Asian legends about cranes and real life in New York during 1999 and 2000 are two subjects I would find very interesting to be in the same story. In this book, Circle of the Cranes by Annette LeBox, the author masterfully combines the two to create an amazing tale that is both rooted in truth and fiction,
The story is about a thirteen-year-old orphan girl by the name of Suyin who is sent away to New York by her Chinese village. Her life is far from easy in New York. She works in a sweetshop earning barely pennies each day. She also finds about her connections with an ancient Crane Sisterhood that is high above the earth in a place called He-Shan. She goes through the trials and trouble both with the Sisterhood and in New York. Suyin perseveres through all of this and eventually the good things start to happening.
It books is personally one of my favorites of a combination of real life and legends. Suyin is just a normal 13-year-old girl but she seems so much older. Some stories I have read have a really hard time with combining Chinese legends with American history due to the fact that they are barely related to each other. This book pulled it off amazingly. All the characters were well created and fleshed out in a way that you get to know them really well and they seem to come to life.
Other than Suyin, my favorite character is a boy named Pang because he is a normal boy who plays a large part in the story. His personality makes him very likeable too. This book deals with the fact of unfair labor laws and there is somethings that only slightly more mature teenagers might be able to understand. Well, for me this is a great book to read but you might think differently– so read it for yourself.
-Sarah J., 8th grade