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September 2017

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I finally went into The Last Bookstore downtown. It was as great and as hipster-ish as I imagined it. There's an art collective or something upstairs, and a really great children's section in the back. Because my kid is about to enter that age of chapter books, I thought I would, ahem, rebuild my childhood library for her. Except this time I get to keep all the books. So I got: Hatchet, Heidi, and Child of the Owl. I just finished re-reading it.

I vaguely remembered Lawrence Yep's name on a bunch of young adult books I read for school. But I remembered Child of the Owl because it is such a specific vision of San Francisco Chinatown in the early seventies - "this new band called The Beatles", and the way Yep describes it is such an apt description of the way it was when I was a kid that I could picture everything vividly - from Portsmouth Square to the way the protagonist's grandmother sews piecework for extra money.

And I loved the relationships in this story, and the way the history is woven in. Casey's the daughter of a shiftless gambling addict, who has to move in with her grandma in Chinatown after her dad gets robbed and beaten up. It's also a kind of coming-of-age story, and how Casey finds herself and her identity through her grandmother's stories.

Anyway, this book is part of a series and now I have to get the rest of the series. I think it's supposed to span seven generations of a Chinese family and their fates in America. So it's a lot.
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