Parents' Guide to

The Year of the Three Sisters

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Chinese girl visits U.S. in powerful friendship tale.

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It's not easy to write an emotionally resonant and thoughtful story in the short format of a young middle grade novel, but The Year of the Three Sisters is a gem. Anna's an observant and sensitive narrator, and readers will relate to concerns about fitting in and friendships. The account of the girls' lives rings true, and the detail grounds them recognizably in Cincinnati -- trips to Graeter's ice cream, collecting buckeyes, mention of distinct Cincinnati neighborhoods. The spot illustrations by Patrice Barton are cheerful and charming and depict a multicultural group of friends, with Anna and other Chinese-American kids and families at the forefront.

The visiting girl from Beijing allows the book to introduce some broader, more socially conscious issues, with information about how the girls' lives differ, both culturally and economically. Frequent mention of the books Anna is reading is another plus.

Book Details

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