A young social activist must prove her reliability while her mother is away.
Mya Parsons, 12-year-old future United Nations staffer, wants to save the world. Unfortunately, it’s hard to save the world when her mother is all the way in Myanmar, taking care of her sick grandmother, and Mya is one of the only kids in seventh grade without a cellphone. Using a multipronged strategy, Mya sets out to prove she is responsible and deserving of a phone. As the weeks go on, Mya’s home life starts to fall apart. Plus, with her best friend distracted by cellphones and crushes, her school life isn’t going well either. Mya must take charge if she’ll ever save the world, let alone survive the next few weeks. Writing from Mya’s first-person point of view, Kyi creates accessible characters and a funny story. Emails, flyers, and recipes that Mya has created add pleasant breaks to the text. With an Asian mother who’s Buddhist and a white father who’s Christian, biracial Mya forthrightly discusses religion. Befitting her protagonist, Kyi includes real social justice issues in addition to preteen girl life, shedding light on important topics such as the persecution of the Rohingya and the use of cobalt in cellphones.
For any girl going through life, body, and school changes, especially those interested in social activism. (author’s note) (Fiction. 9-12)