Friday, April 8, 2011

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

I have never participated in a Read-a-Thon, but perhaps this weekend would be the one if I were to pick a time to start. I have managed to read a good amount already tonight and don't have any major weekend plans -aside from the normal weekend agenda. Whatever Little Sister has has been diagnosed as viral, and her doctor jokingly (at least I hope it was a joke) said she would feel better by next weekend. Ugh. So, I think things will be low-key here.

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang was a book I picked up at the public library, happy to have a chance to read it after seeing it a few places. Lucy is in sixth grade, loves basketball, and is upset when her grandma's sister visits from China, forcing Lucy to share her bedroom for several months. Lucy's family doesn't really understand Lucy's love of basketball, and Lucy often feels that attention is given to her older brother and sister for their academic success. Although Lucy resents her great-aunt's presence, she does eventually give her credit for her great cooking, and over time develops an appreciation of all Yi Po does for Lucy. Lucy's initial annoyance with Yi Po is replaced with an understanding the two seem to share as Lucy learns more about her great aunt's past and her life in China. The suspense in this novel is created by Lucy's rivalry with a classmate, Sloane, who tries to find ways to sabotage Lucy and her hopes of being the basketball team manager. When it comes right down to it, Lucy is happily surprised by the people in her life who do come through for her.

I liked this tween novel that explored issues many girls face- mean girls, a crush on a boy, and trying to fit in. I also liked that this novel explores what it is like for Lucy to be Chinese American and have parents who want her to continue to be Chinese - to attend a weekend Chinese school, to learn to speak Chinese, and to share the values and ideals her parents have.

This book will appeal to lots of middle grade readers who enjoy the realistic fiction genre.

1 comment:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This sounds really cute. I just read 3 childrens books today.