An expressive book of poetry that provides a glimpse at life in an immigrant family.

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LOVE, LOVE

Rooted in personal experience, this novel in verse captures the trials of being a young Chinese immigrant in suburban Detroit.

Frances Chin, the 11-year-old daughter of Chinese immigrants, struggles to adapt to life in America with her parents and older sister, Clara, who is experiencing inexplicable hair loss. Clara’s only wig is stolen by school bullies. Endless doctors’ appointments fail to unearth answers. Frances is bullied at school and feels overlooked at home. Like Nancy Drew, Frances becomes obsessed with determining the cause of Clara’s hair loss. In five chapters of short, free-verse poems, Chang shows young Frances blossoming with the help of a friend named Annie, who is also Chinese American, and a tennis coach. Readers first see the pain and loneliness of being different before Annie’s friendship distracts Frances from her daily troubles. Frances channels her frustration onto the tennis court under the tutelage of an interested coach, which gives her the strength and courage to find the root of her sister’s illness. The starting point of a tennis match is stated as “love, love”—a place of equality. Amid the challenges of first-generation life, Frances grasps onto the hope that there is a level playing field in this country. This lyrical story shows that, for some, the pressure of success is hard to bear. In her author’s note, Chang describes her sister’s experiences with mental illness and provides links to resources.

An expressive book of poetry that provides a glimpse at life in an immigrant family. (Verse fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: yesterday

ISBN: 978-1-4549-3832-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

GHOSTS

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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