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Angel Child, Dragon Child

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  176 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Ut, an immigrant child from Vietnam, tries to adjust to a new life in America.

ALA Booklist Editors' Choice,
CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies,
Reading Rainbow Selection
Paperback, 40 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 380)
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Peyton Jay
Nov 18, 2014 Peyton Jay rated it liked it
This was a book that showed the life of a girl that moves to America from Japan to hopefully establish herself a life of freedom. She goes through many obstacles throughout the book, but always manages to find her way. This is a great book because of the amazing watercolor illustrations, and the set up of the book. This book really shows the mystics that come with different cultures across the globe, and its a great representation of it. I would definitely recommend this book to read to young ch ...more
Jan 30, 2011 Julia rated it really liked it
Shelves: asian-american
Ut comes to the United States from Vietnam along with her father and siblings. Ut misses her mother who has had to stay behind in Vietnam because there is not enough money to bring everyone to America. Ut must deal with the cruel children in her school who make fun of her wardrobe and the way she speaks. One boy in particular, Raymond, is being exceptionally cruel. It isn't until Raymond is told to write Ut's story that a friendship begins. It is Raymond who thinks of a perfect way to get Ut's m ...more
Cameron Devaughn
Dec 06, 2014 Cameron Devaughn rated it really liked it
Angel child, dragon child is a realistic story about Ut a Vietnamese child. She is trying to adjust to her new life in the USA. Ut is having trouble with some children at school because she is not like everyone else. Ut has trouble with children at school because its difficulty for her to speak English and her clothes are different. After fighting with a boy, she is forced to sit in a room and talk to the boy. This story should be read and used in classrooms across the U.S. to educate and promot ...more
Cindy Sa
Sep 24, 2014 Cindy Sa rated it really liked it
Hoa is a little girl from Vietnam. She came America with her family members without her mother by boat. When the first time, America students saw she and her sister, they commented her cloths "Pajams!". In the class, Hoa became a angry dragon, when she listened about the comments. But when she saw the picture about her mother, she clam down. Her mother cannot come to America, because there is no more money for her mother to come America by boat. In a snow day, Hoa made a friend with an American ...more
What a beautiful book! The tender illustrations and the heart-warming story make this deserving of a permanent place on any collection of outstanding children's books.

Scholastic provides a discussion guide and a extension activity suggestions.
Oct 11, 2015 Iqrah rated it really liked it
"Angel Child, Dragon Child" is a wonderful story of a young Vietnamese girl, Ut, who moves to the states with her father and siblings. Sadly, her mother could not come because of expenses. In this story, Ut finds difficulty gaining acceptance, and is constantly made fun of by a boy, Raymond. One day, Raymond is made to write about Ut's story and when he learns about Ut's family's circumstances, he proposes the idea of a fair to raise money to help bring Ut's mother to America. The bullying/teasi ...more

This book tells about the little girl who moves to America from Vietnam with her father and sibling. This story show the mystics that come with the different culture across the global. Although she trying to adjust her new life in a new world, but she still having trouble with the others in school because she not likes everyone else in speaking language and her clothes. This story also shows how hard with a new student who not fluently in speaking a new language and understand about the new lif
Olivia Lavelle
Jan 17, 2012 Olivia Lavelle rated it really liked it
Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Marie Surat was a touching book. I was allowed to learn something about the Vietnamese culture. This book is at an advantage with most books, because the reader doesn't usually learn about someone's culture. Books usually just tell a story, and with this book Michele Marie Surat demonstrated both the story and a culture. It was about a Vietnamese girl "Ut" who is attending school in the United States while leaving her mother behind in Vietnam. Along the way U ...more
Jan 08, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
Ut is from Vietnam. She came to America with her father and sister, and they are all waiting until they can afford to bring her mother from Vietnam to join them. At school Ut is teased because of her English and clothes. There is one boy in particular who is merciless. One day Ut's teacher makes Ut and the bully sit together and write about each other's history. When the boy learns about Ut's family, he decides to rally the school to raise money to bring Ut's mother to America. In the end, Ut's ...more
Woman In Gold
Jul 14, 2015 Woman In Gold rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4-kids
I received this scholastic book in elementary school at a book fair. I still have it over 20 years later.

This is a great short story about a young girl and her family coming to America and fitting in at school. The illustrations are simply stunning.

Even as I write this review I am seeing the words on the page and the little matchbox drawing of Ut's mother. I can't wait to read it to my own children and grandchildren.
Sep 02, 2015 AMOP rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book for children. I've just read it to my 3-yr old, and while she isn't at the age yet to grasp all that is presented in the book, the main character's struggles clearly evoked emotions and empathetic comments while we read.
Jul 14, 2012 Silvermoss rated it it was amazing
I remember the day in third grade when my teacher told my classmates and I that we'll be reading this new story. It was out of the text book like most in school readings used to be. It wasn't until my eighth grade year that I recalled this book and re-read it. It held even more meaning to me at that time, because I was old enough to understand and interpret the story better. I don't know why I suddenly remember this story today, but I'm glad I did! Even though it's a grade-school illustrated boo ...more
A fictional tale written by a teacher of Vietnamese immigrants to America about their experience and the eventually positive outcome of a bullying situation through the use of 'peer mediation'/restorative practices.
This is a multicultural book that focuses on a family from Vietnam. It tells a story of how hard it is to be the new student and not understand a language. It tells how cruel kids can be when they don't understand someone else or their culture. The book was sweet, because the kids were able to connect and the school made enough money to try to get her mother to come to the U.S. The afterword also gave some culture and information about Vietnam. This book is good to use with elementary and middle ...more
Elizabeth Littleton
Apr 14, 2013 Elizabeth Littleton rated it really liked it
Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Maria Surat is about a little girl, Ut, who moves from Vietnam but her mother had to stay behind because they didn't have money for her to come to the United States too. It tells of how the other students make fun of her and her experiences adapting to her new home, going to school and making a friend. This book would be a great addition to a lesson about different cultures and allowing students to gain insight into what it would be like to move to an unfamil ...more
May 26, 2008 Maria rated it it was ok
This story is reminiscent of In the Year of The Boar and Jackie Robinson but through a Vietnamese lens, geared toward younger children, and with less humor. The picture are pretty colored pencil sketches that often fade into plain pencil as if the object or person was not quite remembered. The Vietnamese words and names are written phonetically at the bottom of the pages for ease in reading. Unfortunately the story is a little on the patronizing side. The best part of the writing is the title wh ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Catherine rated it it was amazing
This is an incredibly beautiful book.

See full review on my blog.

Jun 16, 2013 Heila rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Sometimes children's books really get to the heart of things in a way that more words in "adult" literature can't or doesn't - plus they can be beautifully illustrated, and when the words and text blend it's powerful. This one is amazing in its portrayal of a young Vietnamese girl immigrating to the U.S. without her mother (so that all the children could afford tickets). She doesn't have a happy experience at first, being teased at her school for wearing "pajamas." The ending, crisis, and charac ...more
Maria E
Angel child , Dragon child is a great multicultural book. It could be use for social and emotional develop on young children. It promotes kindness and empathy while described struggles that Ut has to go through in the process of adaptation to a new culture. Children can identify with the situation and empathize with other children as the message of the book exposed. The illustrations are very attractive with the touch of Asian culture. The text is a little long , so it will be more interesting f ...more
Mary Sesar
This book is about a girl who has to move to the United States and has to learn to adapt to the new surrounding. Her mom is still back where they came from and the students and teacher help raise money so that the mother can join her children again.
I would read this book to students because it can teach they that just because someone looks different, it doesn't mean they are different than you. It also teaches kindness and an idea of what children can do to help others.
Jul 10, 2008 Anastasia rated it it was ok
The art of Angel Child, Dragon Child is delicate colored pencil work that outdoes the somewhat clunky narrative of a Vietnamese girl trying to fit in at her new American school. The characters lack depth even for a children's picture book and in a story about stereotypes some of the characters fall into that trap themselves. Michele Maria Surat deserves credit for her almost childish quality of illustrations.
Sep 12, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an enlightening tale about a young girl's experiences adapting to life in America; her fear and frustration about learning English and trying to connect with her classmates is palpable.

I liked that the Principal attempts to get a one-on-one connection between Ut and a classmate in order to find some common ground and empathy. The illustrations are colorful and complement the story nicely.
Rabindra Kumar
Jan 23, 2014 Rabindra Kumar rated it it was amazing
it is exellent and intresting
Apr 27, 2011 Katy rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Perfet example to educators of how students' education can easily be affected by things outside of their classroom environment, and teachers must be wary of it. Introduces an interesting story based on a true event.
-being different
-problem solving/"making it right"
-differences in schools of different places and times
-how to treat others
A wonderful story about the challenges children from other countries may have when they move to America, or any new country or place. It makes you realize that just because someone is different than you, does not mean that it is acceptable to tease them. Sometimes, someone who may have nothing in common with you, can turn out to be an unforgettable close friend in the end.
Aug 31, 2008 Connie rated it really liked it
This is probably better suited for the older end of the 4-8 range. It's a bit wordy, and my nieces didn't get into it at all. I'll shelve it until they're older.

The ending of this story is slightly contrived. In my experience, bullies don't miraculously become your best friend, no matter how many cookies you offer them. And they don't help your mom come to you either.
Mar 14, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
A good book to talk about differences in school, but a little too idealistic and too much of a predictable happy ending for my taste. Younger kids might like it, but 5th graders would see right through it and groan at the end like I did. I did enjoy the illustrations that were drawn in a way reminiscent of Asian artwork and stuck with the theme of the story.
Apr 14, 2008 Adam rated it it was amazing
We love this book. Once Katherine said that she was much too shy to say goodbye to her teacher (I think she was just joking). So, I told her to look for the dragon child inside herself. She asked, "which one." I didn't know she had so many dragons inside her so I told her the biggest one. "Oh, that's the red one," she said. "The white one is the tiniest one."
Jessica Gin
Aug 01, 2012 Jessica Gin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text-set
This is a story about a Vietnamese girl named Ut, who moves to the US with her father and siblings, while her mother is left in Vietnam. She is faced with teasing and bullying from her classmates because she is different. This story highlights the immigrant experience and challenges of moving to a new country.
Jan 25, 2012 Kayce rated it really liked it
Classic book, a child who moves to the US with her family but without her mother. She struggles to adjust to the language and students. She has to make friends with a boy bullying her and in the process comes to make a few friends and hatch a plan to get her mother to join them in the US.
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