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The Jade Dragon

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  103 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A Chinese-American girl longs for friendship with a classmate adopted from China in this subtle, insightful middle-grade novel.

Ginny is sure the new girl in her second-grade class will be her best friend. After all, Stephanie is Chinese, just like Ginny. But Ginny soon discovers some puzzling things about Stephanie: she doesn't like Chinese food, she hates her straight bla
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by Candlewick Press (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ginny, an “American-born Chinese” girl struggles with respecting her mother's wishes for doing things the “Chinese Way” and being an average American girl who is accepted and liked by her classmates. Ginny’s mother and father were born in China and came to the United States when her father, who speaks many languages, was employed as an interpreter. Ginny is sheltered in her household and is not allowed to watch TV, has very few toys, eats only authentic Chinese cuisine and must study endlessly t ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Second-grader Ginny learns the hard way that you can't buy friends with things, and learns the meaning of real friendship. I especially liked the two main characters--Ginny (Xin Mei), a girl with traditional Chinese parents who was born in America and brought up with Chinese ways, and Stephanie, born in China but adopted by white American parents and brought up with American ways. Each yearns to be like the other, but in the end find a way to integrate both their cultures into one. An outstandin ...more
Jan 05, 2009 Susie rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
A former high school classmate of mine co-wrote this book, so my opinion might be biased, but I liked this story about a first generation Chinese-American girl growing up in the suburbs of DC. It’s true that I appreciated seeing details of my own childhood in the story, but I also thought it was very relatable to any child who’s ever felt out of place because he/she is different.
Joseph Warren
Nov 12, 2007 Joseph Warren rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grades 3 and up.
This was is a great multicultural title for children. Two 2nd grade girls, Ginny and Stephanie both have Chinese descent. Ginny is raised by her parents who try to influence as much of their heritage as possible. While Stephanie is adopted and is truly Americanized. This book was wrapped with a number of stories and items from the Chinese culture. I really enjoyed it.
Cara Marie
Sep 22, 2007 Cara Marie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 6-8 year old girls
This is the least kooky junior fiction I have read in a long time - thus there's less appeal to someone who's no longer the target audience. But it's a good little story for those who are, and the Issues aren't overstated.
Apr 28, 2007 Meredith rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Girls, 2nd-4th grade
A Chinese-American girl has a hard time finding friends until she meets Stephanie. Desperate for Stephanie's acceptance, she trades her most precious belonging--a jade dragon--for a toy of Stephanie's.
Apr 19, 2010 Jocelyn rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jocelyn by: Angela Ip
I read this in Year 6, and found it extremely good. Goes to show that just because someone is the same nationality doesn't always mean they will be your very best friend.
Barbara Ann
Jan 08, 2014 Barbara Ann rated it really liked it
This is the story of two second grade Chinese girls struggling to find their identity. Ginny was born in America and is being raised by Chinese parents who follow traditional customs and live out their Chinese culture. Stephanie, on the other hand, was born in China and has been adopted by white, Anglo-Saxon parents and does everything possible to avoid anything that associates her with being Chinese.

When Ginny arrives at school for the new year, she is delighted to find that this year there is
Apr 01, 2015 Madeleine rated it liked it
I don't know...this book is just too adorable. I am on a kick of rereading old children's books that I remembering LOVING and this was definitely one of them.
This novella is the story of Ginny, the American-born daughter of Chinese immigrants who befriends Stephanie, the adopted, Chinese-born daughter of white American parents. It's reminiscent of a lot of the books and stories I like now: Digging to America, "Fish Cheeks" by Amy Tan, really anything by Amy Tan... I love learning about Chinese
Apr 24, 2012 Julie rated it did not like it
There are some great ideas discussed in this book: Chinese American girls who wish they were Caucasian and adopted Chinese American girls who wish they were Caucasian like their adopted parents. But the book is filled with stereotypes - the Chinese Tiger Mother and the over indulgent adoptive mother. And some of the language is dated and hurtful, particularly the use of "real" pertaining to parents.

"Your friend may have all those things, Ah Mei, but you have your real Chinese parents."

Aug 10, 2008 Kristy rated it it was ok
This felt very much like Peiling and the Chicken Fried Christmas. Ah Mei or Ginny is a first generation American. When she steps through the door of her house, the life she experiences is very Chinese, including the way her family celebrate holidays. Ah Mei's desire to be accepted by a Chinese girl in her class, adopted by and raised by white parents, results in some bad choices on her part. The themes and experiences are all too common and make me reluctant to pick up another story about a Chin ...more
Mar 09, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it
We read this as an investigation into immigration. The main character, Ginny, is the child of immigrants who is set on becoming best friends with a girl who moves in that looks just like her. The look into the life of the next generation after immigration and the challenges they face was interesting. What makes someone American? What makes someone Chinese? What is true friendship. Lost of interesting discussions to be had.
May 23, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fic
This is a good book about friendship, differences of cultures, and a little bit of adoption. The Jade Dragon is about a second grader named Virginia, who is Chinese both culturally and hereditary, and a new girl at school named Stephanie, who is Chinese heritage, but is adopted by Americans. It was interesting to see the weaving of the book.
Sep 28, 2008 Hadley rated it it was ok
This book isn't the sort of thing i read normally. It is about a young girl who struggles with the prospect of wanting to be more like her new friend, who is an adopted chinese girl with american parents, and is more adapted to the culture. And still wanting to be like her parents, her mother ( who has lived in China almost her whole life) is against her new friendship at first.

Apr 10, 2016 Annie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
The jade dragon was amazing!
It talks about trying to be friends isn't giving toys they like. Especially when it's a special jade.
But Ginny didn't think about that. She only thought about making friends with the new girl in her class. She looked like a chinese girl, but her parents were American, so Ginny was really confused.
May 28, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it
The concept of culture in The Jade Dragon was surprisingly sophisticated, considering its main character is so young. It was a little off-putting to see so much negativity surrounding the idea of adoptive parents, even if it was unintentional.

A short, uplifting read.
Estelle Acosta
Feb 20, 2014 Estelle Acosta rated it it was amazing
This is the best book ever. its a very cute book to read for girls.
Oct 28, 2012 Sarah rated it did not like it
My kids didn't like this book. I didn't really care for it either. It gave a small lesson on being who you are in a friendship. Too much negative language.
Jazz rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2015
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2009
Joy Prior
Joy Prior rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2014
Tiger rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2013
Lessthan3 rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2012
Alison rated it liked it
May 20, 2015
Emily Breeden
Emily Breeden rated it did not like it
Jun 18, 2013
Sherry rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2013
Julia Tielman
Julia Tielman rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2016
Sally rated it it was ok
Jun 25, 2011
Anna Bowman
Anna Bowman rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2011
Yucun rated it liked it
Feb 16, 2015
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