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Reading List: The Chinese New Year Edition

Chinese New Year carries a rich cultural significance and reflects many important human values. We have taken some time to think about these particular values and chosen books that reflect these same values in literature. We hope that you enjoy exploring these too.


Renewal and Hope

Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It symbolises new beginnings and encourages us to leave behind the old and embrace the new with positivity and open-mindedness.


Ages 7-10 — "The Year of the Garden" by Andrea Cheng

An inspiring tale about starting new projects and friendships.


Ages 10-13 — "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A story about a young girl who discovers a lost garden and, with her cousin brings it back to life.


Ages 14-18 — "North of Beautiful" by Justina Chen

This novel deals with finding inner beauty and new beginnings.


The Year of the Garden by Andrea Cheng


Family and Unity

The festival is a time when families come together. It emphasises the importance of family relationships, and spending time with those we love.


Ages 7-10: "Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!" by Grace Lin

A book about twin sisters who appreciate their bond while embracing their individuality.


Ages 10-13: "The Red Pencil" by Andrea Davis Pinkney

A moving story about family and resilience.


Ages 14-18: "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck

Explores the Joad family's hardships and resilience as they journey from the Dust Bowl to California during the US Great Depression.


Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin


Reflection and Respect

The festival includes remembering families members who have died. It is a time for respecting our cultural heritage and remembering the contributions of previous generations.


Ages 7-10: "The Matchbox Diary" by Paul Fleischman

A grandfather shares his life story with his granddaughter, showing respect for the past.


Ages 10-13: "Inside Out and Back Again" by Thanhha Lai

A historical novel about family heritage and the immigrant experience.


Ages 14-18: "Salt Houses" by Hala Alyan

A multi-generational tale that reflects on family history and cultural legacy


Salt Houses by Hala Alyan


Joy and Celebration

Chinese New Year is marked by colourful and exciting festivities, fireworks, and parties. It reminds us of the importance of celebrating life and sharing our happiness with others.


Ages 7-10: "Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes" by Lenore Look

A fun read about overcoming fears to enjoy celebrations.


Ages 10-13: "The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street" by Karina Yan Glaser

A heartwarming story about a family coming together to save their home.


Ages 14-18: " "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks

Traces a rare Jewish manuscript's journey through history, highlighting the resilience of human spirit and cultural preservation.


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser


Good Fortune and Prosperity

Traditions like the giving of red envelopes and the lion dance are meant to bring us good luck and prosperity. It is a message of wishing well-being and success to others.


Ages 7-10: "The Story of Money" by Betsy Maestro

A non-fiction introduction to the concept of money and its value.


Ages 10-13: "The Lemonade War" by Jacqueline Davies

A story about siblings, entrepreneurship, and the value of money.


Ages 14-18: "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell

An unusual recommendation: a non-fiction book that attempts to dissect the characteristic traits and habits that ultimately lead us to success. 


The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies


Harmony with Nature

The Chinese (lunar) calendar is closely tied to the natural world. This reminds us of the responsibility we have for the world in which we live and the care we must show towards the planet.


Ages 7-10: "Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney

A story about making the world more beautiful.


Ages 10-13: "The Wild Robot" by Peter Brown

A tale about a robot living in the wild and learning from nature.


Ages 14-18: "Into the Wild" by John Krakauer

A true story of Christopher McCandless, his journey into the Alaskan wilderness, exploring themes of adventure, nature, and the search for meaning.


Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney


Wishing everyone a happy Chinese New Year filled with renewal, unity, reflection, joy, good fortune, and harmony with nature. May these book recommendations inspire and enrich your celebrations, fostering a deeper connection to culture, family, and the world around us. Embrace the new year with open hearts and minds.


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