I really enjoyed The Year of the Dog, and The Year of the Rat is a great sequel. Grace Lin’s books remind me of the Yang family series: true-to-life observations about what it is to be an Asian kid growing up in America. More on the nose than some other books, but also some really subtle writing (most of the plot line with Dun-Wei felt really natural and normal to me).
I wish Pacy read more books by other Asian authors. The story is pretty timeless, but even if it’s supposed to be a representation of the author’s life and set in a time when she was growing up there are MG/Kid lit Asian authors she could name drop. Bette Bao Lord at the very least. This bothered me in The Year of the Book series also. I love when kids in books are readers, but usually the titles mentioned are classic kids lit by white authors. Where are all the authors of color in these Asian kids’ fictional worlds???