Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-11-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Sarcastic, attention-seeking, and prone to whining, Lucy Wu has a big personality and plenty of opinions. She is convinced that her sixth-grade year will be the best yet: she's looking forward to having her own bedroom when her older sister leaves for college, and to the upcoming basketball season. Instead, it is one disappointment after another. Her parents invite her late grandmother's long-lost sister, Yi Po, from Shanghai to visit for a few months and share Lucy's room, and instead of basketball practice, Lucy may be forced to attend Chinese school ("The Chinese part of my life just doesn't make sense sometimes," Lucy complains). Additionally, she is dealing with a secret crush and avoiding a bully. First-time author Shang effortlessly interweaves the multiple threads of her story, as Lucy grows tremendously (and rewardingly) while learning about China's turbulent history and the value of sympathy and strength. Bolstered by frequent use of Chinese language and proverbs, this is a realistic and amusing portrait of family dynamics, heritage, and the challenge of feeling like an outsider--even in one's own family. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)