Cheng, Andrea. Year of the Garden. Patrice Barton, Illus. Fiction. Anna Wang Series. Houghton, 04/2017. 128pp. $15.99. 978-0-544-66444-9. HIGH ADDITIONAL. GRADES 1-4.
Eight-year-old Anna Wang has moved to a new neighborhood in Cincinnati where she makes a friend, Laura. As her third grade year at school begins and progresses, her friendship with Laura and the garden they plant together slowly develops. Episodes happen through the year at school, at home, and on a trip to Laura’s aunt’s farm. Anna’s Chinese heritage (her mother is an immigrant from China, and her father is Chinese American) provides gentle shading and coloring to this story without predominating. The reader gets to know the shy, bookish Anna who will grow older year by year in the future Anna Wang stories, such as The Year of the Book, in which Anna is in fourth grade. This simple, quiet friendship story is a shorter chapter book that can also be enjoyed as a read-aloud to younger children. Review based on an ARC.
Ann Hotta, Berkeley PL