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Only One Year

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  119 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Sharon can hardly believe the news. Di Di, her two-year-old brother, is being taken to China to spend a year with their grandparents. Why can’t he go to day care or be watched by a babysitter when Mama goes back to work? Sharon wonders. But her parents say it is better for relatives to take care of little children.

After Di Di first leaves, Sharon and her younger sister, Ma
Hardcover, 97 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Lee & Low Books
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Feb 13, 2010 Paula rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win this book on goodreads firstreads. It was an enlightening book for me on the Chinese custom of sending a young child to his grandparents for a year. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of the lives of the 3 children, I loved the building of the dollhouse and how creative they were. I also thought the illustrations were delightful. I am glad I won this book!!
Mar 11, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it
Sharon who is going into 4th graed and Mary who is going into 1st aren't too keen on the idea of sending their two year old brother Di Di (David) to China for a whole year to stay with their grandparents. There are many relatives to share taking care of him there, but a year seems like a long time--it's ALL of fourth grade!

Sharon is embarassed by Di Di's absence and she hides it from her school friends. When it comes up she feels weird about it. Both girls miss their little brother...maybe they
CH13_ Helen Budeyskaya
Feb 21, 2013 CH13_ Helen Budeyskaya rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book. I have heard before that children from Asia do get sent back to their native countries to spend time with their families for periods of time and then come back to their parents. In this story, Di Di the two-year old child gets sent to China to stay with her grandparents. The parents do not want to put Di Di in a day care center, their culture does not believe in anyone else helping to raise their child except a family member. Although this is foreign to the othe ...more
May 16, 2010 April rated it liked it
Title: Only One Year
Author: Andrea Cheng
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Synopsis: Sharon and Mary's two year old brother, Di Di, goes to China to live for a year as per family tradition. The book centers around this event and what happens when Di Di comes back. Ultimately, this is a celebration of family values.

My Thoughts: I thought this was a really cute read! Di Di is adorable. I think little kids will enjoy this book and learning about why some cultures send very young children abroad for a ye
Sam Grace
Feb 17, 2010 Sam Grace rated it really liked it
The story is less a STORY than a child narrated series of events. You watch her come to terms with saying goodbye to her brother. Sort of forget him. Get angry when he returns. Reconcile. It is all 100% believable, which makes sense as this stuff does actually happen all the time.

This is one that I'll be glad to give my kids when they are first starting to read REAL books (and I also like the illustrations, though I don't think they're terribly special). Different from the normal genre I like, b
Sharon's parents are sending her two-year-old brother Di Di to live in China for a year with the grandparents. They believe Di Di will get the best attention and care from family rather than a childcare while Sharon's mother takes on a new job. Sharon and her sister Mary miss their baby brother, but eventually assorted activities and the seasons keep them occupied until his return. There is then a rough adjustment period for all concerned before Di Di and the rest of the family coalesce as a uni ...more
Mar 24, 2010 Marlene rated it really liked it
Good little story for the younger child. Will keep it for my grandson to read when ready.
May 31, 2010 Melissa rated it it was ok
This book deals with a Chinese family who decides to send their young child back to China to be raised by relative, as the mother and father have to work full time. This family has two more children (a 4th and 1st grader) who stays home with them and are checked in by a neighbor after school until the parents come home.

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. While I do understand different cultures have different ways of doing things, to have an American child read this book can be a little sc
Emmeline Guest
As far as I know, there are not many juvenile (or adult) fiction books written about the practice of sending young children off to stay for a long period of time with extended family -- so this title would make a good staple addition to any collection. It would also work very well in a classroom -- especially during a unit on family or multiculturalism.

I read the author's note after I read the book (which discusses Cheng's hope that Only One Year will help young readers understand the role diff
The title refers to the fact that the family in the book is planning to send their 2-year-old boy Di Di back to China to live with relatives for "Only One Year." It looks at the effects this separation has on the family as a whole, both when Di Di leaves and when he returns, but the story really revolves around Di Di's sisters Sharon and Mary. I found this book interesting because I actually knew a family who did this - sent their baby boy back to China to live with relatives for a year. I didn' ...more
Nov 20, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Sharon and Mary's little brother Di Di goes to spend a year with their grandparents in China. Even though the girls really miss him, life continues in their small household.

This was a nice change of pace. Simple, short chapters offer a compelling glimpse into a small immigrant family and the cultures of both their worlds. It was interesting to find out that some immigrant families send their small children back to their home country for a year or two.

I like how the story has both bigger themes,
Sep 04, 2011 Renee rated it did not like it
Summary: Nine-year-old Sharon has conflicted feelings towards her copycat little sister and rambunctious toddler brother, who is sent to China for a year to live with relatives.

Chapter book for young readers.

The book was a little didactic. It seems like the only reason the author wrote the story was to teach other people that in some Asian cultures, families send a child back to their homeland to be taken care of by older relatives while the family works. They would rather the young child be ta
Elissa Schaeffer
Jan 10, 2014 Elissa Schaeffer rated it it was ok
This was a simple, sweet book on an unusual topic where a family sent their youngest to stay in China with grandparents for "only one year" rather than send him to daycare. I had never heard of this practice but, as the author explained, some cultures do this for a variety of reasons. The text was sparse and the year seems to go by quickly, but it's also about reintegrating DiDi back into the family, as told through the eyes of the eldest daughter.

Undoubtedly will have limited appeal due to the
Sep 28, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: want, 2013, coolkids
This is such a sweetly written, short and simple, introduction to a practice that is completely foreign in this country-- plus it's written by a local author whom I have seen at my library! *starstruck*

If there's one thing I would have changed, though, it'd be the placement of the author's note to the beginning rather than the end of the book. It wasn't a huge stretch for me to accept the circumstances of this story since I've grown up in the same culture, but I think the general American reacti
A sweet shorter juvenile novel about a Chinese-American family that makes the decision to send their young son back to China to live with the grandparents for a year when the mom returns to work. Their school age daughters are at first shocked at this decision, but the parents explain they want Di Di to be cared for by people who love him, his larger extended family. there is a note in the back explaining that this situation is not that uncommon for immigrant families who are working hard to get ...more
Sandra Stiles
In this story Sharon and Mary learn their parents are going to send their baby brother to China to live with his grandparents for one year. In this way he will be immersed in the Chinese culture. This decision creates many different feelings in not only the children but also in the adults. As I read this from a mother's perspective, I kept wondering how these parents could make that decision. I understand wanting them to be immersed in their culture but it would be so difficult. I did enjoy the ...more
Elaine Bearden
Dec 29, 2010 Elaine Bearden rated it really liked it
gr 2-4
A really interesting story about a family who sends their 2 year old son to China to live for a year, instead of sending him to day care. Told from the perspective of the two older sisters. That is only half of the book, because the brother returns, and that is another part of the story. The line drawings are just right to help with comprehension, and the white space on the page creates a feeling of comfort with the text. An unusual, appealing story for beginning chapter book readers. I ha
Mar 30, 2014 Amelia rated it liked it
Shelves: march-madness
Only One Year was okay. I read it just as a break from my longer, more serious books. I liked the characters, but the setting could have been more detailed. The plot was realistic but very predictable. I think that Only One Year is for younger kids, unless older children feel like taking a rest.
Jan 14, 2016 Tara rated it really liked it
A great novel for kids to learn about Chinese culture and traditions from a Chinese-American perspective. The sisters' love for their brother DiDi is palpable.
Sep 11, 2011 Tanja rated it really liked it
A heart-warming story of a family of Chinese immigrants to the United States who decide to send their youngest son for a year to China to live with his grandparents. The departure, the absence as well as the return present the family with challenges which they approach with much care and compassion. I had never read a book on this topic before and therefore appreciate having discovered it. In my personal experience, it is not an unusual phenomena among parents working abroad to have their childr ...more
Jul 14, 2010 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diversity, 2010
I have known families like this, who send their young children "home" to India or China for a year or two rather than putting them into daycare. It is telling that this book was published to begin with, and the story is told in an honest way, including the mixed feelings of all of the family members about sending the little brother to their extended family and about the adjustments for all of them on his return.

A great resource for families planning or experiencing this, and particularly for ot
This is a quiet, understated book with a lot of heart. The simplicity of its prose makes it appropriate for younger readers who are just getting into full-fledged chapter books. Older readers will appreciate the complex emotions conveyed in just a few words.
Aug 21, 2010 Ofilia rated it it was ok
I like the idea of this book and the story it sets out to tell. I think the message is important and I especially appreciated the author’s note at the end. However, I felt like everything about the characters was superficial and two dimensional so I never had a connection with them. They were never felt fully developed for me and the entire point of the book is to portray the situation. I think the whole thing could have been much stronger with a stronger protagonist that made you really feel li ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Lessa rated it really liked it
An important, untold story that happens more than you might think. The story is told simply and the emotions of Sharon and Mary as they cope with Di Di's stay in China is well conveyed by Cheng. This book would be appropriate for third/fourth grade and up.
Nov 23, 2010 Deb rated it liked it
Interesting facet of current immigrant life. Length for younger reader but topic and characters could have benefited from more depth longer work would have allowed. Or rather, the conflicts get resolved way too easily. I would like to understand more of what the mother does the first two years of kid's life, and given the allusion to the other children making their year journey to China, does this mean the mother has a stop and start work life over and again?
Jan 23, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Great chapter book for kids. Love her writing style.
A slight but comfortable story about a Chinese-American family that sends their youngest child to China for a year to be cared for by Chinese relatives. The author's note at the back of the book explains that this practice is not uncommon, particularly for families with relatives living in Asia and Africa. She goes on to explain the reasons families have for making this often difficult decision.
Jun 10, 2010 Jane added it
I enjoyed this book, especially the inter-sibling relationships and the way the sisters use creative play to cope with time alone together. Even taking into account that it is designed for younger chapter book readers, the book felt a bit spare, however, for the amount of time it covered. I wanted to know the narrator better -- her siblings felt more vivid to me than she did.
Kristen Jorgensen
Jan 10, 2011 Kristen Jorgensen rated it really liked it
Charming story about a Japanese family that has to adjust first to losing a little brother after he goes to live with his grandparents for a year, and then when he gets home again.

Here in student housing many young couples have their children living far away in their home countries. It's actually quiet common and it was interesting to read about.
Jun 28, 2010 Tracie rated it liked it
Shelves: elem
I really liked this story about two sisters who little brother is sent to China to be cared for by relatives for a year. The story gently chronicles this time and DiDi's return to his family at the end of the year. The end of the story talks about cultural differences and why some families may chose to send a child to be cared for by relatives.
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Andrea Cheng is a Hungarian-American children's author and illustrator. The child of Hungarian immigrants, she was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio in an extended family with three generations under one roof. Her family spoke Hungarian and English at home. After graduating with a BA in English from Cornell University, she went to Switzerland, where she apprenticed to a bookbinder, attended a school of b ...more
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