Flying the Dragon (Hardcover)
Japanese Hiroshi and his Japanese American cousin, Skye, struggle to become friends and bond around rokkaku kite flying as they come to terms with their grandfather’s illness. (10-14)
— From Today
Summer 2012 Kids' Next List
“Skye is a soccer-loving American girl, whose relatives are moving to the U.S. for her grandfather's cancer treatments. In order to help the grandfather whom she has never met, she will have to take a Japanese-language course on Saturdays, and that means losing her place on the all-star soccer team. Skye's cousin, Hiroshi, has to leave his home in Japan, move to America, and take English lessons. As the cousins struggle with change, their language barrier, and a rivalry for their grandfather's affection, training for rokkaku -- competitive kite fighting -- brings them together and helps them find the strength and courage to overcome the obstacles they both face.”
— Amy Hussin, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, WI
American-born Skye is a good student and a star soccer player who never really gives any thought to the fact that her father is Japanese. Her cousin, Hiroshi, lives in Japan, and never really gives a thought to his uncle's family living in the United States. Skye and Hiroshi's lives are thrown together when Hiroshi's family, with his grandfather (who is also his best friend), suddenly moves to the U.S. Now Skye doesn't know who she is anymore: at school she's suddenly too Japanese, but at home she's not Japanese enough. Hiroshi has a hard time adjusting to life in a new culture, and resents Skye's intrusions on his time with Grandfather. Through all of this is woven Hiroshi's expertise, and Skye's growing interest in, kite making and competitive rokkaku kite flying.
About the Author
Natalie Dias Lorenzi is a teacher, specializing in English as a Second Language. She has taught in Japan and Italy and now teaches is a Washington, DC-area school where 85% of the students are immigrants. She also writes curriculum guides to new books for writers and publishers. FLYING THE DRAGON is her first novel.
"A quiet, beautifully moving portrayal of a multicultural family." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review "[A] solid choice for middle grade audiences." - School Library Journal * IndieBound Kids' Summer Next List 2012 * Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 2013-2014 * NY Public Library's - 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing * CCBC Choices 2013 * Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year * IRA Children's and Young Adult Book Awards (Intermediate Fiction Honor Book)