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Prairie Lotus

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  2,380 ratings  ·  588 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, 272 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.
Breelynd Huntley Hanna is 14 and I would say that this is a middle grade book. 5th grade and up.

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Average rating 4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,380 ratings  ·  588 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
mindful.librarian ☀️
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?” ❤️
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
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Little House re-imagined, with a half-Chinese protagonist and a frank acknowledgement of our history of white supremacy. I loooooved it.
Anna Mussmann
First off, let me say that I sympathize with the intentions that shaped Linda Sue Parks’ Middle Grade novel Prairie Lotus.

Her endnotes explain that this story is one she has been writing “all her life.” It’s an attempt to reconcile her childhood adoration of the Little House books with her adult conclusion that the series is deeply flawed. She says, “Ma hated Native Americans. . . . She would never have allowed Laura to become friends with someone like me. Someone with black hair and dark eyes a
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 cannon.

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
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
Tiffany Hough
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Definitely NOT Little House on the Prairie, although set in the same time period. The premise was fascinating—a young half-Asian teen faces discrimination and abuse when she moves to small frontier town. Lacks the sweetness and idealism of the Little House books, but provides more nuance and realism. The historical details are interesting and readers can learn a lot from Hanna’s struggles and triumphs. An important story that stands alone or could be read along with the Little House books and Lo ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good stuff.
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a response, of sorts, to the classic Little House books, taking place in a purposefully similar setting, but told from the point of view of a half-Chinese teenage girl who moves to a small frontier town with her white father and portraying their efforts to settle in and start a new life there. In internet terms, it's basically an OC fanfic for Little Town on the Prairie, complete with stand-ins for the Ingalls family and some of Laura's schoolmates, and references to other details f ...more
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I quite liked this book. In fact, I wish it had been a bit longer. It ends on a very hopeful note, which I was happy for, but it's not unrealistic. Hanna's problems aren't all solved by the end of the story, and she needs great courage to continue facing the future. But by the end, she has made friends and begun forging her own place in the community. The ending did feel abrupt to me, though. I expected, and would have appreciated, about one more chapter's-worth of denouement.
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm obsessed with this book. I love homestead/prairie novels. I love everything about them, except for the fact that I've never once been represented in them as an Asian American. And I understand why, but Asians WERE here. They were discriminated against, called foul names, and the pain of reading this book collided with my love for it.
Very important to read the Author's note which explains in detail how and why Linda Sue Park wrote this.
There’s a part of me that deeply, deeply wanted to love this book. Especially as it’s aimed at middle grade readers.

The first half, I was on the trajectory for a 4/5 star read. Then things started picking away at that.

First off, my biggest issue is how terrible Hanna’s father is. He isn’t supportive. He shouts at his daughter to the point she is afraid to tell him she’d been assaulted in order to spare herself from his anger. That’s bad! When your father figure is so verbally abusive that the da
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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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