Abbie Wu, Chinese-American preteen and worrywart, is doomed.
She’s about to start Pointdexter Middle School, and “nothing good ever happens in the Middles.” Added to her doom is a family who doesn’t get her. Baby sister Clara is annoyingly cute. Big brother Peter is a legend for being good at everything. And Mom never worries about anything, while Abbie seems to have written the textbook on anxiety. At school, Abbie figures at least lunch will be an improvement, with “REAL food,” but instead, she comes face to face with the injustice of the eighth-grade–only lunch line. Worse, she must choose an elective, and her nerves explode because choosing one feels like declaring her Thing, which she does not have, unlike her best friends, Maxine and Logan, who sign up for drama and coding respectively and without any doubts. With no elective chosen, Abbie is assigned to study hall, a place with suck-ups, slackers, troublemakers, and loners. And the fun begins. Debut author Vivat writes and illustrates a funny, neurotic, and delightful girl with a heart as big as her worries. The extensively illustrated novel packs a punch with fresh, lively pencil-and-ink drawings and lettering that set each mood perfectly. The multicultural cast of characters, including kooky Aunt Lisa and scary Ms. Skelter, turns up the charm and humor scale.
A hilarious Asian-American heroine guaranteed to provoke laughs—not anxiety. (Fiction. 8-13)