Staff Picks: Prairie Lotus

Reviewed by Dana B., Community Engagement Librarian


Hanna has moved to the Dakota Territory from San Francisco with her father. It's 1880, and she dreams of becoming a dressmaker in her father's new fabric shop. Her mother was an expert dressmaker and taught Hanna all she knew before she died. Hanna also wants to go to school. This turns out to be problematic, as Hanna's mother was Chinese and her father is white. It's 1880 and Chinese people are viewed with suspicion by most of the white people in town. One by one the children are withdrawn from the school by their parents, and there is growing talk about the fabric shop's white father and half-Chinese daughter. Hanna is confronted with racism and stereotyping, and her future looks grim in this small town. She is a quiet and obedient daughter, but her future is important to her. She thinks it is worth fighting for.

This is review is part of the Finding Value series, inspired by the eleven core values central to the Library's mission. Tune in as Library staff review books and movies that highlight the values accessibility, civil discourse, inclusiveness, integrity, intellectual freedom, lifelong learning, literacy, respect, safety, service, and stewardship.

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