Prairie Lotus

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Historical Fiction 261 p. Asian-Pacific American Award Winner

Hannah, age 14, is half-Chinese and half-white. She and her father are seeking a new start in South Dakota after her mother has died. The novel is inspired by the Little House books with a new outlook. Author Linda Sue Park said she wanted  to present a different view of Native Americans than Wilder did. Hannah and her father face discrimination and struggle as they work to start a clothing store and Hannah attends school. Most of the townspeople even refuse to send their children to school once they discover that Hannah is Chinese, but Hannah forges ahead and even makes new friends. Parks well-researched book includes Lakota/Dakota customs, history, and even a few words as Hannah meets a few Ihanktonwan women outside of town and they teach her a new recipe. Eventually, the store is opened and Hannah is even allowed to create a new dress to show at the opening. I loved the book and it felt very true to that era in time.

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