"I should also warn thoughtful readers that DragonWings is more a historical fantasy than a factual reconstruction. " -Yep, DragonWings
With the words of Laurence Yep duly quoted, parents must have an open mind when launching into this historical novel with their young readers. As the story opens, American's are referred to as "demons." Further into the story, Moon Shadow assimilates to the American lifestyle, American's become less demonized and more human to the father and son Tang family.
DragonWings tells the story of a Tang boy and his father trying to build a life in America. Yep includes the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 through the eyes of the young teenage prontagonist. In fact, Yep uses this event to bring Americans and Tang immigrants together in their time of need. newberyhonor
Readers also learn that parents will stop at nothing to keep their children safe. This is shown when Windrider gives all the family savings for Moon Shadow's well being. Though he makes this sacrifice in the name of his son, it takes the help of a friend to ensure they are not homeless.
From a mother and teacher's point of view, DragonWings is a great story for young readers. The American Library Association sure thought so in 1976 when they chose the novel for a Newbery Honor. Yep approaches important subjects such as hostility toward others, assimilation and brotherhood in such a way that young readers are oblivious to the didactic value of the story line. I am also impressed with the subtle embedding of historical events as well.
This novel has been placed in the fantastic genre simple because Windrider believes himself to have been a dragon in a previous life. In order to return to the dragon life, he must approach every challenge as if it is the test to return him to that land. Otherwise, Yep has created realistic characters living in a real place in history.
Dragonwings on Book-Attic.com

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