The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao – A Love Letter to Diasporic and Immigrant Kids; A Fun Adventure about Dragons, Warriors, and Courage

The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao. Image: A brown-skin girl with short hair, holds up a golden staff. A badge at the bottom-left that says, 'Reviewed by CW, The Quiet Pond'. In the centre is a image of Xiaolong, the pink axolotl wearing a flower hat, waving at you.

Blurb:

As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret.

Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon–and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year.

With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized . . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny?

CW’s review:

Listen: I am the sort of reader that likes to withhold judgement of a book within the first few chapters of a book, let alone the first few pages. However, when you read the dedication of The Dragon Warrior and find that it is dedicated to immigrants, children of immigrants, and diaspora kids everywhere? The diasporic child within me that imagined vivid sweeping stories about dragons and wielding magic powers as some foretold magic warrior will undoubtedly rise up, excited, rearing to go on an adventure.

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Introducing ‘Our Friend is Here!’ – Be Featured at The Quiet Pond!

Our Friend is Here! Guest Features at the Pond.

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening dear friends! A big and warm welcome back to The Quiet Pond! 

At The Quiet Pond, our mission is to create a warm, safe, and welcoming space for all of our friends. Although many of you visit us frequently (and for that, we are forever grateful!), how cool and fun would it be if The Quiet Pond was even more interactive? What if you visited the Pond as your very own character?

Friends, I’d like to introduce to you the Our Friend Is Here feature!

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Frankly in Love by David Yoon – More Than Just Fake-Dating; A Story About The Intersections of Family, Identity, and Love

David Yoon. Frankly in Love. A badge at the bottom-left that says, 'Reviewed by CW, The Quiet Pond'. In the centre is a image of Xiaolong, the pink axolotl wearing a flower hat, waving at you.
Blurb:

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

CW’s review:

Thank you to Penguin NZ for providing me an ARC in exchange for a review; this does not affect my opinions of the book.

Frankly in Love is not at all what I expected – and in retrospect, I am perfectly okay with that. In fact, I’m glad. Frankly in Love by David Yoon follows Korean-American teen Frank, whose strict and traditional Korean parents prohibit him from dating a non-Korean girl. So when he falls hard and fast for Britt Means, who is pointedly not Korean, Frank devises a scheme with his childhood (and Korean) friend, Joy, to pretend to date to allude their parents’ judgement – only to fall for each other in the process.

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Meet Sprout, Your Newest & Smallest Pond Friend! [Introducing Our New Co-Blogger]

Text: Meet Your Newest Friend, say hello to the pond's new co-blogger! Image: a silhouette of a pond character, with question marks around them.

Xiaolong the pink axolotl, pointing ahead and gesturing for you to follow.Gentle starlight envelops the world in a soft glow as you make your way over to Xiaolong and your friends tonight. On your way to the Pond though, a soft chirping reaches your ears. You know instinctively that this isn’t a sound that you’ve heard before in your many visits to the Pond. You glance up, and within the blooming shrubbery that extends before you, you notice a faint rustle in one of the nearby bushes.

Xiaolong tugs your hand gently, her head tilting to the side in curiosity, before a moment of realisation dawns on her. “Oh, friend, follow me!” She says, and waddles in the direction of the bushes.

Friends, I have been waiting for this day for weeks and I am so excited that today is finally here! It is with excitement and pleasure that I get to finally announce my newest co-blogger, and I am so thrilled for you to meet her and your newest Pond friend.

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Welcome Back to the Pond, Friends! A Tour of Pond 2.0

A warm welcome back to The Quiet Pond, friends!

The Quiet Pond has been on quite a hiatus for some weeks now and I am so happy to be back. Although I really did enjoy the break (book blogging is tough, friends!), I was itching to return to book blogging, creating content, and talking about the awesome books that I’ve read recently.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of new changes! This change has been a long time coming – I’ve been wanting to do this since the first quarter of this year! – and it’s a big relief that I’ve finally rolled them out. So here’s an update on what has changed, what’s new, what you can expect from the Pond moving forward.

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