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.
“A fascinating account of the life of a determined actress.”
- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“This is an excellent introduction to a one-time celeb little known to today’s children. Yoo explains Wong’s circumstances with clarity and portrays her hardships and triumphs in concise, easy-to-follow prose. Readers will be entranced by the actress’s rags-to-riches story, and her efforts at confronting racial discrimination will resonate with all ethnic minorities. An author’s note fleshes out the biography, making this a fine choice for both school and public libraries."
- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Well-paced and full of interesting detail, this picture book for older readers is a fascinating snapshot of what life was like for actresses of color."
"This well-paced picture book biography allows the reader to put Wong's choices into the context of her time, and attractive, realistic paintings underscore scenes from Wong's journey of discovery of her own identity as a Chinese-American. Besides being a very thoughtful introduction to a unique figure from Hollywood heritage, like any solid picture book biography, it can be used across grade levels, and is sure to incite discussion."
- PLANET ESME
“The first Chinese-American movie star grew up in Los Angeles’s Chinatown, working in her family’s laundry, going to the movies every chance she got and even skipping school to watch the action on a local movie set. She went from an extra to a star, even though the roles she was given were often stereotypical, from “china doll” to “dragon lady.” ...Yoo’s earnest text illuminates the actress’s life and times."
- KIRKUS REVIEWS
"Paula Yoo has written a fascinating, inspiring, thoroughly engaging account of Anna's life… Yoo's well paced, seamless narrative informs with just the right amount of interesting detail and pathos. Like Yoo's excellent PB biography of Sammy Lee, Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds, this one is a must-have for home and library collections.
- JAMA RATTIGAN'S ALPHABET SOUP