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Book Review: Circle of Cranes by Annette Lebox

May 01, 2012

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Book Review: Circle of Cranes by Annette Lebox - Reviewed by Kidzworld on May 01, 2012
( Rating: 5 Star Rating)

In Circle of Cranes by Annette Lebox, Suyin learns the reality of the New York City sweatshops. Kidzworld has the book review.

Chinatown

When 13-year-old Suyin gets the opportunity to leave her small village in China to travel to Manhattan, she soon learns that New York City isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Instead of finding streets paved with gold, she and her new friends wind up working in a sweatshop in Chinatown, where conditions aren’t ideal, and the pay is minimal.

The Crane Sisterhood

Suyin’s life seems hopeless. In her village, embroidery was forbidden to her. Now, working in a textiles factory, her lack of skills shows. Suyin relies on the help of an ancient crane sisterhood, who live in the beautiful land of He-Shan. With their wisdom and the gift of a magical sewing needle, Suyin manages to get by.

Two Lives

Even though Suyin relies on the cranes, the cranes are also relying on Suyin. When she learns to transform into a crane, they need her travel to a dangerous land to save their queen. Meanwhile, in New York City, sweatshop workers are going on strike, demanding all of their back pay. If Suyin decides to fight for the cause, she’ll be risking her life.

The Bottom Line

Circle of Cranes is a very eye-opening story. It shows the reality of today’s working conditions for illegal Chinese immigrants in Chinatown. Annette Lebox also incorporated a magical element that gave the book a fable-like feel. While this novel is written for a middle grade readership, it could be enjoyed by all ages. We definitely recommend Circle of Cranes.

Circle of Cranes Rating: 5

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