Park, Linda Sue. Prairie Lotus. Boston: Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020.
Hanna and her father move to Dakota Territory in the spring of 1880. Her mother has died from injuries incurred during anti-Chinese riots in Los Angeles, and her father – a dressmaker – wants to start afresh in a new place where they will be safe. Hanna is supposed to stay out of sight. People tend to be cruel to half-Chinese and half-white people, and her father – originally from Tennessee – wants to shield his daughter and protect his business prospects. But Hanna wants to go to school. She’s a teenager now and has dreams of someday earning a graduation diploma. Will her father allow her to attend school? Will the townspeople allow her to mingle with their children? Will she make any friends in this new place? At the end of the book, Park explains why she modelled the setting of her story after the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories and how she, herself, has faced many of the racist attacks depicted in her novel. This 247-page award-winning book, printed in an easy-to-read font with widely spaced lines, is highly recommended for readers 11 to 14 years old.
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