Reviews for Dragon Road

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Calvin (nicknamed "Flash" because of his hot temper) and his friend Barney join a Chinese basketball team's physically and emotionally grueling barnstorming tour. Cal learns to control his temper while facing prejudices and threats of violence. Yep integrates historical details seamlessly into the story. The frequent, exciting basketball games should be a big attraction for sports fans. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #1
Calvin Chin earned his nickname, Flash, not so much for his speedy basketball moves but for his hot temper and the chip on his shoulder. In this new book in Yep's Golden Mountain Chronicles, the time is 1939, and Calvin leaves Chinatown with his friend Barney Young to travel around the country with a Chinese basketball team. The barnstorming tour is grueling physically but also emotionally, as Cal learns to control himself while facing the pressures of being part of a team, the prejudices of the local people, and the frequent threat of violence. Yep integrates historical details seamlessly, and one of his themes is the interconnection among the characters through time and place, as the younger Cal and Barney chafe at the advice offered by Grandpa Joe and other Chinese elders while still respecting their experiences. Although knowledge of the previous books in the series would add resonance, this book stands alone, and the frequent, exciting basketball games should be a big attraction for sports fans. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 August #1
Yep adds to his ongoing Golden Mountain Chronicles with this absorbing tale of a basketball team that leaves San Francisco's Chinatown to barnstorm across California and the West in 1939. Lured by the chance to show off his basketball skills and earn steady money, as well as to break away from his alcoholic father and economically depressed community, Calvin joins a newly organized squad dubbed the Dragons, which sets out in a battered jalopy on a relentless tour of small-town gyms and halls, playing both local teams and such historical legends as the Harlem Globetrotters. Series fans will enjoy this new encounter with Cal and other characters who have made previous appearances in various volumes. The author also injects plenty of game action--though what comes across most vividly through the Dragons' ups, downs and eventual return to San Francisco is the pervasive prejudice against minorities that they encounter, the harsh but sometimes exhilarating experiences of life on the road and most especially the central importance of cultural and family ties. (afterword, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 October

Gr 5 Up-- As a person of Chinese ancestry who dares to venture beyond the confines of his own ethnic enclave, Calvin "Flash" Chin, a recent high-school graduate, finds the America of 1939 to be a dangerous place. Persuaded by a couple of fast-talking recruiters to join a barnstorming basketball team composed entirely of Chinese Americans, he leaves the safety of San Francisco's Chinatown to travel with his teammates to small towns throughout the West, playing against the local talent. The stories that Calvin has heard of violence against previous generations of Chinese workers are never far from his mind, and he learns firsthand that unthinking, knee-jerk hostility toward all outsiders is still very much a part of the American landscape. Prejudice both crude and subtle is pervasive, as is the threat of violence. Neither the natural beauty of the land nor the joy of athletic competition ever completely dispels the atmosphere of menace. Calvin, straddling two cultures, draws comfort and solace from his heritage even as he explicitly rejects the spirit of interconnectedness that animates his elders' worldview. Readers with a taste for sports history will enjoy the fact-based account of the hardscrabble existence of Depression-era barnstorming teams. A worthy addition to this important series.--Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT

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