BOOK REVIEW: The Monkey King’s Daughter #READYOURWORLD
As you likely know, I love the Chinese Zodiac. I love all the characteristics of each animal, and I enjoyed it when my parents told me about the legend of the Jade Emperor when I was a child. So, I was excited to receive The Monkey King’s Daughter by T.A. DeBonis to review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCCBD) which is today, January 27th.
Reviewing The Monkey King’s Daughter is especially timely, as the monkey rules Chinese New Year for 2016. DeBonis takes the legend about the Monkey King and his exploits in the time of the Jade Emperor, and reimagines it for today’s readers. The story follows Meilin Cheng, who is about to celebrate her 14th birthday. Like any teen girl, Meilin deals with the same struggles and frustrations for her stage in life. She also has the added trouble from a classmate who relentlessly mocks her and calls her “chopstick.” As if that wasn’t enough, Meilin, a freshman living in Midland Hills, California, discovers that the legend of the Monkey King is true, and that she, inconveniently, is his daughter. This really complicates her life, as reality and legend collide, often in the most inopportune moments.
The dialogue in the book feels true to real teen conversations, and there are themes about understanding yourself, strengthening your character, and finding confidence that ring through the book. I’m a huge fan of strong female characters, and Meilin is a new character to me, who I’m thrilled to visit in the pages of a book. I was especially entertained when I learned that Meilin has an uncle that is appropriately named, Zhu Bajie.
The Monkey King’s Daughter is the first book of a series of four. The book is ideal for all kids, ages eight and up. In fact, I’m so glad I was introduced to this series, for my daughters to enjoy. According to DeBonis’ website, this first book is optioned for a movie. I personally, can’t wait to see how they bring it to life. The Monkey King’s Daughter has some great action sequences, which would make it supremely fun to watch.
About MCCBD: The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.
The co-creators of MCCBD are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. Find a bio for Mia and Valarie here. View the Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents here. Connect with Multicultural Children’s Book Day on Facebook.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors #ReadYourWorld include the following:
Platinum – Wisdom Tales Press, StoryQuest Books, Lil Libros
Gold – Author Tori Nighthawk, Candlewick Press, Bharat Babies
Silver – Lee and Low Books, Chronicle Books , Tuttle Publishing ,Capstone Young Readers, NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV
Bronze – Pomelo Books, Author Jacqueline Woodson, Papa Lemon Books, Goosebottom Books,Author Gleeson Rebello, ShoutMouse Press, Author Mahvash Shahegh, China Institute.org, Live Oak Media
Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Hosts: All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Imagination Soup, I’m Not the Nanny, InCultural Parent, Kid World Citizen, Mama Smiles, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Spanish Playground
Classroom Reading Challenge
MCCBD holds a Classroom Reading Challenge. This very special offering offers teachers and classrooms the chance to very easily earn a free hardcover multicultural children’s book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are also pre-screened and approved by them as well.
I was given a copy of The Monkey King’s Daughter to review. All opinions, and fun enjoyed from reading the book are entirely my own.