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Half and Half

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  180 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
FIONA CHENG IS half and half: Her father is Chinese and her mother is Scottish. Fiona looks more like her father than her mother, so people always expect her to be more interested in her Chinese half than her Scottish half. Lately even Fiona’s confused about who she really is.

“A realistic, gentle and funny tale.”—Detroit News & Free Press

“Readers will identify with Fio
ebook, 144 pages
Published December 18th 2008 by Yearling (first published 2003)
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Half and Half is a very cute story that can really hit home for children who are from multiple cultures. The narrator, Fiona, is half Chinese and half Scottish. Physically, she considers herself to be 65% Chinese and 35% Scottish. Fiona is proud to represent two very different cultures. However, on the day that she has to choose a box to represent her racial background on a form, Fiona discovers that she has a difficult choice to make between being Asian, White, or simply, Other. Her problems gr ...more
Keren Kang
easy, fun read about being biracial set in Seattle...that's always fun (Seattle setting). it's a global challenge reading book for my read it in one sitting. good but not excellent...but great to have something out there (mostly younger readers) to consider that's not just homogeneous teen lit.
Apr 14, 2015 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That ever elusive thing we search for... Perspective. This book has it in spades, not dressed-up, not painted all cutesy-like, but just simply there. A child's perspective on growing up in a racially and culturally mixed family. The title "Half and Half" doesn't quite capture the message of the book, because half Chinese, half Scottish Fiona Cheng isn't exactly half of each of her parents. She's a strange mixture of both of them, but not something she can define mathematically. I especially appr ...more
Erica Pak
Summary:Half and Half is written by Lensey Namioka. This book is about a little girl that is of mixed ethnicity. Fiona Cheng is half Chinese and half Scottish. When looking at Fiona she looks more Chinese then Scottish, so her peers have a prejudged notion about what culture/ethnicity she is more interested or identifies with more. Because of how she looks she is expected to be more interested in Chinese culture in comparison to her Scottish side. Due to the prejudgments and expectations Fiona b ...more
Fiona Cheng's father is Chinese and her mother is Scottish. When she registers for a folk-dancing class she is stumped over how to classify herself on the registration form: white? Asian? other? Meanwhile the big Folk Fest approaches. Fiona's Scottish grandfather will be directing a Scottish dance performance at the Fest, her brother Ron will be in a kung-fu demonstration and her father, a children's book illustrator will also be presenting. Fiona loves Scottish dancing and she is tapped to sub ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
Cute and straightforward book about a mixed-race girl. I appreciated that there is even a book like this out there on the market. It addresses some of the struggles a kid may experience as a mixed-race person-being judged by how you look, competing cultures, identity. It's pretty simplistic, but I think it's relatable to a elementary-aged student, and gave me things to think as my own kids grow up as mixed race. As a representation of the cultures though, I think it did not portray Chinese cultu ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Irene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elementary school-aged kids who feel conflicted about being mixed race
Shelves: children
I am purposely seeking out children's books about mixed race kids, and with so few options out there, I really wanted to like this one. Unfortunately, I just had too many misgivings while reading it.

First, it jumps right in and is very explicit about the main character Fiona feeling conflicted about whether she considers herself "Caucasian" or "Asian" or "Other". There's no nuance, no character set-up, just straight-up race exploration. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, except that I
This was a cute and quick read. I originally picked it up when I was looking into books with biracial characters, and the themes of self-acceptance and racial perceptions were very straightforward throughout the plot.

Fiona is half Chinese and half Scottish, and those cultures come into conflict when grandparents from both sides come to visit for a festival. When Fiona has to choose between participating in a Scottish dance or her Chinese father's book talk, she sort of has to "choose" between he
Olivia Margolis
Half and Half, by Lensey Namloka, is about a young girl named Fiona Cheng. She is half and half. Her mother is Scottish and her father is Chinese. Fiona looks more like her father than her mother, so people always expect her to be more interested in her Chinese half than her Scottish half. When her grandparents from both sides come to town for a folk festival, Fiona wants to perform with her Scottish grandfather's folk dancing troupe. But whoever saw a Chinese girl dancing a Highland reel? Fiona ...more
Katharine Ott
Jul 25, 2015 Katharine Ott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
"Half and Half" - written by Lensey Namioka and published in 2003 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. A cute middle grade novel about a girl who is half Scottish and half Chinese.
Jan 23, 2016 Jennybeast rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Nicely told story of a girl with many heritages, and how she weaves them together.
SPL Global Reading Challenge 2015
Nov 22, 2011 ABC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fiona has immigrant grandparents on both sides of her family--Chinese on her dad's side and Scottish on her mom's. When her Chinese grandma and her Scottish grandparents come visit, a scheduling conflict forces her to choose.

Meanwhile, there is her brother, who prefers kung fu over Scottish dancing and wearing a kilt. It would have been interesting to see the book from his point of view.

I thought the resolutation was a little, "Duh, why didn't they think of that in the first place!" But still it
Aug 17, 2013 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eh. This title was mentioned in one of the "teacher texts" I read this summer. I kind of ordered it on a whim, without doing much checking on it. Turns out it's DEFINITELY a late-elementary text. GREAT message, good plot (for the age group), not really going to be a hot commodity with my high schoolers. Oh well. I guess the lesson is to thoroughly investigate books before you buy them (darn and its one-click buying!!!!)!
Kim B.
This book goes pretty well with the "Year of the Dog" and "Year of the Rat" books, as it's all about culture. If you liked those, you might like this too. If the book has one problem, it's that it's too short and we don't get to see a lot of the struggles of being half-Chinese and half-Scottish, but that's not a huge complaint. It's a small, pleasant book with few surprises but some interesting tidbits about culture.
I read it a long time ago while relaxing in the children's section of my public library. It intrigued me because of the cover, and the premise.

While sometimes too simplistic, it is a children's book. I can see children getting new perspectives from it. Not relating to one specific culture, or hanging between two/several is hard.
Jan 06, 2010 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This author is coming to my school in April, and I think her book will appeal to the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. It explores one girl's feelings about being half Irish and half Chinese and the difficulties she faces trying to reconcile the two. A sweet story with a good lesson for this age group.
May 24, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-library
Fiona had a really hard decision, I would be torn on what to choose, be loyal to her Chinese half or her Scottish half? I envy her for having strong cultural backgrounds. My mother has some from her parents, but my family is just the average American.
Indi Killjoy
Aug 25, 2013 Indi Killjoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this book was quite inspirational, but I think I would've enjoyed it more if it was longer. I feel like a lot of the events happened quite quickly, but still a wonderful story nonetheless.
Story of a young girl who discovers both her Chinese and Scottish heritage through preparing to preform for the Seattle Folk Life Festival. A great story about family and identity.
May 27, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fiona's dad is chinese and her mom is scottish. She is half and half. When she has to decide between either side of the family, someone is going to get the feelings hurt.
Oct 18, 2009 Monique rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is just a quick read book. Its for girls around 9-11 years old. Its short and simple, but it has a lot of meaning to it .
Jul 04, 2009 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 4th-7th
The story may end a bit too neatly; however, I like how the main character explores what it means to be both Chinese and Scottish.
Feb 22, 2008 sarafem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read about a multiracial young girl trying to find a balance between her two cultures.
Nov 30, 2010 Felix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was very touching considering that I am fully SCOTTISH.
Mar 24, 2008 Mickey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
lobal Reading Challenge book for Concord School.
Oct 09, 2011 Jenifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great book to read
Cute, mild, meh.
Jul 03, 2008 Maya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10 year olds
Ginny rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2016
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Namioka was born in Beijing, the daughter of linguist Yuenren Chao and physician Buwei Yang Chao. The family moved often in China. In 1937, the Chaos were living in Nanjing, and fled westward in the face of the Japanese Invasion. They eventually made their way to Hawaii, then Cambridge, Massachusetts. Namioka attended grade school in Cambridge and excelled at mathematics.

Namioka attended Universit
More about Lensey Namioka...

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