Books PoC Reading Challenge 2011 Quill Junior Young Adult (YA) Literature

Quill Junior: Sing to the Dawn by Minfong Ho reviewed by Ryo Tan Chee Ann

Have you ever sang to the dawn?

I am going to share a  review on the book “Sing to the Dawn.” The author is Minfong Ho and the illustrator is Kwoncjan Ho, the main characters are Dawan, Kwai, her father, her mother, Noi, Gahn, her grandmother, Bao, Vichai, her teacher, and the monk.

The story is about a young Thai girl called Dawan who wins a scholarship to study in a city middle school. She faces the disapproval of her father who thinks that studying is not for girls and she should give the scholarship to her brother as he is second in the test. Dawan tried many ways to convince her father to let her pursue her studies. Even though she failed many times, she manages to convince her father in the end. When the bus arrived, she almost changed her mind because she was going to miss singing to the dawn. After her grandmother convinces her, she decides to go.

My favorite character is Kwai. He is big, muscular, short and fat. I like him because he has a bad temper as when Dawan tried to stop him from hitting Bao, he pushes her until she sprained her ankle and bleed. He is also selfish and will do anything to get what he wants. For example, he threatens to tell their father that he scored second in the test so that their father will not punish him. He is also quite kind by letting Dawan go to the city to study in the end. My least favorite character is the head monk. He is old. I don’t  like him because when Dawan asks him to help her convince her father to let her pursue her studies, he refuses and even gives her an earful as he also thinks that studying isn’t for girls.

I like the process which Dawan went through to convince her father that he should give her a chance to study because it contains a lot of suspense. When she approaches anyone for help, she keeps on failing but she never gives up and continues so it makes me curious if she will succeed in her mission. I dislike the illustrations in the book as it is very childish and ugly so it makes the story less exciting because it is also not in color and makes the storybook look like it is very old and they also make Dawan and Kwai too thin and their faces also has too many wrinkles.

I like the ending. The story ended with Dawan sitting on the bus going to the city. When she passes the bridge, she sees her brother, Kwai singing the song that they sing every dawn. Then, she sings together with Kwai until she cannot see Kwai anymore. Next, she looks at the lotus flower her grandmother gave her to convince her to go. As she sees it unfold, she becomes more convinced her grandmother is right, she should go to the city, like the lotus unfolding.

We should not favor Boys over girls; we must give both genders a chance.

PoC Reading Challenge Update: 51 (25)

Ryo Tan Chee Ann

Age 11

Ai Tong Primary School

** Special thanks to Jackeline Carter of Academy IG Pte Ltd for making this possible.

6 comments on “Quill Junior: Sing to the Dawn by Minfong Ho reviewed by Ryo Tan Chee Ann

  1. Love the cover!


  2. Ryo, this is a fantastic review and makes me want to read this book. Thank you.


  3. Pingback: Highlights of November and Carnival of Children’s Literature |

  4. Congrats Rio, I am pround of you


  5. Tinker mum

    Thank Ryo, enjoyed your review. Am surprised that the great review came from an elev en yr old. Great job 🙂


  6. Ryo Tan Chee Bye

    Thanks guys for the support 🙂


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