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The Mystery of the Painted Fan

The Mystery of the Painted Fan

By Linda Trinh
Illustrated by Clayton Nguyen
Narrator Linda Trinh
Interest Age: 6–9
Grade: 1–4
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RL.2.2.1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Reading Level: Lexile 620L
Hardcover : 9781773217710, 120 pages, April 2023 , 7.25" x 5.5"
Paperback : 9781773217727, 120 pages, April 2023 , 7.25" x 5.5"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773217734, April 2023 Audiobook : 9781773217758, May 2023


The third book in the early chapter book series The Nguyen Kids features the youngest sibling, Jacob, and continues the series’ exploration of social justice themes, specifically gender expression and identity, with a supernatural twist.



When I shut the door, I hold my painted fan. I breathe in and out. I wonder . . . will Grandma Nội help me?

Thoughtful and creative, Jacob is tired of being the baby of the family. He is ready to fully express himself in all of the ways that feel right to him, but not everyone seems as eager to accept change—even his own parents. He still loves hockey, yet he also wants to try something new, even if others may not understand. Confused and frustrated, Jacob turns to the beautiful fan his Grandma Nội gave him, which features all of the Vietnamese zodiac animals. With the mysterious fan and memories of Grandma guiding him, Jacob finds the power to remain true to himself, and show his family who he could be.


  • Joint winner, Windows & Mirrors List, NEIBA 2023
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2023
  • Nominated, Silver Birch Express Award, OLA 2023


“Trinh explores the intersection of cultural identity and gender expression and identity . . . A simple yet heartfelt tale of self-acceptance and identity.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 03/29/23