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Prairie Lotus

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  4,336 ratings  ·  965 reviews
Prairie Lotus is a book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father's shop, and making at least one friend. Hanna, a half-Asian girl in a small town in America's heartland, lives in 1880. Hanna's adjustment to her new surroundings, and the townspeople's prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Clarion Books
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Kim Bongiorno The book is for ages 10+, which would be 5th grade on up, and I'd say that feels about right. …moreThe book is for ages 10+, which would be 5th grade on up, and I'd say that feels about right. (less)
QNPoohBear While the book is short and the writing style simple, some of the content is more mature than the writing style suggests. I'd day it's appropriate for…moreWhile the book is short and the writing style simple, some of the content is more mature than the writing style suggests. I'd day it's appropriate for 12+ but the more mature comments will likely go over the heads of younger readers. Pre-read before giving to a sensitive child and child under 12/13.(less)

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Average rating 4.38  · 
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 ·  4,336 ratings  ·  965 reviews

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Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Linda Sue Park has done those of us who grew up loving the Little House books a solid by writing this meticulously realized story of Hanna, a half Chinese girl who works as a dressmaker in her father's shop in Dakota Territory. Hanna's Chinese immigrant mother has died, and she and her white father are looking to start over by running a dry goods store in a small prairie town. Hanna is subjected to ridicule and racism, but finds solace and solidarity with other girls and women in town who eventu ...more
Kate Olson
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
STELLAR. This amazing MG book is the perfect answer to: “What should I hand to or read to kids instead of or alongside the classic but problematic Laura Ingalls Wilder?” ❤️
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. I think the author had a passion and dedication to reconcile her heritage and love of the Little House series. The most disappointing part of reading this book was the lack of historical knowledge that students will walk away with after reading it. The book is mostly about racism and not learning additional historical elements of the time period. They are briefly mentioned and not explained. I think brief mentions of these events will be lost on our current his ...more
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Inspired by Park's childhood fascination with Little House on the Prairie, this is a wonderful look at life in the Dakota Territory for a young girl trying to make a place for herself. Half Chinese, half white, Hanna wants to make friends and become a fine dressmaker, both things that seem out of her reach. I loved her fiery spirit and her determination, as well as her eye for fashion! I never read the Little House books, which is odd because I, too, was obsessed with "Wild West" and pioneer sto ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People interested in mixed race stories, Fans of Little House
Recommended to Irene by: Isabelle
This book is remarkable for its place in children's literature. I appreciate its existence so much! It's a lovely story about a pioneer girl in the vein of Little House on the Prairie, but the main character, Hanna, is half Chinese.

Before moving to the Dakota Territory in 1880, Hanna and her parents lived through the 1871 mass lynching of Chinese people in Los Angeles. The event is used to set the tone for society's attitude towards Chinese people in the time period of this book. Personally, I
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, read-aloud, children
This was SO EXCELLENT. We were all so into it.
Aug 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Not really sure what to think about this one. The storytelling was compelling and the main character likable enough. I thought the friendship that developed between Hanna and Bess was sweet, and I liked Hanna’s admiration for her mother. I think Linda Sue Park has a knack for distilling important topics into manageable, approachable chapters for middle grade readers and for shining a light on perhaps under-discussed topics for middle schoolers. In this book it is the plight of Native Americans A ...more
Ms. B
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Destined to become a classic, this is a wonderful story about what pioneer life may have been like for a young Chinese American whose father moves west from California to start a business in an 1880s frontier town. Will fourteen year-old Hanna be able to meet her goals of earning her diploma, making friends, and proving to her father that she's ready to be his business partner in this new home?
Not just for Little House on the Prairie fans. Anyone who's looking for a story with a strong female ch
Colby Sharp
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-novel, 2020
This book is so good!

Check out my video review here:
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: byl-reads
This book was just so good. I adore Linda Sue Park's writing, and this story deserves a place in the classic children's book canon.

Hanna is half-Chinese, and she and her white father are traveling east from Los Angeles after the death of her mother. They're hoping to settle in the Dakota Territory and set up a store where Hanna hopes to build a career as a dressmaker. All she wants is to graduate from school and become a seamstress.

Prairie Lotus was inspired by the author's love of the Little H
LOVVVVVVED THIS! The Little House books are such #problematicfaves of mine, I'm so thrilled to have the chance to keep scratching that bonnet itch in a way that expands the understanding of the pioneer mindset rather than limiting it. This is a great blend of a character to root for facing serious, realistic challenges without it being overwhelmingly bleak. ...more
Love love love this book. Middle grade readers will find themselves in the characters and all readers will appreciate both the subtle and head-on instances of anti-racism that masterfully transcend the late 1800s setting and speak true to a modern audience. This is clearly written by a Newbery medalist again at the top of her game.
I grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilders’ stories, and watched the tv show, too. So yeah, I was a fan. But looking back on the books, it’s hard not to notice the racism and how no one of colour was present in any meaningful way.
Anyway, I picked this book up on impulse, and imagine my surprise when I discovered Linda Sue Park was also a fan of Wilders’ books; Park, however, had written a much more realistic picture of the US west in the 1880s, rather than the whitewashed, i.e., nostalgic, thing we
Nov 18, 2020 added it
An amazing book and a must-read for ... well, anyone growing up in the U.S., for starters. This reimagining of the Little House books through a half-Chinese girl’s eyes brings into focus so much relevant to both the nineteenth century and today.
Tara Ethridge
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this middle grade book 10 stars, I would. It is simply the most beautiful story of Hanna, a half white and half Chinese girl who moves to the Midwest with her dad to set up shop in a town. She is a skilled dressmaker who deals with such hardship and racism, and the storyline is gripping. Linda Sue Park’s afterword of her as a little girl wishing to see herself represented in Little House in the Prairie had me in a puddle of tears.
Jane Keranen
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
i am a half chinese girl from the prairie and for all the problems i had with it the ending scene made me cry! and that is enough i think
Sandy Brehl
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Don’t take my word for how wonderful this book is- latest count is five starred reviews!
That won’t keep me from adding my voice to cheer for Hannah and for the amazing research/writing by Linda Sue Park.
This is a perfectly balanced blend of classic settler story and nuanced counter narrative to the traditional single-story approach of Wilder and others.
Hannah is a genuinely bright, competent, self-directed girl of her time, which means that she has had to learn the ways of reshaping her fathe
Oh my gosh. Linda Sue Park has written the version of Little House on the Prairie for everyone else, the ones who aren't white, and cute, and fit into what most people think of living on the prairie in the late 1800s. Park even says that was her intent.

Well researched, well written book about a girl who is half-Chinese who travels with her widowed father to an area very much like De Smit of the Laura Ingles Wilder fame. There she encounters all the prejudice that is all too prevalent at that tim
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A representation of the American western frontier often ignored in history, and rarely addressed in children's fiction. Despite heavy themes of racism and prejudice, it's a story that never feels grim or hopeless, featuring a plucky protagonist with dreams, ambitions, and a spirit that pushes her forward. My only quibble was an episode near the end when Hanna was confronted by ugly, drunken louts - which bothered my genre reader sensibilities even as I understood the authorial choice. Park could ...more
Cassie Thomas
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m beyond impressed with how Linda Sue Park brings historical fiction into reality. This will be a story I teach for the magnitude of discussions we will have and all of the empathy my students have the opportunity to develop. I found all of the history to be necessary and as an educator I can’t wait to teach this story, and even Linda’s authors note. So relevant. So important.
Full of themes and necessary talking points.
Mary Lee
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THIS is the kind of historical fiction we need. (Even has a bit of #metoo.) Such an important book.
this would have absolutely changed my life as a kid. the authors note was poignant and thoughtful, probably the best part of the story for an older reader. the novel itself is very middle grade, revolutionary mostly in its representation.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
PRAIRIE LOTUS is a book I will be recommending far and wide. Linda Sue Park admits freely that it is inspired by the Little House books, and fans of those books (who recognize their racist, one-story problems) will appreciate the care that Park has taken to tell this story. With a similar setting, Park sets out to retell the pioneer story, from the viewpoint of a half-Chinese, half-white 14 year old girl. I adore Hanna and her story, and I hope that Park will continue to write more stories about ...more
Josephine Sorrell
Inspired by her love for The Little House on the Prairie books, Linda Sue Park has crafter a stunning novel. Main character, Hannah has a white father and a Chinese mother. She is considered a half-Chinese and half-white girl. After her mother’s death Hannah and her father move from California to a Little House–inspired fictional settler town.
Hanna’s mother had been, an aspiring and talented dressmaker and before becoming sick, taught Hannah her skills. Now Hannah and her father seek a fresh sta
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life on the prairie gets an update with a plucky heroine; daughter of a Korean/Chinese mother and a white father. Her mother died in the California race riots, so Hanna and her father relocate to a town that is modeled after DeSmet in the Little House books and decide to open a dry goods store to sell fabrics. Included in the story are Hanna's experiences in a one-room schoolhouse. Twice in the narrative Hanna interacts with native Americans that she encounters on the prairie in a respectful way ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galley, middle-grade
I'm not typically a fan of reading this period in American history, but I was drawn to his because it featured a main character I'd never seen in this sitting in literature before.

This book was amazing. Hanna is a likeable, relatable character. Though the setting is historical, the issues are timeless. Hanna deals with racism, making new friends, striving for independence, first crushes, and mourning her mother. All she wants is to graduate school (a dream of her mother's) and make dresses, some
Leonard Kim
Jul 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Compellingly written, but if this kind of historical fiction is not already your cup of tea, this may not change your mind. I know Park talks about this in her note, but I was nonplussed by the revelation of Hanna’s heritage. Nobody these days would accept a character’s grandparent being white as a cover for a white author writing a similar book. And, if you care about such things, Park has just as little business writing a Chinese character who is quarter-Korean in genes only. It’s also ironic ...more
I wish I had read this book when I was in 3rd grade. I am lucky that I could read it to my daughter. Park writes the mirror I needed to see growing up when I felt so alienated by history books. While Chinese were significant during this time period, I had never studied their work on the railroad or during the Gold Rush in elementary school. Not seeing yourself year after year in history does something to your psyche. The lack of a mirror makes you feel as if your existence doesn't matter. Park d ...more

i guess i never reviewed this book... maybe i was too lazy.

...i still don't really want to. i just hate writing reviews for books i like, because ranting about books i hate is just way easier!! and more fun!!
Marta-Kate Jackson
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent choice for fans of the Little House series or historical fiction. It was a joy to revisit this familiar setting through the perspective and experiences of an Asian American girl. Recommended for grades 5 and up, but would work well as a family read aloud for elementary children, too.
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Linda Sue Park is a Korean American author of children's fiction. Park published her first novel, Seesaw Girl, in 1999. To date, she has written six children’s novels and five picture books for younger readers. Park’s work achieved prominence when she received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard.


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