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by Andrea Cheng & illustrated by Yangsook Choi

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: June 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8050-7153-9
Publisher: Henry Holt

This quiet coming-of-age story focuses on Xiao Jimmy’s relationship with Ni Ni, his beloved grandmother. Shy Jimmy enjoys going to Ni Ni’s house; their bond is a model for intergenerational and cultural connections. Ni Ni keeps a jar of old keys for Jimmy to play with, and he enjoys sorting them into “families” peopled with the relatives in China Ni Ni tells him about. Jimmy must adjust when Ni Ni moves to California to be near Auntie Helen, a doctor; overcoming his shyness about visiting his friend Jason’s house is the first step. When Jimmy travels across the country to visit Ni Ni by himself, he learns he may be ready to accompany his grandmother on a trip to China soon. Readers going through similar changes will enjoy Jimmy’s first-person, honest narrative that reveals his love for family and tradition, as well as his desire to grow and mature. (Fiction. 8-11)