Angel Child, Dragon Child offers an opportunity for Text-Based instruction of Figurative Language.
This is a heartwarming story about a young Vietnamese girl, Ut, who has come to America with her father and two sisters. Her mother stayed behind in Vietnam until there was enough money to send for her. When the Ut goes to school, the children tease her because she wears clothes different from theirs and because she “speaks funny.” She wants to be an Angel Child for her mother, but sometimes, when she gets angry, she feels like a Dragon Child. In the end, the students come to understand Ut, and help raise money to send for her mother.
This story is valuable for three reasons:
Many children can relate since they have had trouble “fitting in” when they go to a new school, just as this Ut did.
The story introduces students to a different cultural group-the Vietnamese.
It is an excellent book for teaching Figurative Language (similes) in context.
I hope the lesson is as useful to you as it was for me...