I Hate English

Written by Ellen Levine
Illustrated by Steve Bjorkman

Reviewed by Sean T. (age 8) and Brian K. (age 9)

"I hate English", said Mei Mei in Chinese. Mei Mei hates English. Mei Mei was good in school in Hong Kong but her family moved to New York. She liked China Town in New York because it had people like her. She didn't like school in China Town because everyone spoke English. She likes Chinese better. Long strokes, short strokes and more. She likes to send letters to her Chinese friends and play games. One day, a teacher named Nancy came to the learning center to help Mei Mei with English. They read books and Mei Mei started to like English, but when she heard a word that she didn't know in Chinese she started to cry. That night when she went to bed she had a bad dream. She dreamt that she was in Hong Kong and nobody knew her any more. Will Mei Mei learn English? Read the book to find out.

I (Brian) think I never read a book before like this one. I like it because I think it's unique from other books. I've never read a book about some one hating a language. All the other books I've read were adventures. My favorite part of the book is the part when I see Chinese words because I would like to learn different languages. My favorite character is Mei Mei because she reminds me of myself because I didn't want to learn Korean but I learned that it was important.

My (Sean's) favorite part is when she learns English because it is better for her get along with her American friends. I say the illustrations are great and they have a lot of details. I think this is a great book because it was the first time I saw Chinese words. I have somebody in my class and it's hard for her because she is Korean and she doesn't know English very much.

We think the lesson is some things you don't want to learn might be good for the future.

We recommend this book to people who don't want to learn a language because this book might have the solution. We think everyone who wants to learn a language would also like this book.

Sean T. and Brian K. are students in Mrs. Friel's 3rd Grade Class
2001-2002