Chinese Phase V

Norton’s PHASE V: Contemporary Fiction, Biography, and Poetry

Studying the contemporary literature in Phase V unveils the close relationships between the traditional folklore and contemporary stories. At the conclusion of this phase, threads that emerged across the genres can be traced and summarized. Studying multicultural literature is an excellent way to foster acceptance and appreciation for cultural differences.

Armstrong, J. (1993). Chin Yu Min and the ginger cat. New York: Crown.

Through her friendship with a ginger cat, a haughty Chinese widow learns to be humble and to provide for herself. Gr. Pre-4

Armstrong, J. (1995). Wan Hu is in the stars. New York: Tambourine Books.

Absent-minded poet Wan Hu is so curious about the stars that finally, after several unsuccessful attempts, he finds a way to travel among them. Gr. K-up


Bunting, E. (1982). The happy funeral. New York: Harper & Row.

A little Chinese-American girl pays tribute to her grandfather as she assists in the preparations for his funeral. Gr. 2-4


Chang, H. (1988). Elaine, Mary Lewis, and the frogs. New York: Crown.

Chinese American Elaine Chow feels like an outcast after moving to a small town in Iowa, until she shares a new friendship and a science project with a girl strongly interested in frogs. Gr. 2-4

Engle, P. (1981). Images of China: Poems written in China, April-June, 1980. Beijing, China: New World Press.


Ho, M. (Ed.). (1996). Maples in the mist: Children's poems from the Tang Dynasty. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.

A collection of short poems written over 1000 years ago by such poets of the Tang Dynasty as Li Po, Yin Luan, and Du Mu. Gr. 4-6


Howard, E. (1988). Her own song. New York: Atheneum.

When her adoptive father is hospitalized after an accident, Mellie is befriended by Geem-Wah, owner of a Chinese laundry, who holds the key to the events surrounding Mellie's birth eleven years ago. Gr. 5-up

Jensen, H. Z. (1985). When Panda came to our house. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.

A panda visits an American girl and teaches her about China. Gr. PreK-3


Miner, J.C. (1982). Jasmine finds love. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.

Tiny doll-like Jasmine, forbidden by her strict Chinese father to go out with the boy she likes, finds a friend in Sammy, a newcomer to Hawaii and a distant relative of her father's. Gr. YA

Namioka, L. (1994). April and the Dragon Lady. San Diego: Browndeer Press.

Feeling confined by the traditional family attitudes of her strong-willed, manipulative grandmother, sixteen-year-old April Chen fights for her independence.

Gr. 6-9


Namioka, L. (1995). Yang the third and her impossible family. Boston: Little, Brown.

Third daughter Mary Yang makes an unexpected new friend while trying to hide a kitten from her family. Sequel to: Yang the youngest and his terrible ear. Gr. 4-6

Namioka, L. (1992). Yang the youngest and his terrible ear. Boston: Joy Street Books.

Recently arrived in Seattle from China, musically untalented Yingtao is faced with giving a violin performance to attract new students for his father when he would rather be working on friendships and playing baseball. Gr. 4-6


Okimoto, J.D. (1990). Molly by any other name. New York : Scholastic.

A teenage Asian girl who has been adopted by non-Asian parents decides to find out who her biological parents are. Gr. 7-up

Say, A. (1995). Stranger in the mirror. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

When a young Asian-American boy who spends all of his time skateboarding wakes up one morning with the face of an old man, he has trouble convincing people that he is still himself. Gr. All ages


Yep, L. (Ed.). (1993). American dragons: Twenty-five Asian American voices. New York: HarperCollins.

Includes short stories, poems, and excerpts from plays that relate what it is like growing up Asian American. Gr. 7-up

Yep, L. (1997). The case of the Goblin Pearls. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Lily and her aunt, a Chinese American movie actress, join forces to solve the theft of some priceless pearls and stop the operator of a sweatshop in San Francisco's Chinatown. Gr. 3-7

Zimelman, N. (1992). The great adventure of Wo Ti. New York: Macmillan.

When a marauding cat threatens the fat carp in the pond of the Summer Palace in Peking, only the wise fish Wo Ti knows how they can save themselves. Gr. Pre-3