by Annette LeBox is an intriguing blend of folk tale and contemporary social commentary. Suyin, an orphan girl from a poor Chinese village, is chosen by her people to go to America to earn much-needed money to send back to the village. Alas, when she embarks on this life-changing voyage, Suyin learns the terrible truth: that the villagers have essentially sold her into slavery. She becomes one of the many women forced to work in a sweatshop in present-day New York City. The working conditions are deplorable, the illegal workers suffer mistreatment and cruelty at the hands of their bosses and they work long, hard days for very little pay. In fact, many months go by without their receiving any pay at all. The only things that help Suyin get through these dark days are the friends she has made and her special secret: her initiation into the Crane Sisterhood. During covert visits with her crane sisters, they gently guide and teach her. Slowly she learns the secrets of her past, present and future as well as the truth about her mother and her own unique destiny. While Suyin’s daily life is one of drudgery and hardship, she alone can save the Crane Sisterhood from certain extinction. Ultimately, she comes to see that her two seemingly separate lives are very much interwoven and that the lessons she learns from the crane women are just as important to her in her everyday life.

Suyin’s story is as beautifully told and intricately woven as the exquisite tapestries that are so central to it. The depiction of the migrant workers’ plight in America, the country to which they have been lured with false promises, is convincingly told and provides a riveting read, while Suyin’s secret life with the cranes lends a beautiful fairy-tale quality to the story. Many secrets are eventually revealed to Suyin by the crane women, but she, too, keeps secrets from her newfound friends, and these prove costly and damaging. But just as LeBox weaves her story into a delicate, unified whole so, too, does Suyin learn to blend the realities of her existence.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2012. Volume 35 No. 2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Circle of Cranes

Suyin is chosen by the elders in her village to go to America to earn riches for her poor Chinese village. She ends up working for pennies in a sweatshop run by crooks but eventually learns that there is a mystery in her past that involves her mother and the extraordinary magic of the Crane Sisterhood. Suyin may be the key to the future of the crane clan, but she must also help her sisters improve the conditions in the sweatshop.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

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