A Day for Vincent Chin and Me

Overview

Sixth-graders Tommy, Angela, Faye, and the twins, Judge and Jury Jenkins, have been friends forever. Now they're faced with new problems and need to find new solutions to them—even if it means breaking the law. How can they help prevent an inevitable accident on Tommy's street other than to try to stop cars from speeding past Tommy's young, deaf neighbor? Not only must the Posse mastermind a plan, but Tommy must confront his doubts about his mother's participation in a rally to fight racism. The last thing Tommy ...
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Overview

Sixth-graders Tommy, Angela, Faye, and the twins, Judge and Jury Jenkins, have been friends forever. Now they're faced with new problems and need to find new solutions to them—even if it means breaking the law. How can they help prevent an inevitable accident on Tommy's street other than to try to stop cars from speeding past Tommy's young, deaf neighbor? Not only must the Posse mastermind a plan, but Tommy must confront his doubts about his mother's participation in a rally to fight racism. The last thing Tommy wants is to be singled out as a Japanese American, so why does his mother insist on drawing attention to his family? But once he and his friends find their own cause, Tommy discovers common ground with his mother and comes to understand what it means to fight for something you believe in.

Although Tommy, a Japanese-American sixth-grader, has serious doubts when his mother starts organizing a rally to fight racism, once he and his friends find a cause of their own he gains more understanding of her motives.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The characters introduced in Project Wheels and Egg-Drop Blues return in Jacqueline Turner Banks's A Day for Vincent Chin and Me. This time, sixth-grader Tommy narrates the events as his mother organizes the Asian-American community to draw attention to the death of the Chinese-American man whom his murderers blamed for Detroit's declining car sales and soaring unemployment. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Tommy would like nothing better than to blend in with the crowd. His mother is planning a rally to draw attention to the murder of Vincent Chin, a Detroit auto worker killed in 1982 by disgruntled workers who blamed the Chinese for the industry's downturn. Tommy is annoyed because he knows the demonstration will draw attention to his Japanese heritage. Tommy's friends, a racially mixed bunch affectionately called the Posse, have a problem of their own. To slow down speeding drivers on their busy street and protect a young deaf neighbor, they plot to build a speed bump under the cover of darkness. It seems to be the perfect solution, although Tommy knows he is breaking the law. With his own dilemma weighing heavily on his mind, Tommy at last comes to terms with his mother's stand for Vincent Chin's rights. In standing up for what he believes, he finds a common ground with his mother. The lively, first person narrative presents parallel stories with a common thread. Issues of racism and committing to your own beliefs are nicely addressed and the solution is credible. An afterward provides the historical context for Vincent Chin's story. This would make a good discussion starter about cultural awareness. 2001, Houghton, $15.00. Ages 10 to 12. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Another sequel to Project Wheels (Houghton, 1993) involving a racially mixed group of sixth-grade friends living in Kentucky. Japanese-American Tommy saves his sister's deaf friend from being hit by a speeding car. The incident spurs the boy and his friends to try and build a speed bump to deter further accidents. His quest coincides with a rally his mother is planning to fight racism. The Vincent Chin of the title was a Chinese American who was beaten to death in 1982 by disgruntled Detroit auto workers, who blamed Japan for the decline in the auto industry and mistook the victim for Japanese. Tommy attempts to fit in and not be distinguished by his Asian heritage, and tries to be proud of who he is. In the end, he manages to find balance and realizes that the struggle his mother is fighting is similar to his own. The book ends with a note from the author about the real Vincent Chin and a time line of the trials resulting from his murder. The crisp writing and active plot will draw readers in.-DeAnn Tabuchi, San Anselmo Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

"The crisp writing and active plot will draw readers in.” —School Library Journal School Library Journal

“Thought-provoking but not pushy, this should resonate with a variety of readers.” —The Bulletin Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618548798
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/30/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 124
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author


Jacqueline Turner Banks is the author of three previous young adult novels, Project Wheels, The New One, and Egg-Drop Blues, all of which feature the animated exploits of the Posse. Formerly a teacher, Ms. Banks now devotes herself full-time as a writer and literary agent. She lives with her family in Sacramento, California.
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