Shining Star

By Booklist

The name Anna May Wong won’t mean much, even to young film buffs. However, Wong’s story—her aspirations, disappointments, and the need to make peace with who she was—will resonate. Born in 1905 in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, Anna worked at her parents’ laundry. While her hands were in soapy water, her head was filled with stars—movie stars. Against her father’s wishes, she tried acting and eventually got a few leading roles, but prejudice against Asians (and the rule of no on-screen interracial romance) limited her career. For a long time she was forced to play either the “China doll” or the “dragon lady,” but after Wong both asserted herself and learned about her heritage, she pushed beyond stereotypes. 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. . . . The cover is enchanting and many interior pictures will intrigue.