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Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story
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Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Born in 1905, Anna May Wong spent her childhood working in her family's laundry in Los Angeles s Chinatown. Whenever she could afford it, Anna May slipped off to the movies, escaping to a world of adventure, glamour, and excitement. After seeing a movie being filmed in her neighborhood, young Anna May was hooked. She decided she would become a movie star!

Anna May struggled
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Lee & Low Books (first published May 30th 2009)
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SmokingMirror
Anna May Wong was a notable actress and great film presence in her own right, and not simply as an example of a token Asian woman who suffered bigotry in the Hollywood of her time. She was memorable in every role she took. To reduce her life to a shallow retelling of a victimhood narrative is wrong-headed and misleading.

The illustrations seem to have their origin in photos, but in one astonishing picture, Lon Chaney is depicted receiving a makeup job from, I guess, a studio employee. Lon Chaney
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Araceli
Text to Text: When reading this I was reminded of Amy Tan novels, both explore the struggles of being an Asian american women. Of course the struggles are slightly different in Any Tan's novels as they are meant to adults but the determination to made it in the world as an Asian woman is the same.

Text to self: The thing I connected to in this text was the discrimination, as a minority I have faced some discrimination in my passed, nothing close to what Anna May Wong faced in her life but I do u
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Allie Tinnes
Text-to-self: In this book Anna May Wong was grew up poor working in her families laundry facility. When she snuck off to the movies she was inspired to become a movie star. This reminds me of a friend in my life names Tyler. He is not poor but an average middle class guy with an exceptional singing voice. He tried out for American Idol when then came to Omaha, and has made it all the way to Hollywood. Anna May Wong faced discrimination as being the first Chinese American movie star. My friend T ...more
Aknipfel
The book “Shining Star the Anna May Wong Story” by Paula Yoo and Lin Wang is a 2010 Elementary winner for the Carter G Woodson Award. Anna May Wong was a young girl living in Chinatown Los Angeles during the early 1900’s. She worked in her family’s laundry service. Her dream was to be a movie star. This dream did not go a long with her father’s dream for her. Eventually she became a star, but the roles she played were degrading to her culture. I would use this book to teach about the early Chine ...more
Tiffanie-ann Bucheit
This book is about Anna May Wong, an actress who grew up in the early 1900’s. Wong is a Chinese American who dreams of becoming an actress. Her father doesn’t support her at first because in actresses were looked down upon in traditional Chinese societies. The book follows Wong’s rollercoaster of a journey to becoming an international superstar. It gives the full account of how Wong changed the way Asian American’s were seen in Hollywood films.

Text to Text: While reading this book I thought a l
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Amanda
Audience: Elementary age students. Girls may relate better to this story about a strong female. Anyone fascinated by Hollywood or films may enjoy this story.

Appeal: The story starts off with Anna May Wong as a young girl, just dreaming of being an actress. She ends up achieving her dream against all odds, making this a very inspiring story. The end of the story contains a short bio on her as well as real pictures.

Carter G. Woodson Book list
Anne Broyles
A young Chinese-American girl dreams of being an actress at a time when neither her family nor the movie industry take her seriously. Yet Anna May Wong makes her dreams come true, if not as the big star she had hoped to be, at least enough to support her family. Young readers may be surprised to learn how deeply the prejudice ran against Asian Americans. Examples: she often had to play an anti-Asian stereotype character, and other times, because a white actor (in "yellowface" makeup) could not k ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Paula Yoo! How well I remember her previous book, Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds. What a fantastic story.

So I could not wait to read this one, another biography of an Asian American. This time Woo tells the story of Anna May Wong, an actress in Hollywood in the 1930's through the 1950's. Wong did not like the stereotypical roles of an Asian American woman she often had to play, but it was not until near the end of her career that she decided to stop playing those roles.

The story of Wong is wel
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Brian Herrera
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole
Audience- Kindergarten-3rd grade students, Chinese students, students with ethic backgrounds, students interested in movies or becoming actors/actresses, classroom teachers, and librarians

Appeal- This book documents the life of Anna May Wong, a Chinese actress. Anna May is depicted as a very determined person who would do anything to reach her goal. This demeanor is a great message for young students. Anna May was also held back many times from accomplishing her goal because of her race. This do
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Crystal
I really appreciate learning about people who have done amazing things. I am so happy to find biographies that shed light on people that I may otherwise have missed. Anna May was a persistent person and she was also a trailblazer. In her time, and unfortunately sometimes still today, Asian characters were usually played by non-Asians. She had to compromise early in career and take parts she didn't necessarily like, but later she stood her ground and only took positive roles. She fought for chang ...more
J
What a delightful surprise to stumble upon in our children's department! As a silent film fan, I couldn't help but be intrigued when I saw a picture-book biography of Anna May Wong. The illustrations throughout the book are every bit as beautiful as the one on the cover, and the text is clear and simple without sacrificing honesty. The author discusses hard topics such as racism in the film industry (including "yellowface") without flinching or softening the truth. Despite being a grown-up film ...more
Emmy Lou
This makes me want to watch her movies.
Jordan Koch
Audience: High primary to low intermediate readers

Appeal: This book would appeal to female students because the book depicts a powerful Chinese woman. Also, it would be perfect for children who dream to act in Hollywood.

Application: This book would be perfect to show negative depictions of cultures. It could be a history lesson. Also, you could explain the lifestyle of the Chinese people and compare this with the stereotypes.

Award: 2010 Elementary Winner of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award
Sarah Hurdelbrink
This picture book details the life of Anna May Wong as she follows her dream to become an actress and move her family out of the bad circumstances in which she grows up. She becomes the first famous Asian-American actress and redefines what is possible when you work hard and follow your dreams. It is an excellent novel for discussing race and class issues in the 1930s and 1940s in the United States, specifically for Asian-Americans living in California.
Mrs. Knott
Great read about the Chinese-American film star, Anna May Wong. She fought hard to be portrayed in a positive light during a time when Americans were not always showing Chinese in the best manner.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Just discovered this book and it is amazing. The story alone is wonderful. It tells about a young Chinese American girl who grows up and becomes an actress in the 1920's and all the discrimination and inequality that she faced and what she learned from it. The illustrations are also incredible. Though it is a picture book, I would recommend it more for 2nd to 4th grade.
Matthew
I'd never heard of Anna May Wong before this, and now I'm really glad I read this. It's a really well done biography. It brings up a couple of issues that are truly swept under the rug in most discussions of racism. Beautiful illustrations really bring this whole book to life. The thing is great, well worth the read.
Sasha
I think that girls in 2nd to 4th grade would be most interested in this book. The watercolor illustrations and the prose that it is written in draw and catch attention. It won the Carter G. Woodson award in 2010. This book is a great example of how someone broke the mold and broke a stereotype.
Mandy
I knew nothing about Anna May Wong before reading this book, and I found it to be very informative. The illustrations fit with the text very nicely, and I appreciated the additional information at the end of the book. Good book, just not a standout among children's nonfiction this year.
Pam
This is a book I won in a drawing on Goodreads. It's a picture book biography about the first Chinese American movie star. I thought it was a wonderful story with beautiful illustrations. Also an eye-opener for me about a part of American history I know very little about.
Katherine
Audience: 2nd Grade and up, Chinese Movie Heritage Enthusiasts.

Appeal: Drawings are very realistic and beautiful, gives you insight into the hardships Chinese Americans face.

Award: Carter G. Woodson Book Award 2010- Elementary Winner
Mark
Grateful for the information in the back of the book for movies to see. Illustrations were an added bonus, a nice job by all
EL
Very informative. Excellent illustrations. Readable. Very well-written for young readers.
Daisy
An interesting biography of an actress defined and confined by her ethnicity.
Shin Yu
Not as good as Yoo's "Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds."
Annie Garvey
Annie Garvey marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
Nathan
Nathan marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2014
Jennifer
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Nov 03, 2014
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From http://www.paulayoo.com/bio
Paula Yoo is an acclaimed children’s book author and novelist, TV drama screenwriter, and musician. Paula’s TV writing credits include NBC’s The West Wing, FOX’s Tru Calling, The N (Paramount/MTV cable network)’s Beyond the Break, The CW’s Hidden Palms, and LIFETIME’s Side Order of Life.

She graduated with a B.A. cum laude in English from Yale University, an M.S. in
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