Monday, November 7, 2016

Thompson, Holly. Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth.

Thompson, Holly. Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth. Macmillan/Henry Holt  2016  343p  $17.99  ISBN 978-1-62779-134-2  ms/hs  Realistic fiction  VG-BN     

Written in verse, this is the story of a bullied child.     Jason Parker is your average boy-next-door.  He is in sixth grade, studies karate, and has a younger sister.  But Jason is an American attending a Japanese public school, where he is a year older than the other students in his class, and tries to be calm and courageous in the face of relentless bullying. 

Thompson discreetly suggests methods for coping with being an outcast by showing a variety of ways that Jason attempts to fit in.  He excels at karate and is able to find some respect and self-confidence at his dojo.  He joins a weekly international study group and forges friendships with other outsiders.  Ultimately, though, adult intervention is necessary.

Written in strong, spare verse, Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth is an excellent springboard for class discussion about bullying, conflicting cultures, and experiencing school as an expatriate. The story also highlights the insider’s perspective on being a second-language learner.      

Bullying-Fiction, Multicultural fiction               --Hilary Welliver

No comments: