Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story

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9781600602597: Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story

The true story of Chinese American film star Anna May Wong, whose trail-blazing career in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s broke new ground for future generations of Asian American actors.

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About the Author:

Paula Yoo is a Lee and Low author.

Lin Wang is a Lee and Low illustrator.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-5-Although Wong's days were filled with backbreaking work as she helped in her family's San Francisco Chinese laundry, her daydreams were replete with visions of life as a film star. Anna saw every movie she could, and eventually, despite her parents' opposition, she became a movie extra. As a young woman in the 1920s, beautiful and unusually tall, she was given supporting roles, but, distressed by the stereotypical characters Chinese actors were forced to portray, she decided to pursue her career in Europe. When she returned to Hollywood in 1935, she discovered that nothing had changed. After a visit to China, Wong returned to the U.S. with a renewed determination to eliminate the old Asian stereotypes that had become film standards. Her efforts yielded her some wonderful roles and helped open doors for other Asian-American actors. This is an excellent introduction to a one-time celeb little known to today's children. Yoo explains Wong's circumstances with clarity and portrays her hardships and triumphs in concise, easy-to-follow prose. Lin Wang's acrylic and watercolor illustrations are the perfect complement to the well-written text, precise in their realistic detail and particularly adept in their portrayal of both facial expressions and textures. They provide a vivid portrait of Wong's changing lifestyles, from that of her impoverished childhood surroundings to the elegant luxuries that her fame made possible. Readers will be entranced by the actress's rags-to-riches story, and her efforts at confronting racial discrimination will resonate with all ethnic minorities. An author's note fleshes out the biography, making this a fine choice for both school and public libraries.–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
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