ACHUKA Book of the Day 25 Mar 2021
“Yang’s book has two main strengths. Its first strength is its characterisation. Mia and her family leap off the page. Very quickly the reader comes to care deeply about the family and their aspiration. Equally significant is the way Yang manages to describe the hardships endured by the family – ill treatment, racial prejudice, financial exploitation, educational difficulty as Mia struggles with an unfamiliar language – all of this while still maintaining the family as three-dimensional, strong and sympathetic characters rather than as mere victims. The story of such strife, all too commonplace in the real world, is rarely narrated for middle grade readers. More people endure such suffering than read about it.” BfK 5 STAR review
“Debut author Yang weaves in autobiographical content while creating a feisty and empowered heroine. The supporting characters are rich in voice and context, with multiple villains and friends that achingly reveal life in America in the 1990s for persons of color and those living in poverty. Heavy themes, including extortion, fraud, and racism, are balanced with the naïve dreams and determination of a 10-year-old.” KIRKUS
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets: 1. She lives in a motel, not a big house. 2. Her parents hide immigrants. 3. She wants to be a writer. It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, and go for her dreams?
f.p. US in 2018