Circle of Cranes by Annette LeBox

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Overall I really enjoyed this story. The language is simple, yet compelling.
-Views from Nature


A lyrical fantasy blending fairy tale elements with contemporary issues

Thirteen-year-old Suyin is a poor orphan who has a strange gift with languages and a mysterious connection to the cranes in her small Chinese village. When a shady human trafficker arrives promising luxury and riches beyond belief in America, the villagers elect Suyin - whom they consider lucky - to go as their benefactress. But instead of luxury, Suyin is forced to work in a sweatshop in New York City's Chinatown. Suyin's future seems hopeless, until her beloved cranes arrive and reveal that she is no ordinary girl - instead, she is the daughter of the Crane Queen. Now her mother's life is in danger, and Suyin must prove herself worthy of her position as the Crane Princess, in order to save her mother and the entire clan of cranes.

For fans of Grace Lin and Laurence Yep, this is a beautiful story of the meaning of family and finding one's true path in life.

About Annette LeBox

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Annette LeBox is an environmental activist who divides her time between Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, and a remote cabin in the Caribou grasslands.
Published April 12, 2012 by Dial Books. 349 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Circle of Cranes
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2


Below average
Feb 01 2012

The confusing worldbuilding is a mashup of careful details about some of China's ethnic minorities combined willy-nilly with elements from other eras, other parts of China and vast oversimplifications. Inexplicably, Suyin's magical heritage comes from a Japanese folk tale.

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Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on Apr 09 2012

This book would be a great one to use in a language arts unit on mythology in different cultures.

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Quill & Quire

Below average
Reviewed by Grace O'Connell

The crane sisterhood requires a kind of devotion that seems to impose yet another obedient and female-specific role on Suyin, when readers may long instead for her to follow her independent streak and fully realize her potential as a modern, memorable hero.

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Lost in a Great Book

Reviewed by Jenn on Apr 11 2012

Perhaps most impressive piece of this story is the presence of strong female role models, and the beautiful use of language, especially ancient proverbs,

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Views from Nature

Mar 30 2012

Overall I really enjoyed this story. The language is simple, yet compelling.

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