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THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU

By Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-545-16215-9
Publisher: Scholastic

Lucy Wu may only be 4 feet tall, but she has big (and brilliantly on-the-money kidlike) dreams: to play professional basketball for the WNBA and then create a design shop aimed at sports-loving gals. When the story opens, sixth grade is about to start, and Lucy is on top of the world. She comes down with a bang when she learns that Yi Po, her grandmother’s long-lost sister, is coming from China for a long visit and will be sharing her room. Worse, Lucy is stuck attending Chinese school and must compete to be captain of the basketball team with a girl who doesn’t believe in fair play. Readers may initially want to tell Lucy to stop whining, but as the character evolves, she becomes sympathetic and worth rooting for. There’s little in the way of plot twists that experienced readers won’t see coming, but the cultural depiction of the Chinese-American family, Shang’s use of traditional tales and Yi Po’s heart-wrenching story add dimensionality and heft, and the novel’s final scenes are genuinely touching. (Fiction. 8-12)