Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story
By Paula Yoo
Illustrated by Lin Wang
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.
Video Interview with Paula Yoo
Check out reading and craft tips created by the staff and partners of Reading to Kids, a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading.
About the Creators
PAULA YOO is an author and screenwriter whose children's books for Lee & Low include Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds, Shining Star, and several titles in the Confetti Kids series. Her titles have been recognized by the International Reading Association, the Texas Bluebonnet Award Masterlist, and Lee & Low's New Voices Award. She and her husband live in Los Angeles, California, where she works in television. You can visit her online at paulayoo.com.
LIN WANG has illustrated several books for children, including The Crane Girl for Lee and Low Books. She is a classically trained portrait painter with an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. Wang lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their children.