Read The Cook's Family by Laurence Yep Free Online
Book Title: The Cook's Family|
The author of the book: Laurence Yep
The size of the: 514 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1548 times
Reader ratings: 5.2
Date of issue: August 30th 1999
ISBN 13: 9780698118041
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
Title: The cook’s family
Author: Laurence Yep
Theme(s): family, culture bond
Opening line/sentence: When the fat man plunged out of the restaurant onto the pavement, I could have dodged.
Brief Book Summary: Robin has a Chinese mother and an American father. One day her grandmother took her to the Chinatown and they started their “pretend family” game there. In this process, Robin found out the heritage of the Chinese culture.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: KIRKUS REVIEW
In a poignant sequel to Ribbons (1996), two strangers comfort a lonely old man with a shared, ongoing fantasy. Drawn to a disturbance outside a San Francisco Chinatown restaurant, Robin and her grandmother find themselves play-acting, soothing a drunken cook named Wolf by pretending to be his lost wife and daughter. Wolf isn't fooled, but reminiscing with his "wife" and watching his brown-haired, green-eyed "daughter" dance makes him feel better, so he willingly goes along. On what becomes weekly visits, Robin receives as much comfort as she gives, for the domestic war between her Chinese mother and non-Chinese father (and the tension between traditional Chinese and typically American ideas of family obligation) has made home a hard place to be. In his characters' banter and behavior, Yep makes clear the difference between ethnic stereotypes and what is simply common--and when Wolf's real daughter, an illegal immigrant living in San Diego, puts in a surprise appearance, her loud, nasty rudeness casts an ironic light on Robin's efforts to be more "Chinese" for Wolf, i.e., silent, obliging, and submissive. Yep sensitively explores the complexities of immigrant culture from several points of view, creates an appealing, diverse cast, and gives his plot both a memorable premise (drawn, as he explains in an afterword, from actual incidents) and a strong, bittersweet ending. (Fiction. 10-13)
Professional Recommendation/Review #2: Children's Literature - Karen Porter
Robin Lee is watching the destruction of her family due to the conflicts between her Chinese mother and her mainstream American father. Her mother feels compelled to honor her Chinese heritage by helping her brothers start a business. Robin's father resents the time spent away from the immediate family. Robin feels out of touch with her Chinese heritage. When she visits Chinatown with her grandmother, the two are adopted by a cook at a local restaurant. They become an imaginary family and Robin learns to appreciate her heritage and feel part of her Chinese family. The story is interesting and easy to read, but as the plot unfolds, it becomes too simple. The happily-ever-after ending is too easily achieved. A sexual reference in the fifth chapter is neither necessary nor appropriate for children.
Response to Two Professional Reviews: This book carefully reveal the complicated immigrant culture, and shows people the power of ownership of ones culture. However, I also agree with the second review that the story seems to be too simple, and the happy ending is too easy.
Evaluation of Literary Elements: This is in between a transitional chapter book and a chapter book. Even though I found it under the transitional chapter book category. Not only the language used but also the layout of this book shows that this is a book for upper graders.
Consideration of Instructional Application: Can be used to teach how to value one’s culture, and how to respect others’ culture.
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Read information about the authorBorn June 14, 1948 in San Francisco, California, Yep was the son of Thomas Gim Yep and Franche Lee Yep. Franche Lee, her family's youngest child, was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia where her family owned a Chinese laundry. Yep's father, Thomas, was born in China and came to America at the age of ten where he lived, not in Chinatown, but with an Irish friend in a white neighborhood. After troubling times during the Depression, he was able to open a grocery store in an African-American neighborhood. Growing up in San Francisco, Yep felt alienated. He was in his own words his neighborhood's "all-purpose Asian" and did not feel he had a culture of his own. Joanne Ryder, a children's book author, and Yep met and became friends during college while she was his editor. They later married and now live in San Francisco.
Although not living in Chinatown, Yep commuted to a parochial bilingual school there. Other students at the school, according to Yep, labeled him a "dumbbell Chinese" because he spoke only English. During high school he faced the white American culture for the first time. However, it was while attending high school that he started writing for a science fiction magazine, being paid one cent a word for his efforts. After two years at Marquette University, Yep transferred to the University of California at Santa Cruz where he graduated in 1970 with a B.A. He continued on to earn a Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1975. Today as well as writing, he has taught writing and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Barbara.
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