The beginning and end of each chapter involve a scene with Aunt Grace teaching Emily a little of what it means to be Chinese with the middle of the chapters following Raggedy Chan. The illustrated version of this book has some wonderful pictures to accompany the story. The pictures of the mythical creatures were especially excellent.
When fifth-grade Emma Chan-McDougal is ridiculed by her classmates for being part Chinese, she's devastated. To ease Emma's wounded self-esteem, her aunt, a Chinese immigrant, spins the mythical tale of a brave little Nine-Tail Fox named Ainu who lives in San Francisco. In a parallel animal world that comes to life when humans slumber, Ainu Nine-Tail and her mother face off against Chih Yu, an ancient demon who feeds on hatred. As the last of their clan, the Nine-Tails are honor-bound by a family oath to defend the Chinese animals from the demon. When Chih Yu kills her mother and leads an angry mob against Chinatown, Ainu is left to complete the task alone. Raw with grief and only partially trained for battle, Ainu must reach deep inside herself to find the wisdom and courage to save her people. Will the journey of Ainu Nine-Tail help Emma find the strength to confront the school bullies and win back her confidence? In this modern Chinese fable, Chinese-American author Camille Picott draws on her heritage to weave a story of courage, truth, and adventure.
Nine-Tail Fox by Camille Picott is a story about being strong in the face of prejudice to help children. The book tells a tale a Chinese girl having to deal with adversity in school though the lessons can be applied to any child who feels like an outcast.
The story was influenced by actual events that Chinese immigrants were forced to live through. The lessons taught are familiar from many childhood stories, but I found the use of characters that aren't normally seen in the tales I grew up with. This is a book that I will be sharing with my daughter as she grows up for sure.