The Year of the Dog

The Year of the Dog

by Grace Lin
The Year of the Dog

The Year of the Dog

by Grace Lin


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This funny and profound debut novel by prolific illustrator Lin tells the story of young Pacy who, as she celebrates the Chinese New Year with her family, discovers this is the year she is supposed to "find herself." Illustrations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316030977
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 01/01/2008
Series: Pacy Lin Series , #1
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: eBook
Sales rank: 559,630
Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
File size: 7 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

About The Author
Grace Lin is the award-winning and bestselling author and illustrator of Starry River of the Sky, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, The Year of the Dog, The Year of the Rat, Dumpling Days, and Ling & Ting, as well as pictures books such as The Ugly Vegetables and Caldecott Honor book A Big Mooncake for Little Star. Grace lives with her husband and daughter in Western MA, where they get plenty of winter snow. Her website is

Read an Excerpt

The Year of the Dog

Chapter One

"HAPPY NEW YEAR!" DAD LAUGHED INTO THE phone. "Gong xi-gong xi! Xin-nian kuai le!" The phone had been ringing all night with relatives calling to wish us a happy Chinese New Year. If we had lived in Taiwan, we would be having a big dinner with all of our relatives-aunts, uncles, and cousins. But since we lived in New Hartford, New York, they called us instead.

"Yes," Dad said over the phone to Uncle Leo, "happy Year of the Dog!"

"What does it mean when it's the Year of the Dog?" I asked. Our kitchen was full of rich, heavy smells because Mom and Lissy were cooking the special Chinese New Year dinner. I was teaching Ki-Ki how to draw a dog for our decorations. "I know every Chinese New Year is a different animal, but is something special supposed to happen because it's the Year of the Dog?"

"Yes," Lissy told me, nodding her head so hard that her black hair swung back and forth. Lissy always thought she knew everything. "You know how they say a dog is a man's best friend? Well, in the Year of the Dog you find your best friends."

"That's true," Mom said, her hands mixing speckled brown meat, "because dogs are faithful. They say the Year of the Dog is the year for friends and family. But there's more to it than that. The Year of the Dog is also for thinking. Since dogs are also honest and sincere, it's a good year to find yourself."

"Find myself?" Ki-Ki said. "Why? I'm not lost."

We all laughed and Mom tried to explain.

"No," she said, "finding yourself means deciding what your values are, what you want to do-that kind of thing."

"Like deciding what you want to be when you grow up?" I asked.

"Yes." Mom nodded her head.

"Well," Lissy said, "I've decided I'm definitely NOT going to be a chef, because I'm tired of cooking. We still have to make the shrimp, the pork, and the vegetables. We're never going to eat!" "We will, we will," Mom said, and she looked at the clock. "Pacy, stop drawing and go fill the New Year tray." I went to the cabinet and took out the New Year tray. We had polished it so much that I could see myself shining in the red and black wood. I also took out a bag of the special Chinese New Year candy. It's very important that the New Year tray is filled with candy. If it's full of sweet things, it means your year will be full of sweet things.

Ki-Ki hung up our drawings and then came over to help me, though she didn't really help much. All she did was eat the candy. She loved New Year's candy. I don't know why. It isn't real candy like chocolate or lollipops. New Year's candy is sticky taffy melon candy, the color of the moon. Ki-Ki kept eating the candy, so I couldn't fill the whole tray. I looked in the cupboard for more, but there wasn't any more. But there were rainbow- colored M&M's. I loved M&M's. That's real candy. So I fitted the rest of the tray with that.

When Lissy saw the tray, her mouth made a big 0. "You can't fill the tray with M&M's," she told me. "It's a Chinese tray; only Chinese candy is supposed to go in it."

"But there's not enough Chinese candy to fill it," I told her.

We both looked at the tray. We couldn't decide if it was better to have the tray be half empty with only Chinese candy or full with Chinese and American candy.

Mom was frying food, so we took the tray to Dad. He scooped up a big handful of Chinese candy and M&M's and ate it.

"This way is good," he said. "We should have both Chinese and American candy for the new year. It's just like us-Chinese-American. I think it's going to be a very sweet year!"


Excerpted from The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin Copyright © 2006 by Grace Lin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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