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Flying the Dragon

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  924 ratings  ·  156 reviews
American-born Skye knows very little of her Japanese heritage. Her father taught her to speak the language, but when their estranged Japanese family, including Skye's grandfather, suddenly move to the United States, Skye must be prepared to give up her All-Star soccer dreams to take Japanese lessons and to help her cousin, Hiroshi adapt to a new school. Hiroshi, likewise, ...more
Hardcover, 233 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Charlesbridge (first published January 1st 2012)
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3.99  · 
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 ·  924 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
The story definitely reads, to me, like an earnestly educational debut. So much is missing, especially, as Jane from Children's Books say, plausible character development. Too much character behavior is forced for the sake of plot. But at the same time the book did manage to charm me; I especially enjoyed learning about little details of Japanese culture, the ESL experience, etc. I read it in one night and I thank you for encouraging me to pick it up.

I do advise everyone to find a video of rokka
Peter Salomon
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book reading through tears, completely blown-away by the sweet, sweet, bittersweet ending. Gloriously, beautifully written, with vibrant, human characters. Real characters, kids you'd want to know. Just wonderful.

There's a moment in the book where my heart just ached for Hiroshi and Skye and their triumph in the face of adversity is a wonder to be a part of.

All that and action-packed kite fighting scenes!

Simply glorious.
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Every time the characters in this book had a meal, I got hungry for Japanese food--to the point where I actually ran down to the Asian grocery store for ingredients and made myself some yakisoba. =)

More seriously, this was a lovely, sweet read about the challenges of trying to live between two cultures. The two main characters, Japanese Hiroshi and his American cousin Skye, were so easy to connect to; you could really feel their frustration as they tried to learn each others' languages and as Hi
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Skye and Hiroshi Tsuki are cousins but they've never meet. Skye lives in the United States with her parents and loves to play soccer. Hiroshi lives in Japan with his parents and grandfather, and loves flying kites. After Skye's father married,he moved to the States, and has never been back to Japan. Skye is finally going to meet her grandfather because he's moving to Virginia to for medical treatment. Hiroshi and his parents are moving as well.

The chapters alternate between the two cousins. The
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story is chock-full of endearing characters. It's a funny and moving portrayal of what happens when one family, of two cultures, comes together. My heart went out to Hiroshi, who deals with feelings of alienation and confusion when his family moves from Japan to the American suburbs in the middle of the school year. His relationship with his American cousin, Skye, rings true with misunderstandings and rivalry. Told from both Skye's and Hiroshi's points of view, I cheered on both kids as the ...more
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book level: 4.1
Lexile: 610
Fountas and Pinnell: U

Book summary: A Japanese girl who lived most of her life in the U.S. (Skye) learns that her cousin Hiroshi and his family are moving to Virginia from Japan. Their cultural differences make for a rocky start to their relationship, can flying a dragon kite bring them together?

Genre: Multicultural. This book accurately portrays customs of the Japanese culture and the sorts of cultural conflicts that might happen between someone raised in the American
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really liked this one! I love books about immigrants from Asia, especially Japan, as the whole culture fascinates me. This book had an interesting twist, showing the similarities and differences of two cousins who are brought together after living across the world from each other for their whole lives.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
THREE WORDS: Moving, Smart, Thought-Provoking

MY REVIEW: Natalie Dias Lorenzi’s Flying the Dragon was such an unexpected treat. This middle grade novel captivated me from beginning to end and touched me deeply.

Different worlds collide when two cousins from different countries learn to work together and just maybe learn from one another. American born and raised Skye knows very little of her Japanese heritage and Japanese born and raised Hiroshi knows very little about American culture. But when H
Melanie Dulaney
This Texas Bluebonnet nominee will appeal to girls with its strong female character trying to please her family and make her soccer goals come true. Boys will be intrigued by the sport of kite-flying and will cheer for Hiroshi as he seeks to find a way to adjust to America and still honor his Japanese heritage. Author Natalie Lorenzi tells this story from the perspectives of both characters which gives the reader greater insight into both. Loved it and know that my students will, too! Recommende ...more
Jen Petro-Roy
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, middle-grade
Skye has never met her grandfather. She's never met her aunt, uncle, and cousin Hiroshi either. But when her grandfather gets sick, all four of her relatives move to Skye's town from Japan for Grandfather's course of treatment. While Hiroshi and his family don't live with Skye, he still intrudes into her life far more than she would like. She's forced to be his translator in school, which causes some of the other kids to make fun of her; her father is suddenly embracing his Japanese heritage, th ...more
Fifth grader cousins Skye (born Sorano) and Hiroshi Tsuki have never met until now since Skye lives with her Japanese father and American mother in Virginia, and Hiroshi lives with his family in Japan. When Hiroshi's familiy moves to the United States so his grandfather can undergo treatment for cancer, the youngsters have nothing in common except a love for the elderly man who is a skilled artist and kite builder. But even that love causes problems since Hiroshi resents sharing his grandfather ...more
Cindy Hudson
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Skye’s dream is to make it onto the advanced soccer team for summer near her home in the Washington, D.C. area. Hiroshi wants nothing more than to enter his first kite-flying competition in his small town in Japan. Neither will get what’s expected when Hiroshi’s family moves to the U.S. for his grandfather to get a special treatment for cancer. He’s never met his cousin Skye, as her father had a falling out with his family before she was born.

Skye has never thought much about her Japanese herita
L.B. Schulman
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book. It was heartwarming and left me feeling good all day. It's a story about a girl named Skye whose life is turned upside down when she finds out that her Japanese cousin and his family are moving near them. Her parents force her to take a Japanese language class, potentially interrupting her chance to be on the All-Star soccer team. She struggles with her cousin, Hiroshi, over many things, especially over who gets to spend time with grandfather, who Skye has just m ...more
Elizabeth K.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-new-reads
Really between three and four stars. This is the kind of book I thought was pleasant enough while I was reading it, but it was only after I finished and was reflecting on it that some of its stronger qualities came through, so in that sense it's a bit of a creeper. Two cousins meet for the first time -- a Japanese boy moves to the United States when his grandmother needs medical treatment, and they reunite with their Japanese-American family. The broad-strokes contrast is between the cousin from ...more
David Wickham
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The relationship one has with his/her grandparents is special. "Flying the Dragon" does a wonderful job making you feel the love Hiroshi has for his grandfather and vice versa.

Personally, I was close with my grandfather from the Philippines and could instantly connect with the bond Hiroshi has with his grandfather. My Lolo (Tagalog for grandfather) passed away about 6 months ago so I knew I would be emotionally invested in this book right from the beginning.

I also enjoyed seeing the relationsh
Mary Lee
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best first novels I've every read.

Here are some notes I'll use for my blog review:

--chapters alternate between Hiroshi, who is new to the US, and his Japanese-American cousin Sarano/Skye
--the story pivots around Hiroshi and Skye's grandfather, and around kites and rokkaku kite-fighting competitions
--author is an ELL teacher in DC and thus gets that part of the story so. very. right.
--both Hiroshi and Skye are struggling to learn language -- English for Hiroshi and Japanese for
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I will be blogging a review for this, so I'll link back here once I've done that.

But for now...

If you've ever felt like a fish out of water; if you've ever moved somewhere and didn't know anyone or couldn't speak the language; if you've ever wanted something and couldn't have it; if you've ever lost someone you loved; and more importantly, if you know a child who is feeling any of these things, this is the book you must read right now.

Middle grade fiction is the hardest to get right, but author
Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Eleven-year-old Skye has a Japanese father and an American mother and she loves soccer. When her uncle's family comes from Japan because her grandfather is sick, she needs to go to Japanese classes and help her cousin Hiroshi learn English. Hiroshi wants to go back to Japan and not share his grandfather with his cousin. Alternating between Skye and Hiroshi's points of view, this story is quiet and does a good job illustrating how hard it is to adjust to new surroundings and learn a new language ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a lot better than I thought it would be. It made me cry, so it gets five stars.
Ms. B
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mhl, 2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Maud Hart Lovelace book for this year. Loved the cultural piece of this book and learning more about Japanese customs and language. This book held many true emotions...cousins didn't always get along and grandpa had cancer. This book didn't shy away from those subjects but treated them with compassion. Would recommend this book to any child in the 3rd to 5th grade range.

If you like this book, also try The Kite Fighters by Linda sue Park. Very similar story but set in Korea.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Natalie Dias Lorenzi made a good book that had a lot of laughs and a "keep-you-on-your-toes" action. I enjoyed this book and (heh heh) learned some Japanese words.

Skye is Japanese, but she doesn't see herself as that. Until her Japanese relatives that she's never met come to america because Grandfather is sick with cancer. Her cousin Hiroshi is a Grandfather and kite hoarder. but will the cousins be able to pull themselves together when tragity strikes and the kite battle begins?
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
spring break bookaday #6. 2013-14 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee. Was leaning towards 3 stars for this one, but somewhere in the last third of the book, a tear or two leaked out my eye. Story about culture clash/shock, loss, and redemption. Loved Hiroshi's comment: homophones, homonyms and homographs - who really knows what these are!
One Sentence Review: Though the cover does it no favors, Lorenzi has penned a smart, tight little novel about pride, prejudice, false expectations, and learning to accept differences, all with apparent effortless ease.
Mr. Canning
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
This is a neat novel about two relatives, one American, the other Japanese, competing for their grandfathers relationship and yet building a relationship with each other at the same time. Touching story.
Denise Hudson
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great Bluebonnet book! I like books where the point of view switches between characters. Can't wait to find some kids to push this on at school :).
The Library Lady
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Pretty predictable. The Japanese cultural stuff is interesting, but that's about it.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: battle-books
Battle of the Books 2017/18 - This was a good book about family and immigrants. Well written. The characters were realistic but still likable.
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wished the grandfather never died
Yash Parikh
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
American immigration and familial ties to lands that have not been seen by the Americanized family in years. Two concepts that are largely over explored, and still we see books like Flying the Dragon.

Consider it a rookie mistake by Natalie Dias Lorenzi, but that would really be an overstatement.

Honorable intentions are ultimately just intentions, and I found that out after finishing the book. The concepts are agreeable, the characters well thought out, from Skye/Sorano, a confused American teen
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Children's Books: March 2017 Flying The Dragon 13 37 Jul 27, 2017 05:07AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Flying the Dragon (ISBN # 978-1-58089-434-0) - 233 pages 2 18 Feb 14, 2013 09:04PM  

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