SHINING STAR: THE ANNA MAY WONG STORY, by Paula Yoo,
pictures by Lin Wang (Lee & Low, 2009). Ages 9-12, 32 pp.
Look what’s being released this Saturday, May 30th!!
I’ve been anxious to read this picture book biography of Chinese American actress, Anna May Wong, ever since I first heard about it in Tarie’s interview with author Paula Yoo at Into the Wardrobe. When I told the nice folks at Lee & Low that I wanted to review it during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, they sent me a review copy lickety split.
Growing up, I had heard my parents and relatives mention Anna May Wong, and I may have even seen some of her movies. But I never knew much about the details of her life and the struggles she had to overcome as the first Chinese American actress, and the first internationally acclaimed Asian American actress.
Paula Yoo has written a fascinating, inspiring, thoroughly engaging account of Anna’s life, beginning with her childhood in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, to her return to Hollywood in the 1930’s after visiting China, when she vowed never to “play again in a film which shows the Chinese in an unsympathetic light.”