New Books

Chinese New Year 2013

The Chinese Year of the Snake starts on February 10, 2013. Snake personalities make good "philosophers, theologians, political wizards, and wily financiers because they are deep thinkers." The man who is now Vice-President of China, Xi Jinping, was born in 1953, a snake year. Xi is considered to be a "hard working, down to earth, and very low-key" person. We anticipate Xi to become China's President in March 2013 when the National People's Congress convenes. How often does a person born in the year of the snake become the President of his country in the year of the snake as well? To learn more about this year's snake personality, read The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes by Theodora Lau at the Chinatown Branch Library.

Chinese New Year 2010

In an effort to raise the awareness of the very low numbers of nearly extinct South China tigers, we are featuring a fiction thriller called The Tiger Chase by Andrew McDermott. The synopsis from the back cover reads: "a true account of the plight of the South China tiger--one of the most endangered animals on the planet--wrapped in a fast-paced tale of adventure, romance, and corruption. Readers are whisked across the world and back as Dr. Beth Smith, a reproductive veterinarian specialist, and Detective John Dean, a feline-loathing police officer, face seemingly insurmountable odds to protect Zhu Zhu, a 254-pound female tiger. As the three journey across America, there are those who wish to care for her, those who long to worship her, and those who want to steal her. To whom does the South China tiger belong?"


Andrew McDermott writes in a fast-paced style full of action and humor. Check out and read the book this Chinese New Year and learn how to help save the remaining South China tigers, click on Tiger News.

Mei Ling in China City

Written by Icy Smith and Illustrated by Gayle Garner Roski

Mei Ling Front Cover

Icy Smith has written a true story of events during World War II in Los Angeles China City. Mei Ling is a 12-year old Chinese American girl who loses her best friend, Yayeko Akiyama, when she and her family are interned in the Manzanar War Relocation Center. By writing letters to each other, both young girls recount their painful separation and their lives in China City and in the Manzanar Center. The vivid water paintings by Gayle Roski warmly portray the real scenes of the forgotten China City in Los Angeles and Manzanar. This unprecedented children's book depicts the hardships and cross-cultural experiences of Americans of Chinese and Japanese ancestry during the war years. Close to 50 never-before-published paintings and historical photographs of China City are presented for the first time.

On Monday, January 28, 2008, the Friends will celebrate the publication of this unprecedented children's book. For more information, click on Events.

New Books in Memory of Judge Delbert Wong

Delbert Earl Wong, the First Chinese American Judge, passed away on March 10, 2006. He was a distinguished jurist, decorated veteran, community leader, and a founding member of the Friends of the Chinatown Library. Delbert Wong grew up in Bakersfield, CA where he experienced racial discrimination first-hand as a child. Later, he attended UC Berkeley, where he met his future wife, Dolores, who is currently serving on the Friends Advisory Board.

He served as a navigator during World War II in the Air Corps and completed thirty bombing missions. Following the war, he studied law and graduated from Stanford School of Law. He worked in various law positions becoming the first Chinese American Judge in 1959 when Governor Brown appointed Judge Wong to the Municipal Court. Later he was appointed to the Superior Court where he served until 1982, when he retired from the bench.

Upon his retirement, Judge Wong was still active as a private arbitrator and assumed leadership roles in numerous civic organizations. He will be greatly missed. For more information on the life of Delbert Wong, please refer to the Gum Saan Journal published by the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. It is currently available for check-out at the Chinatown Library, ask for call number CHC 347.092 W 872 WO.


The Friends of the Chinatown Library has purchased the following new books in memory of Judge Delbert Wong: Black's Law Dictionary (reference copy), Immigration Law, Guide to Wills and Estates, and Multicultural Law Enforcement. They will be available for reading and/or check-out at the Chinatown Branch Library.

The Organization of Chinese Americans-Greater Los Angeles Chapter (OCA-GLA) presented the 15th Annual Image Awards on Friday 29 September 2006 to honor Judge Delbert Wong (posthumously) and Mrs. Dolores Wong for Community Achievement and Northrop Grumman for Corporate Achievement. To learn more about the OCA-GLA contact Clara Chiu at 213.250.9888 or click on

MOY MOY & MR. FONG'S TOY SHOP (50 years later)

The Friends sponsored Ann Stalcup signing her new book on February 14, 2005 at the Chinatown Branch Public Library. Ann Stalcup reviewed her new biography, Leo Politi, Artist of the Angels. In her power-point presentation, she shared the influences and events that shaped Leo Politi's life and award winning literary works.

resized leopoliti

The highlight of the evening featured people in two of his books. Moy Moy (1960) and Mr. Fong's Toy Shop (1978) were written and illustrated by Politi about the cultural life in Chinatown during the decades of the 50's through the 80's. In attendance was Mary Yan Joe, who at age 4 was selected by Politi as the principal character Moy Moy. Also present was Gim Fong of Fong's Gift shop whose father was characterized by Politi as the owner of Mr. Fong's Toy Shop. Mary Joe, along with her brothers and mother, and Gim Fong with his family reminisced about their lives some 50 years ago when Politi was sketching children throughout Chinatown and at the festive Chinese New Year and Moon Festival celebrations. Revisiting with these characters from Leo Politi's stories created a personal sense of longing and nostalgia for those simpler days of innocence and fun in Chinatown. Both books are out-of-print, but the people he portrayed are very much alive, older and wiser.

WHO ATE MY SOCKS by Angi Ma Wong

"LOTS OF LOST SOCKS. . . where do they disappear to? Discover the answer to an age-old mystery when you meet a monster with a ravenous appetite for everyone's favorite socks."

"This is a delightful rhyming tale of humor for children of all ages."

To learn more about this new children's book and the author, click on Events.


Chinese Heritage Collection Documentaries

The Chinese Heritage Collection also consists of audio-visual items, such as cassette tapes, DVDs, and CDs in English, all located at the entrance to the Intex Chinese Heritage Collection. There are currently 400 audio visual titles, including films starring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. There are also documentaries about Chinese American History such as "To Be Me Tony Quon", "Wong Sinsaang", and "Chinatown Two Step", the story of the Chinese Drum & Bugle Corp. More recent documentaries on local Chinese American History are "East Adams Revisited" and "Courage and Contributions: the Chinese in Ventura County". They are all available at the Chinatown Branch Library, click on Library under About.