Tiger Daughters - Lim, Rebecca
Liu, Leni Liu, Yvette and Lim, Rebecca
Allen & Unwin
The author, Rebecca Lim, writes from personal experience as an Asian migrant. She reveals in the Teachers’ Notes for this book that images of Asians, migrants or refugees were never positively portrayed in the children’s books she read when young. She wants to ensure that there are positive books available. Her background renders this story truthful and moving for readers. ‘Tiger Daughter’ features two young adult Chinese friends, Wen Zhou and Henry Xiao. Both are navigating their home lives with parents who follow cultural traditions. Their worlds at school are very different. Both are studying to pass an entrance exam for a selective school believing that this will provide future opportunities. Meanwhile, both are bound by their family’s cultural traditions at home. Two weeks before the entrance exam, tragedy strikes Henry’s family. His world stops, but Wen supports Henry which means she must defy her parents. The tense nature of several scenes makes for harrowing, but ultimately satisfying, reading. It is rare to have a novel that profiles the challenges of both adults and young people. This is a strength of ‘Tiger Daughter’. Wen’s mother gradually and realistically changes. The happy ending is perhaps unrealistic, but even so, it provides opportunities for discussion amongst young readers.
Conflict, Compassion, Cultural traditions, Empathy, Family, Friendship, Hope, Migrants, Race relations, Racism, Resilience, Respect
Secondary, Upper primary
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