Hot Best Seller

The Legend of Auntie Po

Availability: Ready to download

Part historical fiction, part magical realism, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendsh Part historical fiction, part magical realism, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman's daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan--reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch. Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a myth, and about immigrant families and communities holding on to rituals and traditions while staking out their own place in America.


Compare

Part historical fiction, part magical realism, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendsh Part historical fiction, part magical realism, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman's daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan--reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch. Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a myth, and about immigrant families and communities holding on to rituals and traditions while staking out their own place in America.

30 review for The Legend of Auntie Po

  1. 4 out of 5

    Skye Kilaen

    I absolutely loved this graphic novel starring Mei, a queer Chinese teenage girl who works with her father in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. It's a pretty quiet book and initially feels more slice of life, but as it progresses a thoughtful story unfolds about anti-Asian racism, privilege, belonging, family, and what makes a true friendship. By the end I felt like Mei had a bright future ahead of her and I love to see that in queer historical fiction. <3 I would recommend this for middle s I absolutely loved this graphic novel starring Mei, a queer Chinese teenage girl who works with her father in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. It's a pretty quiet book and initially feels more slice of life, but as it progresses a thoughtful story unfolds about anti-Asian racism, privilege, belonging, family, and what makes a true friendship. By the end I felt like Mei had a bright future ahead of her and I love to see that in queer historical fiction. <3 I would recommend this for middle school kids on up through adults.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Danika at The Lesbrary

    This is a quiet, almost slice-of-life graphic novel about a 13-year-old queer Chinese American girl's life at a logging camp. Mei is the daughter of the camp cook, and she helps out in the kitchen and spends her free time spinning yarns for the other children in camp--especially about Po Pan Yin, or Auntie Po, a Chinese American matriarchal version of Paul Bunyan. She is best friends with (and obviously has a crush on) Bee, the foreman's daughter. In the background, though, is the constant hum o This is a quiet, almost slice-of-life graphic novel about a 13-year-old queer Chinese American girl's life at a logging camp. Mei is the daughter of the camp cook, and she helps out in the kitchen and spends her free time spinning yarns for the other children in camp--especially about Po Pan Yin, or Auntie Po, a Chinese American matriarchal version of Paul Bunyan. She is best friends with (and obviously has a crush on) Bee, the foreman's daughter. In the background, though, is the constant hum of anti-Asian racism. The Chinese workers eat separately from other workers. A sawmill that employed Chinese workers is burned down. Mei is keenly aware that she's losing something: she no longer prays, she doesn't know her grandparents, and her Cantonese is rusty. She is caught between traditions she feels disconnected with and an American culture that doesn't accept her. Auntie Po is the bridge between them: a blending of cultures and a way of adapting tradition to make it relevant. Full review at the Lesbrary.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Thirteen-year-old Mei helps her father cooking for loggers in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. As she tries to come to terms with all the forces pressing on her identity (the Chinese Exclusion Act, her sexuality, her wish to go to college) she tells stories about Auntie Po (an older Chinese woman who is substituted for Paul Bunyan) and her blue giant blue ox Pei Pei. This is a wonderful story that is an example of transformative mythology; Mei takes the 'American' Paul Bunyan and turns him Thirteen-year-old Mei helps her father cooking for loggers in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. As she tries to come to terms with all the forces pressing on her identity (the Chinese Exclusion Act, her sexuality, her wish to go to college) she tells stories about Auntie Po (an older Chinese woman who is substituted for Paul Bunyan) and her blue giant blue ox Pei Pei. This is a wonderful story that is an example of transformative mythology; Mei takes the 'American' Paul Bunyan and turns him into a an elderly Chinese matriarch who substitutes for all of the feminine guidance she is lacking in her life. The art is wonderful.

  4. 4 out of 5

    aqilahreads

    the story focuses on mei, a 13yo queer chinese-american girl’s life at a logging camp in 1885. mei helps out in the kitchen a lot; being the daughter of the camp cook. when theres time, she shares tales about auntie po - a chinese american matriarch with a blue ox - with people at camp. she eventually became best friends with the foreman’s daughter named bee whom she also has a crush on. i particularly enjoyed reading this because of its exploration in friendships across racial/economic differen the story focuses on mei, a 13yo queer chinese-american girl’s life at a logging camp in 1885. mei helps out in the kitchen a lot; being the daughter of the camp cook. when theres time, she shares tales about auntie po - a chinese american matriarch with a blue ox - with people at camp. she eventually became best friends with the foreman’s daughter named bee whom she also has a crush on. i particularly enjoyed reading this because of its exploration in friendships across racial/economic differences. the watercolour art is nice to look at too, cant help but to admire & appreciate! i dont know if im expecting too much but as a reader who is not really knowledgeable about the historical event mentioned ((chinese exclusion act)), i just wish theres more information about its historical background - probably just a little sharing in the foreword/afterword. as for the queer content, its not really obvious but was mentioned in the author's note. this is apparently under YA section and i am not too sure if this would appeal to alot of readers but definitely would make a great conversation starter as its a topic that not a lot of authors would tackle. overall, it was a decent read - looks like its gonna be a lengthy read but its actually pretty quick!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vianne

    oh this was so lovely and precious I mean, it's a historical magical realism graphic novel following a queer Chinese-American girl that features friendships, myth retellings, and ~immigrant feels.~ I mean, if that doesn't hit all of my buzzwords. There were so many things I loved about this book. From the delicate way it handled historical racism toward Chinese-Americans, to the way it reimagined the tale of Paul Bunyan as an old Asian woman. Mei was such an incredible protagonist who was strong a oh this was so lovely and precious I mean, it's a historical magical realism graphic novel following a queer Chinese-American girl that features friendships, myth retellings, and ~immigrant feels.~ I mean, if that doesn't hit all of my buzzwords. There were so many things I loved about this book. From the delicate way it handled historical racism toward Chinese-Americans, to the way it reimagined the tale of Paul Bunyan as an old Asian woman. Mei was such an incredible protagonist who was strong and also caring, and I loved the relationships she had with her dad and Bee. The art style and colouring were also really nice in an almost nostalgic way that reminded me of the picture books I grew up with, and overall it just made the tone and vibe of this book so incredibly comforting. My heart is full.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    any review will tell you this graphic novel is a heartfelt slice of reclaimed history, so I'm just going to plug Shing Yin Khor's other projects—their installation art, keepsake games, and delightful patreon mail are such joyful oddballs! any review will tell you this graphic novel is a heartfelt slice of reclaimed history, so I'm just going to plug Shing Yin Khor's other projects—their installation art, keepsake games, and delightful patreon mail are such joyful oddballs!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus In 1885, Mei Hao lives with her father, who is a cook for a logging camp in California run by Mr. Andersen. Because Mei and her father are Chinese, there is a lot of prejudice against them, even though Mr. Andersen thinks of them as "family". Sometimes, this is true. Mei is best friends with Bee, and the two often plan their futures together. Since Mei has a crush on Bee, she has conflicted feelings when Mei talks about getting married and prefers the scenario whe E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus In 1885, Mei Hao lives with her father, who is a cook for a logging camp in California run by Mr. Andersen. Because Mei and her father are Chinese, there is a lot of prejudice against them, even though Mr. Andersen thinks of them as "family". Sometimes, this is true. Mei is best friends with Bee, and the two often plan their futures together. Since Mei has a crush on Bee, she has conflicted feelings when Mei talks about getting married and prefers the scenario where the two move to the city and run a pie shop together. In other ways, the differences are clear. The Chinese loggers are fed separately from the white loggers, Mei is not paid, and the treatment of Chinese workers is not equal. There are also a few black workers, who hold a place somewhere in between. Mr. Andersen hires his brother to "help" in the kitchen, which Mr. Hao doesn't particularly like, although he keeps silent, and when the people who own the camp complain, Mr. Hao and his Chinese assistant are both fired. The food is awful, and the white men in the camp eventually approach Mei to help feed them, and go to Mr. Andersen with their complaints. Mei is known for telling stories to keep the children happy, and has told many stories about Auntie Po, a Paul Bunyan-like character who also has an ox, and who takes care of the miners. As the tensions in camp worsen, Mei begins to think that she actually sees Auntie Po. This happens more often when tragedy occurs in Bee's family, and the whole logging camp struggles to deal with this event. In the aftermath, Mr. Andersen starts to realize how badly he has treated the Chinese miners, and especially the Hao's, and tries to make amends. Strengths: This was a great historical story with a unique spin on the Paul Bunyan tales. Reimagining them with a Chinese Auntie makes perfect sense, since folklore is always adapted to fit different cultures. The information about logging camps is well researched and informative. Mei does not have a lot of hope for her future at the beginning of the story, but it is good to see that by the end, there are other options for her. The LGBTQIA+ representation is not a large part of the story, but it's nice to see it represented in a historical context. Certainly, there were "Boston marriages" (a term in use around this time) even on the west coast! Mr. Andersen's portrayal as someone who thought he was progressive for the time but who still didn't treat his employees equally in interestingly done. The story moves along quickly. Weaknesses: This was such an intriguing piece of history that I wished it wasn't a graphic novel, so I could have gotten more information! I also spent a lot of time trying to understand the color palette and being confused by Auntie Po's bright pink shirt. On the bright side, this kept me from being obsessed with the noses, which is usually how I interact with graphic novels, which are just not my cup of tea. What I really think: This was a really interesting story; I just wanted more information! A great addition to a slowly growing collection of graphic novels with cultural connections.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    A well-written historical fiction hides how much research went into creating it. Good historical fiction takes the elements and weaves them seamlessly, so you don’t know what happened, and what might have happened. The Legend of Antie Po is one such book. The research for this book must have been amazing, especially all the parts that went into a logging camp, along with who was there, and what their jobs were, and what their equipment was. Amazing story. I swallowed in one big gulp. I love Aunt A well-written historical fiction hides how much research went into creating it. Good historical fiction takes the elements and weaves them seamlessly, so you don’t know what happened, and what might have happened. The Legend of Antie Po is one such book. The research for this book must have been amazing, especially all the parts that went into a logging camp, along with who was there, and what their jobs were, and what their equipment was. Amazing story. I swallowed in one big gulp. I love Auntie Po, the Chinese Auntie who rivaled Paul Bonyon. I loved that Mei could see her, but the white people, the white adults could not. I loved how her legend was woven into the story. Mei is queer, in love, as a 13 year old, with Bee, the white foreman’s daughter. Bt Bee has dreams that do not involve Mei, opportunities because she is white, that Mei may never have. The story takes place in 1885,in the Sierra Nevadas, after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, after the gold rush, when the hatred against Chinese is so bad that whole Chinatowns are being burnt down. Not wanting to give too much away, because you really have to read the book without much more background then I have given you above, to get the full impact. There was a point where I had to look up The Log Driver’s Waltz song, because log driving was happening. Having had to research around that period myself, for my historical fiction, it is amazing how much is a) not taught in schools about the Chinese in America, and b) how much still is not known. Unlike many cultures, there is not as much left by the Chinese themselves. No first hand accounts of working on the railroad. Most were written by the white men amongst them. So, go out and buy or borrow the book, right now. Highly, highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    The middle grade graphic novel has a lot of heart. A Chinese American girl whose father and her face discrimination in the logging camps in the Sierra Nevadas but whose connection with a white family who runs the logging camp brings in a historical element of prejudice and discrimination as the Chinese Exclusion Act came into being but also about the dangers of the expansion of the west particularly with logging but also a sense of community and belonging and finding your dreams whatever they ma The middle grade graphic novel has a lot of heart. A Chinese American girl whose father and her face discrimination in the logging camps in the Sierra Nevadas but whose connection with a white family who runs the logging camp brings in a historical element of prejudice and discrimination as the Chinese Exclusion Act came into being but also about the dangers of the expansion of the west particularly with logging but also a sense of community and belonging and finding your dreams whatever they may be. Interspersed is an organized few magical elements of a Paul Bunyan-like Aunti Po and her blue oxen. It's a little less sophisticated in integration than The Magic Fish, but it has the elements of deep thoughtfulness and understanding. And I enjoyed the watercolor colors of the graphic novel (as well as the font choice-- not a typical font yet easy to read and it worked with the 'paintbrush' style of the art)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Arango

    THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO was A+! Love me a good historical fiction graphic novel. . This one has: 🪵 Queer Chinese-American MC 🪵 1885 Sierra Nevada Logging Camp 🪵 Oral Storytelling (Who Owns Myths?) 🪵 The Cutest Giant Blue Water Buffalo 🪵 Racism via The Chinese Exclusion Act 🪵 The Privilege/Danger of Proximity to Whiteness 🪵 Friendship & Found Family 🪵 Balancing Immigrant Identities 🪵 Loads of Pie 🪵 Ultimately Hopeful Ending . AUNTIE PO is labeled middle grade, but I could see this also appealing to high sch THE LEGEND OF AUNTIE PO was A+! Love me a good historical fiction graphic novel. . This one has: 🪵 Queer Chinese-American MC 🪵 1885 Sierra Nevada Logging Camp 🪵 Oral Storytelling (Who Owns Myths?) 🪵 The Cutest Giant Blue Water Buffalo 🪵 Racism via The Chinese Exclusion Act 🪵 The Privilege/Danger of Proximity to Whiteness 🪵 Friendship & Found Family 🪵 Balancing Immigrant Identities 🪵 Loads of Pie 🪵 Ultimately Hopeful Ending . AUNTIE PO is labeled middle grade, but I could see this also appealing to high schoolers looking for a quiet nuanced story about a specific time in this country's history. Either way, it's definitely a must for school libraries, where librarians can make sure it gets into the hands of the kids who would appreciate it the most.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ryn Baginski

    *review based on an ARC This book is going to be stunning in full color. The story itself shows how complicated relationships can be when navigating vast differences in privilege. It also explores how a myth and reality can both be true, can both be valid at the same time depending on how you see the world in front of you. The friendships and grief and discrimination and families are all complex and real in their complexity. I knew nothing about Chinese immigrants in the 1880s logging industry, a *review based on an ARC This book is going to be stunning in full color. The story itself shows how complicated relationships can be when navigating vast differences in privilege. It also explores how a myth and reality can both be true, can both be valid at the same time depending on how you see the world in front of you. The friendships and grief and discrimination and families are all complex and real in their complexity. I knew nothing about Chinese immigrants in the 1880s logging industry, and learning about this was also a bonus to this already amazing story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Lorenz

    I can't wait to add this to my library collection. The Legend of Auntie Po is a fascinating, nuanced story of Mei, a young queer Chinese girl growing up in a logging camp. Auntie Po is the gender-flipped, Chinese version of Paul Bunyan and with Minnesota's love of Paul and history of logging, I think kids will connect with this story. I love how it tells this story that has been overlooked and relegated to the sidelines. I'm glad to know more about Chinese cooks and laborers in logging camps. Th I can't wait to add this to my library collection. The Legend of Auntie Po is a fascinating, nuanced story of Mei, a young queer Chinese girl growing up in a logging camp. Auntie Po is the gender-flipped, Chinese version of Paul Bunyan and with Minnesota's love of Paul and history of logging, I think kids will connect with this story. I love how it tells this story that has been overlooked and relegated to the sidelines. I'm glad to know more about Chinese cooks and laborers in logging camps. The illustrations of this text are gorgeous and convey so much atmosphere and emotion. A wonderful addition to middle grade literature.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Danielle T

    A middle grade graphic novel featuring a queer Chinese girl cook in a logging camp, yes please- this has been on my radar for a while, and I'm so glad to have it in my hands. The watercolors are vivid, and Mei & Bee's friendship is so lovely. Though written for a middle-grade audience, it doesn't shy away from the tension and threat of violence Chinese in America faced in the Exclusion era (this takes place in 1885-6, so the early years but before people knew it was going to last for another 60 A middle grade graphic novel featuring a queer Chinese girl cook in a logging camp, yes please- this has been on my radar for a while, and I'm so glad to have it in my hands. The watercolors are vivid, and Mei & Bee's friendship is so lovely. Though written for a middle-grade audience, it doesn't shy away from the tension and threat of violence Chinese in America faced in the Exclusion era (this takes place in 1885-6, so the early years but before people knew it was going to last for another 60 years). I also really want pie now.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    As a teacher in WI, I'm excited to have a graphic novel featuring a logging camp that delves into identity and racism in addition to the historical aspects. It has many layers. It's also a great friendship and family story. The connection to Paul Bunyan with Auntie Po and her companion also adds a playfulness even while dealing with serious happenings. I look forward to sharing this one with students. As a teacher in WI, I'm excited to have a graphic novel featuring a logging camp that delves into identity and racism in addition to the historical aspects. It has many layers. It's also a great friendship and family story. The connection to Paul Bunyan with Auntie Po and her companion also adds a playfulness even while dealing with serious happenings. I look forward to sharing this one with students.

  16. 4 out of 5

    S

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I want to give this more than five stars. It has so much and is so beautifully written and illustrated. And, frankly, the acknowledgement of who was left out of the story (indigenous people) in the end note was the sort of thoughtful accounting more historical fiction should lean toward. To Shing Yin Khor - Thank you for this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cy

    great story about an oft-overlooked and undertaught part of u.s. history. there was a lot happening in this book, and i feel like it could have been longer to explore the themes a little deeper and give the reader more time to digest them. i've been thinking about it a lot after reading. great story about an oft-overlooked and undertaught part of u.s. history. there was a lot happening in this book, and i feel like it could have been longer to explore the themes a little deeper and give the reader more time to digest them. i've been thinking about it a lot after reading.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sam Bloom

    4.5 stars

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Johnson

    I love the artwork in this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    It was not always easy to find information about the history of Chinese immigrant communities in North America, much less in contemporary fiction and graphic novels. When I first read the synopsis of The Legend of Auntie Po, I knew that I needed to add it to my reading list. Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for the gifted copy. Mei is a young Chinese girl who lives on a Sierra Nevada logging camp in the 1880s with her father, who cooks for the logging crew. As Mei navigates her friendshi It was not always easy to find information about the history of Chinese immigrant communities in North America, much less in contemporary fiction and graphic novels. When I first read the synopsis of The Legend of Auntie Po, I knew that I needed to add it to my reading list. Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for the gifted copy. Mei is a young Chinese girl who lives on a Sierra Nevada logging camp in the 1880s with her father, who cooks for the logging crew. As Mei navigates her friendship with the camp foreman’s daughter and her aspiring (and impossible) dreams, the Chinese Exclusion Act changes things at the logging camp. While the Chinese workers have never been treated fairly or equally, things get even worse when her father is fired and there are racist and violent attacks against those in Mei’s community. Mei finds comfort and support in the stories she tells about Auntie Po, a legendary elderly Chinese matriarch who can protect her and those around her. This is a story about family, friendship, doing what’s right, and the resilience of the immigrant communities in America. I connected with Mei through her experiences and challenges as growing up as a minority. My own family’s history and story of arriving in Canada is also one of hardship and systemic racism. The resilience and determination of Mei, her father, and her friends are a sign of hope for all of us who come from these immigrant communities who contributed to North America’s history. These stories are important, not just for those within our own communities, but for the general population to see how vital immigrant communities have always been. TW: Racism, racial slurs, violence, death, xenophobia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    The subject matter of Chinese workers in an American logging camp is not one I would expect to find myself reading about. However this graphic novel covered the topic in a very engaging way, and the replacing of Paul Bunyan with Auntie Po Pin Yan was a neat addition. I loved the illustrations and the informative sections on logging tools and rituals. The characters were light and enjoyable while still managing to cover some slightly heavier subject matter. I think this telling is an especially c The subject matter of Chinese workers in an American logging camp is not one I would expect to find myself reading about. However this graphic novel covered the topic in a very engaging way, and the replacing of Paul Bunyan with Auntie Po Pin Yan was a neat addition. I loved the illustrations and the informative sections on logging tools and rituals. The characters were light and enjoyable while still managing to cover some slightly heavier subject matter. I think this telling is an especially child-friendly introduction to this and other related topics.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    In this delightful graphic novel thirteen-year-old Mei bakes scrumptious pies and helps her father, the camp cook, at a Sierra Nevada lumber camp in 1885. Mei is a gifted storyteller, and she puts all her powers at work in spinning a series of tales for herself and the youngsters in the camp about Auntie Po, a much-larger-than-life figure reminiscent of the mighty Paul Bunyan. Auntie Po is strong, powerful, and able to move the large trees in the area without breaking a sweat. Mei is smart and d In this delightful graphic novel thirteen-year-old Mei bakes scrumptious pies and helps her father, the camp cook, at a Sierra Nevada lumber camp in 1885. Mei is a gifted storyteller, and she puts all her powers at work in spinning a series of tales for herself and the youngsters in the camp about Auntie Po, a much-larger-than-life figure reminiscent of the mighty Paul Bunyan. Auntie Po is strong, powerful, and able to move the large trees in the area without breaking a sweat. Mei is smart and dreams of attending a university someday although she knows the likelihood of her being able to do so is slim. She is also close to Bee, the daughter of the lumber company's foreman, and has romantic feelings for her. The two girls have conversations about love, marriage, and the future, but Bee never seems to get a clue that Mei loves her. Racial tensions and anti-Chinese sentiment swirl in town and touch the camp as well, and Hels Anderson, the foreman, is forced to fire Mei's father. He regrets his actions and rehires him, but Hao has a few conditions before agreeing to return. And Anderson begins to embrace parts of Chinese culture as he realizes the value of his cook. The text and color-filled illustrations effectively depict the rugged life at a lumber camp, complete with tragedies and small moments of happiness. While I'm not sure I could completely buy the transformation of Mr. Anderson, the book touched me, reminding me that stories can save us and offer hope and explanations for why certain things happen. And the story spinner herself realizes that as much as she might wish it to be so, her story and Bee's will play out quite differently. Fans of folklore or stories of the Wild West will find this graphic novel well worth their time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    The Paul Bunyan myth gets transformed by a young Chinese-American girl growing up in the logging camps in this graphic novel. Mei shares her stories about Auntie Po just as freely as she shares her stellar pies. She is the daughter of the camp cook and helps out her father in the kitchen. The manager of the camp loves her pies and is friends with her father, but that only goes so far. The Chinese men logging are fed separately. When her father is fired, Mei is left behind at the camp with her be The Paul Bunyan myth gets transformed by a young Chinese-American girl growing up in the logging camps in this graphic novel. Mei shares her stories about Auntie Po just as freely as she shares her stellar pies. She is the daughter of the camp cook and helps out her father in the kitchen. The manager of the camp loves her pies and is friends with her father, but that only goes so far. The Chinese men logging are fed separately. When her father is fired, Mei is left behind at the camp with her best friend. Mei uses her stories of Po Pan Yin, Auntie Po, to give all of the children in the camp a heroine they can believe in. Mei must find a way through the politics of race and privilege to find a future for herself and her father in America. Khor offers a mix of tall tale and riveting real life in this graphic novel. She weaves in LGBT elements as Mei has feelings for Bee, her best friend. The use of sharing tales to provide comfort combines seamlessly with also offering food. Mei is a girl with a future that seems out of reach much of the time, but comes into focus by the end of the book. The book looks directly at racism in the years after the Chinese Exclusion Act and offers a mixture of characters that are racist and allies for Mei to encounter and deal with. The art focuses on the characters themselves, sometimes offering glimpses of the Sierra Nevada scenery too. Chapters begin with different logging tools being featured and described. The art is full of bold colors, the huge Auntie Po, and the busyness of a logging camp and its kitchen. A fascinating look at logging from a Chinese-American point of view combined with some really tall tales. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    The Legend of Auntie Po is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Shing Yin Khor. In a late-19th-century Sierra Nevada logging camp, a Chinese American girl spins tall tales and dreams of a better future. In 1885, following the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese American Mei, 13, works alongside her father at a California logging camp, feeding a hundred white lumberjacks and forty Chinese workers. In her free time, Mei regales the women and children at camp with stories of Paul Buny The Legend of Auntie Po is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Shing Yin Khor. In a late-19th-century Sierra Nevada logging camp, a Chinese American girl spins tall tales and dreams of a better future. In 1885, following the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese American Mei, 13, works alongside her father at a California logging camp, feeding a hundred white lumberjacks and forty Chinese workers. In her free time, Mei regales the women and children at camp with stories of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, reimagined as the legends of Auntie Po and her faithful blue buffalo, Pei Pei. Through these retellings, Mei navigates the dangers and politics of lumber camp work, her yearning to hold on to her cultural identity, her burgeoning acknowledgment of her queerness, and the waning dream of university education. When tragedy strikes, Mei's faith in her invented god, Auntie Po, falters. However, by connecting with traditions old and new, and harnessing the healing power of storytelling within her community, Mei begins to recognize her agency in a prejudiced world. The Legend of Auntie Po is written and constructed rather well. Khor straddles myth and harsh realities via stunning digital pencil and hand-painted watercolor art that highlights cornerstones of Chinese culture. Much will resonate with diasporic readers, though any reader will find Mei's journey cathartic. Informative spreads serve as sources of logging trivia, and an author’s note clarifies identity intersections and historical omissions. All in all, The Legend of Auntie Po is a timely and ultimately hopeful tale.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    At first I felt this would be a solid three-star story: the illustrations were good, the story seemed good, but I wasn't expecting anything earthshattering. But by the end I found myself deeply impressed with the storytelling skills here. Mei and her father are cooks at a lumber camp. While they are generally respected by the camp supervisor, the conditions of the Chinese camp workers are markedly different from the white crew. There's an interesting combination of prejudice and comradery that h At first I felt this would be a solid three-star story: the illustrations were good, the story seemed good, but I wasn't expecting anything earthshattering. But by the end I found myself deeply impressed with the storytelling skills here. Mei and her father are cooks at a lumber camp. While they are generally respected by the camp supervisor, the conditions of the Chinese camp workers are markedly different from the white crew. There's an interesting combination of prejudice and comradery that highlights the differences between mere tolerance and actual respect. Alongside the historical notes, friendship story, and discrimination threads, there are Mei's stories of Auntie Po and her blue ox, Pei Pei. Reminiscent of Paul Bunyan, Auntie Po is also larger than life and offers assistance when she can. Throughout the story it is unclear whether Auntie Po and Pei Pei are merely stories that live in the imaginations of Mei and some of the others in camp, or if they are "real." But honestly, it doesn't matter. Together with books like Prairie Lotus, The Legend of Auntie Po shines a light on the shadows of history. Stories like this increase the richness of the past, reminding us that there are always new layers of history to discover, always new ways to inform our present, and that the chaos of humanity persists. Note: the queerness is subtle, but definitely there.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    The video promos by Shing Yin Khor make reading this book more of a joy. OMG she collects axes and logging paraphernal! And painted an axe target in her back yard! (I too, was pretty hopeless when I went axe throwing with my family....) And log flumes! I so like the ride, I never thought about the value they served for loggers. Plus I'm a sucker to books with connections to Wisconsin. Wisconsin is mentioned in the story, Wisconsin is included in the bibliography. I'm a bit awed by her, I'll call The video promos by Shing Yin Khor make reading this book more of a joy. OMG she collects axes and logging paraphernal! And painted an axe target in her back yard! (I too, was pretty hopeless when I went axe throwing with my family....) And log flumes! I so like the ride, I never thought about the value they served for loggers. Plus I'm a sucker to books with connections to Wisconsin. Wisconsin is mentioned in the story, Wisconsin is included in the bibliography. I'm a bit awed by her, I'll call it passion, for Paul Bunyan. Her transformation to create Auntie Po, and bring her to life is inspirational. Her story includes celebrating her heritage the "racial tumult following the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act"... In discussing her dad's little shrine for his parents: "...I guess I just want to hold on to all the scraps of my family, all these rituals that I don't remember the reasons for." pg 231 This book is a collection for stories... Page 262 "Sometimes, our stories have to end, so we can have more of them. I like this story anyway." page 263 "Sometimes, we won't always get everything we want But the things I can have -- well, they're still very good." I didn't have dry eyes as I read the last part of this book. Bibliography items of interest to me: Chung, Sue Fawn. Chinese in the Woods. University of Illinois Press, 2015. (pdf from NYPL) Edmonds, Michael. Out of the Northwoods. Wisconsin Historical Society, 2010.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brigid

    It seems that every year I read a book and think “This is the book of the year!” Last year it was Snapdragon, by Kat Leyh, and this year it’s The Legend of Auntie Po, by Shing Yin Khor. The book is set in a logging camp in the late 19th century. There Mei helps her father in the kitchen, turning out meals for the white lumberjacks (whose room and board are included with employment) and the Chinese workers (who don’t have those perks). Despite the unequal treatment and the rugged surroundings, Mei It seems that every year I read a book and think “This is the book of the year!” Last year it was Snapdragon, by Kat Leyh, and this year it’s The Legend of Auntie Po, by Shing Yin Khor. The book is set in a logging camp in the late 19th century. There Mei helps her father in the kitchen, turning out meals for the white lumberjacks (whose room and board are included with employment) and the Chinese workers (who don’t have those perks). Despite the unequal treatment and the rugged surroundings, Mei and her best friend Bee share a close friendship (with just a flicker of romantic attraction on Mei’s part), and in the evenings Mei entertains the young people of the camp with her tales of Auntie Po, a mythical lumberjack who shares some characteristics (enormous size and strength, and a giant blue ox) with Paul Bunyan. For a time, Mei actually sees Auntie Po and her ox. The characters are strong and well defined, and Khor incorporates the historical prejudice against Chinese Americans into the story in a very natural way. Khor ties this all together with some really solid cartooning, playing with panels and negative space, and sometimes adding a decorative touch that’s also part of the story: At the top of the page, we see tiny silhouettes of a character, say, running and slowing down as she approaches her house. The story is straightforward enough for middle-graders to enjoy but sophisticated enough to intrigue older readers as well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alexa Hamilton

    Mei lives and work in a logging camp with her father. Her best friend is Bee, daughter of the foreman and a white girl. Mei is smart and capable and makes great pies. She believes in Auntie Po, a legend who helps loggers and then one day, she can see Auntie Po and her big blue ox. Her friendship with Bee could be more, but that isn't where this story goes. This story tackles racism against the Chinese, friendship among the loggers, and what girls could do at that time. I love the illustrations in Mei lives and work in a logging camp with her father. Her best friend is Bee, daughter of the foreman and a white girl. Mei is smart and capable and makes great pies. She believes in Auntie Po, a legend who helps loggers and then one day, she can see Auntie Po and her big blue ox. Her friendship with Bee could be more, but that isn't where this story goes. This story tackles racism against the Chinese, friendship among the loggers, and what girls could do at that time. I love the illustrations in this book, they are welcoming and lovely--showing nature and legends and night and day very beautifully. There is sometimes Chinese depicted in the word bubbles with no translation, which works out just fine for those of us who can't read it. The author notes that there are no indigenous Americans in this camp, even though history says there were many indigenous Americans in these camps but the author felt it was not her story to tell. It's hard because I can see where the story is cleaner without it but I did wish maybe there was one--but their story wouldn't have been told in full in this book no matter what.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Mei lives with her father, Ah Hao, in a logging camp where he serves as the camp cook. As tensions arise in the surrounding community and Chinese immigrants are being attacked, the owner of the camp orders the foreman, Hels Anderson, to fire Ah Hao. Hels finds Ah Hao a job in town and allows Mei to stay with her best friend, Hels’ daughter Bee. As an antidote to injustices, Mei tells tall tales of a Chinese lumberjack named Auntie Po and her big blue water buffalo Pei Pei to the camp children. T Mei lives with her father, Ah Hao, in a logging camp where he serves as the camp cook. As tensions arise in the surrounding community and Chinese immigrants are being attacked, the owner of the camp orders the foreman, Hels Anderson, to fire Ah Hao. Hels finds Ah Hao a job in town and allows Mei to stay with her best friend, Hels’ daughter Bee. As an antidote to injustices, Mei tells tall tales of a Chinese lumberjack named Auntie Po and her big blue water buffalo Pei Pei to the camp children. The illustrations in this graphic novel are beautiful and the author’s note and resources explain her interest in sharing stories of marginalized people. She ends her author’s note, “I feel that we have the obligation to return ourselves to the narrative. If history failed us, fiction will have to restore us.”

  30. 5 out of 5

    BiblioBrandie

    I really loved this graphic novel, which is part historical fiction, part magical realism, and part mythology. This is a beautifully crafted and illustrated coming-of-age story set in 1885. Following the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, 13-year old Chinese American Mei works alongside her father at a California logging camp. Mei tells stories of Auntie Po and her faithful blue buffalo, Pei Pei, and these legends help her through some tough times. This story touches on mythology and in her a I really loved this graphic novel, which is part historical fiction, part magical realism, and part mythology. This is a beautifully crafted and illustrated coming-of-age story set in 1885. Following the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, 13-year old Chinese American Mei works alongside her father at a California logging camp. Mei tells stories of Auntie Po and her faithful blue buffalo, Pei Pei, and these legends help her through some tough times. This story touches on mythology and in her author's note Khor asks, who gets to tell and own myths? She also explains how she wanted to tell a story of a queer Chinese American. I feel like this is a fresh take on the historical graphic novel. Loved it!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

hi
Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.