Flying the Dragon
by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
A Texas Bluebonnet Award NomineeSM
2013 Kids Wings Top Flight Award
Skye has always dreamed of making all-star soccer team. Just as her dream starts to take shape, something happens to make it dissolve before her eyes.
At the same time, a half a world away Hiroshi and his grandfather design and build a kite he will fly in a major kite fighting championship, but the same thing that causes Skye's soccer dream to dissolve, reaches out to crumble Hiroshi's kite dream.
Skye and Hiroshi don't know it yet, but they are cousins, and the invisible thread of fate will soon pull them together.
Japan is the family's homeland, but through the years, part of the Grandfather's family has broken off and immigrated to the United States where they made a fine home for themselves. Staying in touch by mail does little to hold them together. The American Skye, a soccer all-star, is just a little older than her Japanese cousin Hiroshi, the champion kite fighter. If life were predictable, they may never have met to this day. But things change, Grandfather gets sick, and the family steps forward to make changes.
The best cancer treatments are in the United States, so Hiroshi must pack up his dreams with his kites as they immigrate to the United States for medical help. He will not be able to compete in Japan's rokkaku kite fighting competition. They will move close to Skye's family who wants to be able to help. Hiroshi will have to learn English. In fact, they will both be going to the fifth grade in same school. Skye will have to learn Japanese. She, too, will have to make a huge sacrifice. She will have to resign her place on the soccer all-stars so that she can go to Japanese language lessons on Saturday morning. Neither are happy. How will Skye feel to meet her grandfather for the first time? Will Grandfather respond to the cancer treatments? Will Hiroshi mind sharing him with Skye or will jealousy form a wedge between them? Will Skye be able to compete in soccer again? Will the kites ever fly for Hiroshi and Grandfather again? The answers lie in Flying the Dragon.
The story of a Japanese-American family that is split over a single problem becomes the revival of the family coming back together for a single purpose, giving up their individual dreams and desires to experience healing, forgiveness, purpose, sharing, and extraordinary competition.
Flying the Dragon weaves Japanese traditions and language together with those of America. Japanese words are defined in appositives for easy understanding. Strong characterization frames an interesting story that will make you want to go fly a kite yourself!
The 51-page Kids Wings unit provides opportunity for discussion, drama, honing of reading strategies, writing, solving a logic puzzle and a crossword puzzle, research, and much more. In addition, a 50-page Jeopardy-type game challenges the class to compete in interactive fun.
Research Links for Flying the Dragon
A 51-page Kids Wings Literature Guide PLUS a 53-slide interactive Jeopardy-type game, perfect for lesson plans, handouts, playing on your computer, or projection on your SmartBoard! All these for Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi are now available for instant download!
Activity Guide Contains:
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