Circle of Cranes
By Annette LeBox
(Dial, Hardcover, 9780803734432, 256pp.)
Publication Date: April 12, 2012
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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.
Annette LeBox is an environmental activist who divides her time between Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, and a remote cabin in the Caribou grasslands.
"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."