Author: A. L. Sonnichsen
Illustrator: Amy June Bates
Length: 392 Pages
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Kara lives in China, she's Chinese, but her "Mama" is not. Kara lives with an American woman in the Chinese province of Tianjin. She is an orphan, her parents left her out in the street one night to die. Then Mama took her in. Mama was very kind, but she didn't have very much money. She is also very old. Kara doesn't leave the apartment much, and she spends most of her time there. She has a few freedoms, a red bicycle, and she gets to occasionally go out to get groceries. Kara always wonders why they don't just move back to the U.S. with Mama's husband. Mama tells Kara not to want more, but she does anyway. Is it so wrong to want something even if you know it will never happen?
I really liked this book, it was written very... interestingly. It was written in verse (Poetry)! So I kind of read it differently. For example, I read it with pauses between each of the lines. I still read it really fast, maybe in two hours. I also liked the illustrations, they were so cool! They were kind of blurry, but still pretty awesome. The reason I gave it 4 stars is because of the ending. It ended, well, I shouldn't say. But the ending was kind of strange. I don't think it should've ended that way! It was too much like a fairy tale I think. This book's lexile is only 830, so I guess that should be expected, but still. Books shouldn't always end like a fairy tale. It makes them boring. But other than that, it was awesome! I loved all the compassion and empathy Kara could feel throughout the book. I would recommend this book to kids 5th grade and up. Maybe not for High School though. I think adults would maybe like it. So it is a great book for book clubs, t has a lot of interesting discussion questions. You should definitely try it out in your free time!