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  Home > English books about the Chinese Culture > English, Chinese Related, Ages 6+ >

Yang the Third and the impossible family by Lensey Namioka
Yang the Third and the impossible family by Lensey Namioka

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Ying Mei Yang has just moved to America and is trying to fit in.  She changed her name to Mary to be more American and is embarrassed that her family makes an effort to follow Chinese traditions.  She also wants to be best friends with popular Holly Hanson. She found a way to get close to Holly:  By adopting one of Holly's kittens!  However, her family can't have pets, so Mary has to keep the kitten secret!

Will Mary be found out?  Will she become best friends with Holly?
  • A nice book for kids about fitting in and living with 2 cultures
  • Widely used by Grades 4-6!
  • Lots of Lesson Plans
  • Great story that is a classic!
Our Price: $5.50
Sale Price: $4.95
You save $0.55!
Language: English
Media: Book
ISBN 10: 0-440-41231-5
ISBN 13: 9-780440-412311

Availability:: Ships within 1 Business Day
Product Code: E0247

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Description Reviews

Yang the Third and the Impossible Family

Third daughter Mary Yang makes an unexpected new friend while trying to hide a kitten from her family.

Yingmei Yang has changed her name to Mary now that she's learning how to be American. She tries to become completely American despite her family's equal determination to stick to Chinese customs. It's hard since her family sticks to their Chinese customs, which can be embarrassing in public. Still, Mary wants to be best friends with popular Holly Hanson. She sees her chance when she adopts one of Holly's kittens. The trouble is that Mary's family can't afford a cat and it could damage their prized musical instruments. To prove her friendship to Holly, Mary must find a way to keep the kitten a secret from her impossible family while keeping the kitten inside her house. It won't be easy!

Paperback, English, 143 Pages. Grades 3-6  8.00 H x  0.50 D x  5.50 W inches

Lensey Namioka was born in Beijing, moved to the US when 9 years old, married someone from Japan, and lives in the US.  She has been writing children stories for 30+ years.

Book Awards:
WINNER 1997 - Arkansas Charlie May Simon Master List
WINNER 1996 - Massachusetts Children's Book Master List
WINNER 1996 - Parent's Choice Awards

Author Home Page:

Other Resources:

Puzzles -  
Matching, Word Search, and Concentration
Resource for Teachers  - Lesson Plan for Grades 5
Activities for Literature class - Literature Expansion Activities
A story guide - Story Guide
Words to Learn - Vocabulary List
Online Flashcards
Lesson Plan from South Carolina in HTML Word Document PDF File
School Library Journal writes, “Namioka uses their growing friendship to explore cultural differences and the problems of adjustment to a new society with a light but sure touch. Warm, humorous black-and-white sketches illuminate each character with casual, but astute, perception. Simpler and less incisive than Bette Bao Lord's In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (HarperCollins, 1984), which is set in an earlier era, this multicultural music and sports story will have a broad appeal for young readers.”

Publishers Weekly comments, “Peppered with wry commentary on the often baffling experience of adapting to a new country and a new language, Beijing-born Namioka's fresh and funny novel serves up a slice of modern, multicultural American life. Her comic timing and deadpan delivery are reminiscent of Betsy Byars, and her book will leave readers begging for more.”

Lesson Plan - Ties That Bind, Ties That Break


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Average Customer Review: 4 of 5 Total Reviews: 1 Write a review.

  5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
great book July 15, 2006
Reviewer: Helene Harris from Undisclosed  
all the yang books are great. Besides being well-written and funny he author engagingly deals with the issue of bridging Asian culture and American culture which is of especial interest to transracially adoptive families.

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