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Read advance reader review of King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner, page 5 of 5

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King of the Armadillos

by Wendy Chin-Tanner

King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner X
King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2023, 336 pages

    Sep 17, 2024, 336 pages


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Page 5 of 5
There are currently 33 member reviews
for King of the Armadillos
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  • Cheryl W. (Zimmerman, MN)
    King of the Armadillos
    Victor is the protagonist of this story. He is a Chinese immigrant who arrived here with his father and brother. They settle in New York where his father's business is. His mother was left behind in China to take care of parents. Victor was diagnosed with Hanson's Disease (leprosy). The family decides he will go to Carville in Louisiana for treatment. Here he makes friends and discovers music as therapy for his hands. Great coming of age story plus the history of Carville. I learned so much while enjoying this story of tragedy and hope.
  • Catharine L. (Petoskey, MI)
    King of the Armadillos
    4.5 Such an interesting book. I had no idea that Carville existed and learned a great deal about Hansen's disease. Victor is a wonderful character - torn between his love for family and his music. I wanted the story to continue when Victor returned to New York.
  • Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)
    King of the Armadillos
    Although really a coming-of-age story, this book has an added dimension because it has the side story of Hansen's Disease (leprosy) included. This brings an interesting and enlightening element to the story. The characters are appealing, and I came to know them all as the author built them up throughout the book.

    At the age of 15, Victor, who has lived in the Bronx since emigrating from China is diagnosed with leprosy. He is sent to live in Carville, an inpatient hospital in Louisiana. During the next year he will grow to learn more about himself, his family, and those around him. The character development is excellent, the description of surroundings is beautiful, and the straightforward facts about how leprosy was treated is interesting. I had a hard time putting the book down. Unfortunately, I thought the story ended too soon. I would have liked to know more about what happened to each of the characters.
  • Marinel D. (CHICAGO, IL)
    King of the Armadillos
    I really enjoyed this not so typical coming-of-age novel that entails the life of Victor Chin, a Chinese, teenage immigrant who has to come to terms with not only Hansen's disease AKA leprosy but the chaos of feelings that a typical teenager goes through. Throw in the upheaval of moving from the only home and family he knows and any reader will become engulfed in Victor's life through the amazing writing of Wendy Chin-Tanner. Victor goes through all the ups and downs of self-confidence, loyalty, loss, romantic feelings and friendships while trying to maintain his health as well as realizing his own wants in his life. Definitely not an easy feat for anyone.
    I would recommend readers from teenage age to adulthood to read this novel as it touches upon a history that many can learn about and yet still relate to. Who can one trust? Does age, race, social status or even a common disease have a say on friendships? Will the choices one makes for themselves benefit or harm the ones you care for?
  • Rebecca R. (Western USA)
    A Good 3.5 Story
    This book is an interesting combination of a memoir about life as Chinese immigrants to the USA in the 1950s and an historical-based novel about a family member's life inside Carville, the "Louisiana Leper Home." The father and his two sons are operating a laundry business, but the wife (and mother of the boys) remains behind in China. What makes the book potentially more touching is the fact that the person sent off to Carville is Victor, a fifteen-year-old boy. In the author's forward to the book, she reveals that Victor also is her father. I wish I could round up my rating to a 4 because I do appreciate all of the work that went into this book. In addition, I enjoyed learning that in China, many people believed that leprosy was a curse inflicted upon those who were necropiliacs.

    Here is what was amiss for me. The "hot intimacy" scenes just did not flow seamlessly as part of the story. I have nothing against romance books (even though they are not my genre of choice) or "love details," but when a semi-rough intimacy scene suddenly was interjected on page 22, I felt jolted out of the plot. This was not a lone occurrence. Throughout the book,the young character of Victor seemed much older than fifteen to me. To avoid plot spoilers, I will leave my comments at that.

    Many readers may not agree with my opinion; I urge readers who find the subject matter interesting to read this book when it goes on sale in July and decide for themselves.

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