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Child of the Owl
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Child of the Owl (Golden Mountain Chronicles #7)

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  422 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Casey is waiting for the day that Barney, her father, hits it big - 'cause when that horse comes in, he tells her, it's the penthouse suite.' But then he ends up in the hospital, and Casey is sent to Chinatown to live with her grandmother, Paw-Paw. Now the waiting seems longer than ever. Casey feels lost in Chinatown. She's not prepared for the Chinese scho ...more
Published April 26th 1977 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1977)
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Sarah Sammis
Jun 19, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Laurence Yep has been a favorite author of mine since my teens. I have been reading his books when I've had the opportunity. My local library has a huge collection of his novels and I've decided to work my way through them as time permits. Child of the Owl (1977) is my first revisiting of Yep in about a decade and I'm currently reading Sea Glass (1979).

Child of the Owl is told in the first person perspective of a 12 year old girl named Casey. She's a native born Chinese American but doesn't even
Kate  K. F.
Dec 06, 2012 Kate K. F. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This unusual coming of age story is set in San Francisco in 1965 and follows Casey as she moves from living with her wandering and gambling father to her grandmother's apartment in Chinatown. One of the facets of this story that takes it beyond the normal tale of discovering one's own ethnic identity is how Casey doesn't see herself as Chinese until she first enters Chinatown and realizes that she has the same skin and eyes as those around her. At the heart of this book is a fairy tale about Ow ...more
Jun 04, 2010 Sue rated it liked it
I didn't love the writing as well as the others in this series because it was a little grittier in nature with some mild language. I'm sure it was to match the subject matter which concerns a compulsive gambler's daughter thrust into her traditional grandmother's care in Chinatown and who then has to learn her Chinese heritage. That said, the story was very nice with the pull between cultures and how Casey learns to be Chinese and American at the same time and to be at peace with the dichotomy. ...more
Puty P
Jul 12, 2008 Puty P rated it really liked it
this book simply tells us about reality, and Chinatown..
Mar 09, 2008 Ezra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ANYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Child of the Owl HarperCollins Publishers, 1977, $1.99
Laurence Yep ISBN 0-06-440336-X

I never was really interested in books like these. The kinds of books where the title sets the stage of who should actually read it. But after reading the first page I fell in love with the explanatory, intense and heartbreaking book. Soon enough it was hard for me to put it down.

In this book, a 12 year old girl named Casey, our protagonist must learn to cope without a mother or knowledge of her culture. Her fa
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a twelve-year old Chinese girl, Casey, whose father has a major gambling problem. She ends up having to live with her grandmother, Paw-Paw, in Chinatown. The story tells about her adjustments to living there, adjustments made more difficult by the fact that she doesn't speak Chinese.

Her grandmother is a very nice person who tells Casey about a Chinese legend of an Owl that became a human. Matters become more complicated when she and her grandmother come home one day and find a
Jul 08, 2014 Tiffany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-fiction
In the beginning, it took me a little while to get into the story, a little bit of disgust at how Barney, Casey's father could be gambling his life away. In the beginning, Casey felt so discombobulated my heart just went out to her. When she started staying with Paw-Paw in Chinatown, I really felt a sigh of relief and genuinely happy for her as I felt her becoming more centered and connecting with Paw-Paw and her great love, strength and wisdom. In many ways, we all can see bits of ourselves in ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Angel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It addressed many of the feelings I have as a Chinese-American living in America. I too, like Casey, never knew that much about my grandparents history, and their lives in China. All I knew was that my grandfather left China to go to Stanford on scholarship and lived through college working three jobs: dish boy,paper boy, and trash man. I knew that my grandmother lived in China as a wealthy woman, but fled during the revolution and met my grandfather at Stanford; but enough ab ...more
Oct 28, 2007 Eric rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: eh read or w/e
i dont remember fully about this book. i finished it like LONG ago.

the main character has a gambling father and a dead mother. her father is in deep debt where ever he goes. so he decided to put his daughter with her uncle. however, she soon realize that she was too *outdated* for her uncle's family. she sets out to Chinatown to her maternal grandma. it is then she had to learn to cope with her new surroundings in Chinatown and learn back her traditions as being a Chinese.

i liked this book becau
Apr 10, 2013 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I rated it a 3 because I first read it when I was a kid, and it was a hard read. I took a long time after putting it down to finish reading it.

Other than the issue of reading it, I could empathize with the main character. She comes from a broken home with a gambling addict dad widow, didn't feel welcome staying at her rich Uncle's home, and found some sense of belonging at her grandma's place, both in terms of her culture and family.

I also relate to how she can't speak Chinese, ev
Alison Stegert
Aug 31, 2013 Alison Stegert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china, middle-grade
A touching coming of age story about a plucky12-year-old Chinese-American girl whose gambling-addicted father unloads her onto relatives while he sorts himself out. While living with her old-fashioned maternal grandmother, Casey gets in touch with her roots and begins to discover who she is. Most of the story unfolds in San Francisco's Chinatown, a place that feels foreign and backwards. Raised as an American girl, Casey doesn't speak Chinese or even use chopsticks, so she feels like an outsider ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Pashi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: Four and stars. A lovely and interesting book; Laurence Yep is a fantastic writer. His analogies and descriptions are delicate and sharp, vivid and realistic. It was interesting because the stirring emotions Casey feels are completely alien to me, as I've never experienced nor have read about someone experiencing culture shock by their culture they never had a chance to get to know. Once Casey begins to take on traits of the Owl Spirit and to learn from it's wisdom, and thus begi ...more
May 24, 2013 Mia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was intense. It consisted of a rich culture and well written story base. The Chinese culture is very interesting, and Lauren Yep was able to combine these morals and values of the Chinese with a twisted plot of a regular American life. (Well, not as regular.) The girl in this book, Casey, changes her way of thinking when her grandmother tells her a brilliant story about her ancestors. The theme of this book allows the reader to think about other lifestyles and think about the mixed cu ...more
Mike Ogilvie
I read this to my daughter. It was interesting to delve into a different place (Chinatown), experience (young girl being passed around by family living as a Chinese American), and time (mid 1960's) with her.

Some of the language was a little off or dated for her age. But nothing too bad.

Definitely more of a family-oriented story with a slice-of-life feel during a critical age for the protagonist.
Jan 23, 2015 Bekah rated it it was ok
It was an interesting story, but I found myself unable to really identify with Casey. Though not necessarily her, but her lifestyle and experiences. Sometimes it felt like she was living in the 80's or 90's but then something would happen to remind me that the story was in fact set two decades before I was born. I did really love how she came to find herself, how she embraced a side of herself that she had avoided or been unaware of.
Jun 12, 2008 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-doe-6-8
I really liked the character of Casey in this book. I thought the character was viewed through an interesting perspective. Casey is a Chinese American teenager who's father has taught her to only be "American." When she is separated from her father, she goes to live with her grandmother in Chinatown. Casey goes on a journey to find her Chinese past. This book is a wonderful story about growing up and finding roots in your own history.
May 25, 2008 Ben rated it liked it
The Child of the Owl, by Laurence Yep, is a book that almost anyone can relate to. Casey has no mother and her father, Barney, is traveling trying to find money to support the family. The twelve-year-old protagonist, Casey, ends up living with her grandmother in Chinatown. She is lost in Chinatown and is unable to speak her native language. Although Casey encounters many problems in her new home, she eventually discovers about the owl charm and that Chinatown is her home.
Nov 08, 2011 Reid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be rather mesmerizing when I was a kid - maybe the perfect balance of feeling forsaken and loved, lost and found, resentful and grateful, alone and understood, helpless and resourceful. There seemed to be something magical, about the owl amulet, and about the Chinese culture in general. But, it's definitely a children's book.
Mark Dewey
Apr 02, 2010 Mark Dewey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: juvenile, hardcopy
This was a great book. I don't remember too much of it since I was pretty young at the time, but I remember enough that I'd recommend it to anyone.

I'm surprised none of my friends have read this. I thought it was more well-known.
I've never read Laurence Yep and thought it was time. I came away impressed with his body of work and this thoughtful look at 1960's Chinatown as one story in a series about a family through different eras.
Dec 20, 2011 Tanja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in San Francisco's Chinatown, a young girl has to deal with some tough issues in her life while at the same time trying to figure out who she really is. I have definitely added Lawrence Yep to my list of favorite authors after reading several titles, including this one.
Karla Mata-soto
Sep 26, 2014 Karla Mata-soto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was amazing. It definitely is a lesson taught well. It's very touching, and very upsetting. In the end I loved it very much.
It was a while back when i read this book so i don't quite know how to word my review. But from what i can remember this was a great book....
Feb 20, 2012 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite book but it sometimes surprises me.
Looks BORING and the description is too. Is it as good as Anne of green gables. I DO NOT think so.
This book is kind of hard to understand. It's about this Chinese girl that all of a sudden had to move to China Town. She's so used to American life that she's having a hard time.
Arielle R
This is a good book to read on a cold day. Cozy and interesting, it sets the scene out in Chinatown, accurately depicting the senses there. Good Read!
May FLower
Jan 14, 2011 May FLower rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story about a girl who, after growing up with her drifter, gambling-addicted father, puts down roots in San Francisco Chinatown with her grandmother.
Jan 16, 2011 Ruhee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
sad and an okay book
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Born June 14, 1948 in San Francisco, California, Yep was the son of Thomas Gim Yep and Franche Lee Yep. Franche Lee, her family's youngest child, was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia where her family owned a Chinese laundry. Yep's father, Thomas, was born in China and came to America at the age of ten where he lived, not in Chinatown, but with an Irish friend in a white neighborhood. After ...more
More about Laurence Yep...

Other Books in the Series

Golden Mountain Chronicles (10 books)
  • The Serpent's Children (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #1)
  • Mountain Light (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #2)
  • Dragon's Gate (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #3)
  • The Traitor (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #4)
  • Dragonwings (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #5)
  • Dragon Road (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #6)
  • Sea Glass (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #8)
  • Thief of Hearts (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #9)
  • Dragons of Silk (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #10)

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