Study Guide

Dragonwings Family

By Laurence Yep


Moon Shadow's dream at the beginning of Dragonwings is to meet his father and have a more coherent family. His parents live on different continents, and Moon Shadow has never met his dad. As explore in the discussion of "Friendship," however, the lines between family and friends get happily blurred in Moon Shadow's life. The book asks us, what is the difference between family and friends? And really, does there need to be a difference? Is it possible to find or make a family?

Questions About Family

  1. What defines a family for Moon Shadow?
  2. What does it mean that Moon Shadow thinks Miss Whitlaw was a Tang woman in a previous life? What does it mean that he considers her his family in another life?
  3. Why does Uncle Bright Star stand in the way of Mother coming to America?
  4. Why does Black Dog hang out with the Sleepers but not the Company?

Chew on This

Moon Shadow does not consider the Whitlaws his family because they are demons and thus too different from him.

Moon Shadow considers the Whitlaws his family because of they selflessly act for each other's benefit.