Prairie Lotus

Ages: 10 - 12Publisher: ClarionAuthor: Linda Sue Park


In 1880, Hanna had been traveling with her father in their covered wagon for three months and were now deep into Dakota Territory. Originally from Los Angeles, they were making their way to LaForge where Papa had a friend who might help him set up a hardware store – and where Hanna, a gifted seamstress who learned her skills from her late Asian mother, hopes to set up a tailoring business. The evening before they arrive in LaForge, Papa had gone hunting leaving Hanna fixing soup at their campsite. When Hanna is visited by some Sioux Indian women and children, she does what her mother would have done, and offers them some soup. She wryly observes that she hadn’t seen that much black hair since they had left Chinatown in Salt Lake.

Although her father is white, almost everyone in LaForge is prejudiced against the half-Asian girl, whose dream is to attend school and graduate. At school Hannah is mistreated by many – but not by her kind teacher, Miss Walters.  The tension that builds will keep readers deeply involved as prejudice against both Indians and Asians is revealed in all its malevolence. Readers will identify with the determined and engaging Hanna.


Kemie Nix ©2020 Parents’ Choice

Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children’s Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents’ Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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