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Download Shanghai Messenger epub

by Ed Young,Andrea Cheng

You are my messenger. Look everything. Remember, Grandma Nai Nai tells eleven-year-old Xiao Mei as the girl heads off to Shanghai, China, to visit their extended family. Xiao Mei is both excited and apprehensive. She will meet many new relatives, but will they accept her, a girl from America who is only half Chinese? Xiao Mei is eagerly embraced by her aunties, uncles, and cousins and quickly immersed in the sights, smells, and hubbub of daily living in Shanghai. At first battling homesickness, Xiao Mei soon ventures out on her own, discovering the excitement of a different way of life and a new appreciation of her Chinese heritage. When it is finally time to leave, Xiao Mei must gather up her memories and bring a little bit of China back home. Ed Youngs exquisite drawings touchingly highlight Andrea Chengs lyrical story of adventure, self-discovery, and the strong bonds that tie families together.
Download Shanghai Messenger epub
ISBN: 1584302380
ISBN13: 978-1584302384
Category: Children
Subcategory: Growing Up & Facts of Life
Author: Ed Young,Andrea Cheng
Language: English
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Library Binding edition (August 11, 2005)
Pages: 40 pages
ePUB size: 1963 kb
FB2 size: 1478 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 757
Other Formats: mobi docx doc lrf

Touching and beautiful. This moving story about a young girl who travels alone to Shanghai is written in free verse. She shares her fears and joys as she connects with her roots and experiences culture shock.
A great book uncovered the complexity of Chinese American children's identity as well as grandparent-children relationship!
great ant
I knew immediately that I was going to love this book. The title and the gorgeously illustrated cover were enough to tell me that. I was not disappointed. The illustrations remained beautiful and touching throughout the whole of the book, and the story itself was absolutely lovely.

It's an unfortunate fact that, even today, life can be very difficult for children of mixed American families. Often times, these children feel as if they have enough of each culture so as not to fit in anywhere. In America,they are foreign; in their "other" country, they are American. I have seen it happen time and time again that children will reject their non-American half, turning away from it, wanting to have nothing to do with it.

It is for this very reason that the existence of stories like "Shanghai Messenger" is so important. As the reader reads the story of Xao Mei's voyage to China, seeing how she slowly integrates and learns to cherish her Chinese half, he will come to understand that it is possible to be two different things at once. Just as Xao Mei comes to terms with the fact that, while she is American, she is also Chinese, readers of mixed background will learn that it is okay, and even a positive thing, to embrace their other culture as Xao Mei does.

This book might just be a necessity for parents of mixed children to read with their children. It will also be great in classrooms with mixed children. I firmly believe that it will help teacher to show children not only how to accept themselves but also how to accept those that may be different from them.
Shanghai Messenger is a beautiful book of poetry written by Andrea Cheng and paired with the lovely illustrations of Ed Young. The poems and drawings work together harmoniously, as they tell the story of young Xiao Mei, who is half American and half Chinese and her experiences upon visiting family in Shanghai. Xiao Mei is excited and intrigued about visiting her Chinese family; however she is nervous about the meeting her strange relatives as well as dealing with cultural differences. Ultimately, she learns to appreciate her Chinese heritage through her many experiences in Shanghai, from traditional hair braids, to making wontons and even learning about Tai Chi. Upon returning to the United States, Xiao Mei is 'lled with pride and appreciation for both her Chinese and American cultures. This is a fantastic book for children ages 9-12 years old, clearly readers will enjoy the book's lovely cadence as well as its thoughtful and heartfelt story and delicate drawings.
11-year-old Chinese-American, Xiao Mei, is invited to visit her extended family in China. Initially uncertain about traveling alone to a place where she speaks little of the language, Xiao Mei impulsively accepts after her grandmother, Nai Nai (who lives with Xiao Mei) sketches their family tree. En-route to Shanghai, Xiao Mei finds a note from Nai Nai thanking her for being her "messenger." Ultimately, Xiao Mei is a courier in both directions, as she also carries gifts and messages of affection from the Chinese relatives back home to Ohio.

"Shanghai Messenger" is told through a set of 30 prose poems, each a page or two long. The poems form a single, narrow column on each page, vertically bordered on both sides with airy orange lattices reminiscent of rice-paper screens, and set off by small ink, pastel and charcoal drawings by Ed Young, the 1990 Caldecott Award-winning artist, who himself grew up in Shanghai. With plenty of white space to balance the concise text and decorative borders, the pages feel clean and open, yet attractive. There is also one double-spread centerfold illustration, and the cover picture, which is not repeated inside the book. The poems serve as sequential "snapshots": those about Xiao Mei's experiences in Shanghai particularly resemble travel album photos, offering colorful images of her arrival, and of such everyday and "tourist" activities as making wontons, visiting public gardens with historical family significance, participating in the community Tai Chi morning exercise routine, visiting a school, and doing laundry as the Chinese do. Not all is without challenge. At one point, Xiao Mei gets ill, as travelers often do. She is troubled by the unfamiliar Chinese remedies offered, until she finds relief and comfort in eating rice porridge cooked just as Nai Nai would make it.

Several events lead Xiao Mei to reflect on and better understand her Chinese-American identity as Xiao Mei/May Johanson, "half Chinese/half not...half and half/everywhere/in the world." She learns, for example, that one aunt is commenting admiringly (not negatively as Xiao Mei assumes) on Xiao Mei's curly hair while braiding it. She experiences being stereotyped by her Auntie Ting, who wrongly assumes that Xiao Mei has visited New York and likes Jell-O. She can't fully bridge the gap between herself and a Chinese schoolgirl, yet takes pleasure in being unexpectedly accepted as "Big Sister" by a small boy who understands her halting Chinese. Back home again, it's clear from Xiao Mei's conversations with her family there that her perspective about their extended Chinese family has grown wider and more appreciative. Her mailed "thank you" to the Chinese relatives represents a sincere, freshly-significant connection.

Andrea Cheng subtly, but skillfully, reveals realistic information about present-day China. For example, Shanghai's population pressures are suggested through Xiao Mei visiting a cousin in a 21st floor apartment, encountering bamboo scaffolding and building cranes multiple times as she moves around, and wondering will happen to an old lady, child, and goldfish living in a traditional courtyard house about to be bulldozed. Differences between typical Chinese and American standards of living are suggested through seeing her aunt cook elaborate meals on a hot plate in a stairwell, and noting her cousins' thankfulness for access to a tiny clothes dryer in their apartment hallway (used to dry laundry carried through the rain on the back of a moped!) Xiao Mei experiences shopping in China (not in a mall!) for both a live duck, and for a computer for her cousin. She experiences greater reliance on shared transportation than would be typical in Ohio: besides her plane trip to and from Shanghai, she travels by crowded van, foot, moped, subway and bus in the context of routine activities with her relatives. There is even a glance back at history as a cousin briefly describes eight "wasted" years of "re-education" during the Communist era. All of these details suggest contrasts between China and the U.S. in a matter-of-fact, accepting way; there's a lot of information, sometimes perhaps too much to be meaningful to a young reader with little background knowledge, packed into 30 poems.

The plot of "Shanghai Messenger" is driven more by description than action, but, in a gentle, inviting way, this narrative-in-verse gives a glimpse of modern urban Chinese life through the eyes of a pre-teen accustomed to life in America. It also offers encouragement for those of bi- or multi-cultural identities to enrich their self-understanding by exploring and connecting with unfamiliar parts of their family background and culture. As a teacher of English for Speakers of Other Languages, I look forward to perhaps using this book with, or recommending it to, some of my English language learners.