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Comments for The Magic Paintbrush
The Magic Paintbrush: 06/06/14
The Magic Paintbrush by Laurence Yep is set in San Francisco's Chinatown. Steve who lives with his grandfather and uncle in a slum lord apartment desperately wants an escape from the bullying at school and awful living conditions at home.
Steve has lost everything, including his parents, in a house fire before moving in with his grandfather and uncle. His favorite subject in school is art but he fails an assignment because his brush is too frayed to paint properly. Grandfather finds for him an old and beloved paintbrush, one that happens to be magic.
The paintbrush can create portals to other places and times. The uncle paints his home on a peach farm. The grandfather wants to visit the princess on the moon. The slum lord, though, wants even more. Steve and his family find a way to use the landlord's greed to their advantage and to improve the lives of everyone else in the building.
It's a short but effective book that blends together Chinese legends with the experience of life in San Francisco's Chinatown.