LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today as well, as hear from the authors and illustrators.
Featured Title: Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story
Author: Paula Yoo
Illustrator: Lin Wang
Synopsis: Born in 1905, Anna May Wong spent her childhood working in her family’s laundry in Los Angeles’s Chinatown. Whenever she could afford it, Anna May slipped off to the movies, escaping to a world of adventure, glamour, and excitement. After seeing a movie being filmed in her neighborhood, young Anna May was hooked. She decided she would become a movie star!
Anna May struggled to pursue an acting career in Hollywood in the 1930s. There were very few roles for Asian Americans, and many were demeaning and stereotypical. Anna May made the most of each limited part. She worked hard and always gave her best performance. Finally, after years of unfulfilling roles, Anna May began crusading for more meaningful roles for herself and other Asian American actors.
Anna May Wong—the first Chinese American movie star—was a pioneer of the cinema. Her spirited determination in the face of discrimination is an inspiration to all who must overcome obstacles so that their dreams may come true.
Awards and Honors:
- Carter G. Woodson Award, NCSS
- Children’s Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education
- Choices, Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)
- Video: Paula Yoo Interview
- Video: Anna May Wong In Her Own Words from Women Make Movies
- Shining Star Reading and Craft Tips from Reading to Kids
- Toolkit for “I am Asian American” from Teaching Tolerance
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Teaching Resources from the Smithsonian
- “Anna May Wong Did it Right” from Time Magazine
Check out these Book Collections featuring Shining Star:
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Collection
- Asian/Asian American Collection Grades 3-5
- Women’s History Collection
- Biography and Memoir Grades 3-6 Collection
- Art and The Arts Collection
- California Books Collection
Book Activity: Create your own Hollywood Movie Star from Reading to Kids.
Have you used Shining Star? Let us know in the comments!
Celebrate with us! Check out the Lee & Low 25 Years Anniversary Collection.
Veronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wondering around New York City, you can find her hiking with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.