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The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,819 Ratings  ·  270 Reviews
In this humorous and heartfelt debut about a split cultural identity, nothing goes according to plan for sixth-grader Lucy Wu.

Lucy Wu, aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life. She's ready to rule the school as a sixth grader and take over the bedroom she has always shared with her sister. In an instant, though, he
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press
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Newbery 2012
32nd out of 141 books — 715 voters
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113th out of 263 books — 2,255 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ms. Simeon
As a child I was an insatiable reader. I started reading very early and I have read nonstop ever since. Reading was an education, a comfort and an escape. In fact I passionately devoured so many classics from the British Isles that when I finally landed in Wales at the age of 16 it felt more like a homecoming than an adventure abroad! However, in all the thousands of pages I consumed in my youth and the millions of virtual miles travelled, I never once encountered a child like myself – one who w ...more
Feb 08, 2011 Ari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
It was SO refreshing to read a middle grade book where the main character was, in the middle (although in the book she is the youngest), flawed but seriously lovable. Furthermore, it was a bit of relief to find a book where the Chinese parents weren't so strict, they had rules but they weren't trying to stop their kids from having a social life. The family life is realistic and heartwarming. I love reading about connections with older adults/older family members.

And surprise ther
Sep 27, 2011 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Loved this. Surely one of the best, if not THE best, school stories I've read in ages. I liked it so much I'm actually going to blog about it.
Jun 25, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
Lucy is a girl that grow at a Chinese-American family. Although she’s a Chinese girl, she denied that she was a Chinese because at her school everybody hates Chinese. She’s also the captain of the basketball at her school. She had a high honor at the team. Everything changed until her Yipo came. Every bad things suddenly happened to her. Changed to Chinese School, Yipo sleep at her room, bullied by another basketball captain and eat Chinese food everyday.

That’s not all she got, she had a hard ti
Dec 08, 2015 Nic rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth G.
Who did Regina think she was, telling me how or how not to be Chinese?

Lucy Wu is all set to have the best year of her life. Her older sister, Regina, is going off to college. Not only will Lucy get out of the shadow the Perfect Chinese Daughter, but she will also get their shared bedroom all to herself. She's looking forward to starting sixth grade and being among the oldest kids in the school, playing basketball, and having a big joint-birthday Halloween bash with her best friend, Madison.

And t
Ms. Yingling
Mar 14, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it really liked it
In this excellent realistic fiction novel, Lucy is going to have the best year ever in the 6th grade, but things get off to a rocky start. A great-aunt is going to come from China and live in her room, she has to go to Chinese school, and she has to deal with the evil Sloane who is challenging her to be captain of the 6th grade basketball team. Luckily, she has a great friend, a crush that just might work out, and a good sense of humor to get her through it all.

Strengths: After I finished readin
Katie Lebkuecher
1. Text-to-Text Connection: In many ways Lucy reminds me of Auggie from Wonder. Both characters struggle with accepting who they are, and both characters get bullied by a peer. In The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, Lucy struggles to accept her Chinese ancestry and wants her family to be more like the families of her non-Chinese peers; in Wonder, Auggie struggles to accept his appearance and wants to be accepted by his peers. Both characters also get bullied by a peer. Lucy is bullied by Sloane as they b ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Audrey rated it did not like it
Shelves: cannot-finish
I'm not done with this book because I can't finish it. Lucy is the most conceited, self absorbed brat ever. There was like a million cliques and it was so hard to get through! I just stopped reading.
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here.

It is rare for me to pick up a book anymore that I have no preconceived notions about. It is hard not to develop some about almost any book when I read so many blogs. I was very excited when I saw The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang on the new arrivals shelf at my library. I had seen it mentioned in a couple of comments at Heavy Medal but knew nothing else about it. Just the title. It was a lovely experience going into the story not knowing what to expect. I
Jun 03, 2011 Sara added it
Made me laugh? Yup.

Made me cry? Yup.

Made me want to use the words "Judy Blume" in this review? Yup.

Sixth-grader Lucy Wu is obsessed with basketball and hopes to play for legendary UT Lady Vols coach Pat Summit one day. But that's a long ways off. For now, she's short, being forced to go to Chinese school, and in an extended battle with mean girl Sloane---who puts crickets in Lucy's lemon chicken. To top it off, she has to share her bedroom with her non-English speaking, Vapor Rub odor-emitting,
Jan 25, 2012 Melody rated it really liked it
This book is so good on many levels. Unlike a lot of the MG stuff I've read in the last year or so, I think that this will actually appeal to the target audience. The characters are warm and believable and the sixth-grade narrator's voice is the most authentic I've come across in ... maybe ever. I bought it all, though I saw it all coming. Well, most of it.

There's a mean girl, and though I mostly don't like books with mean girls, this one felt way more real. I keep coming back to that, the realn
Dec 30, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jamie by:
What a delight! This book is perfect for the older elementary age group, a group that kind of falls through the cracks as everything is for "tweens." Lucy and her family are totally assimilated Chinese Americans, but Lucy's parents want her to go to Chinese school, when she would rather play basketball. No stereotypes here at all, but real live people, even the secondary characters.

Can I also say that Lucy and her friend Madison are such well drawn characters that when their birthdays are mentio
Abby Johnson
Jan 02, 2011 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
Relatable and realistic, this is a fresh, funny debut from an author I'm definitely going to be watching.

The style and realistic protagonist reminded me of the Judy Blume books I so loved when I was a kid (think Blubber or Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, not Forever...). I think it would make a great readalike to Millicent Min, Girl Genius and Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time, both by Lisa Yee and I'd also try it on fans of Andrew Clements' realistic fiction.

More on the blog: http://www.abbytheli
Apr 24, 2015 Deann added it
Shelves: multicultural
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang Intermediate book

Text to World: This is a great book there are so many different teaching points in this story. In the story The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, a girl, Lucy, is losing her native Chinese language. The book starts where she is going to a Chinese restaurant for dinner for a birthday party by her dad’s first cousin. Most of the people in the room are speaking Chinese. Lucy shows she does not know some of the Chinese customs by sitting in the
Sep 09, 2014 M. rated it really liked it
Lucy, age 11, is the youngest of the three Wu children. She’s very much looking forward to having her own room, to not being constantly disparaged, when her older sister leaves for college, and she’s looking forward to her basketball team and to 6th grade with her best friend Madison.

Everything changes when Lucy’s parents invite Yi Po, Lucy’s grandmother’s younger sister, to visit their family from China. Yi Po will share Lucy’s room for several months. Yi Po will speak Chinese. Yi Po will not b
Evelyn Tapia
Apr 13, 2014 Evelyn Tapia rated it liked it
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
This book is appropriate for a 3rd grade classroom to read for fun. In here you learn Chinese and the brief history about the discrimination Chinese people faced such as war and famine. All this ties into the life of an 11 year old who learns to appreciate who she is and who she has in her life.

The story revolves amongst Lucy Wu a fifth grader going into sixth grade pretty soon. Her plans for the future is to become a basketball player and open a
Sep 01, 2015 Cookav rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! The beginning of the book starts off with Lucy Wu, an aspiring basketball player. But when her Great Aunt comes from China,her year starts off badly. She dislikes having to speak in Chinese all the time and hates when she has to trade basketball practices for Chinese school.

I really enjoyed the book because it was easy to relate to Lucy. I got attached to the cast of characters quickly, and the plot kept me reading on.
Mar 28, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it
This is a realistic fiction book about a 12 year old Chinese American girl. We follow along for 5 months in the life of Lucy Wu as she struggles with all the angst of middle school, with the additioal aspect of being Chinese American.

Lucy shares a room with her "perfect" older sister, Regina. Regina embraces her cultural heritage - speaks Chinese, enjoys authentic Chinese food, and single handedly starts the Chinese Language and Cultural Society at school. Lucy, on the other hand, likes Chinese
Chelsea Cleek
Jul 30, 2014 Chelsea Cleek rated it really liked it
Lucy Wu is a sixth grade Chinese-American but doesn't really care much about the Chinese aspect of her life. She doesn't like Chinese food, barely speaks Chinese and loves basketball when she is expected to excel in some subject in school. She thinks she is going to have the perfect year but then she finds out her great-aunt from china is coming to stay. In the story Lucy is discovering how she fits into her Chinese culture and basketball.

This story is a great story to learn a bit about the Chin
Nov 21, 2015 Crystal rated it really liked it
I loved this book because it shows the struggle that many Asian Americans (and other cultures too) children go through as they work to span 2 different cultures. Lucy wants to be on the basketball team, wants to do all the things that her American friends do, but her parents have other ideas. Her older sister is in a well known university studying, her brother is on the Mathematics team at his school and both are bragged about by her parents. Lucy doesn't want these things and is dismayed to fin ...more
Apr 23, 2015 Kailey rated it really liked it
Remembering: Name two things that threaten Lucy's best year of her life?
Understanding:What was the main idea in The Great Wall of Lucy Wu?
Applying: Think of a situation that occurred in the story and tell what you would have done. Lucy is frustrated at sharing a room with Yi Po and builds a Great Wall down the middle of her bedroom to show how frustrated she is. What would you have done if you were in Lucy's situation? What are some other options that Lucy could have taken to signify her frustra
Dec 02, 2015 Sheyla added it
This book shows a bit of Chinese traditions and Chinese-American traditions. The main character, Lucy Wu, is a basketball player and is having the "best year of her life". She is about to enter middle school and try out for the position of team captain for the school's basketball team. Lucy had been wanting a room of her own since a while and now that her sister is leaving to college she can get it. Everything is going great until her mom says their grandmother's sister is going to visit them. L ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Serena added it
The great wall of Lucy Wu by: Wendy wan-long Shang
This book was a great book for me, I recommend this book for people that have a bigger sister that is going to college and an aunt, I loved this book because it was about a girl and her sister, her sister is moving away to college and the girl is very happy because she doesn't have to share a room with her sister anymore, but the bad news is that her aunt is coming and they have to share a room so when they told the girl that she was very very m
Whitney Taylor
1. Describe a memorable scene or turning point in Lucy's school experience.

2. Give examples or quotes of how Lucy thought "the best year of her life" was turning for the worst.

3. In real life, how would you help prepare students like Lucy to overcome bullying and cultural issues?

4. Identify the different characters in The Great Wall of Lucy Wu and how they are affected by Lucy's growth as a sixth grader.

5. Write and develop a plan giving advice which can help you solve situations with bullying f
Jennifer Nguyen
Apr 27, 2014 Jennifer Nguyen rated it it was amazing
1. Describe a memorable scene or turning point in Lucy's school experience.

2. Give examples or quotes of how Lucy thought "the best year of her life" was turning for the worst.

3. In real life, how would you help prepare students like Lucy to overcome bullying and cultural issues?

4. Identify the different characters in The Great Wall of Lucy Wu and how they are affected by Lucy's growth as a sixth grader.

5. Write and develop a plan giving advice which can help you solve situations with bullying f
Jun 20, 2015 Muoy rated it really liked it
Shelves: upper-elm, mid, diverse
Lucy Wu is a Chinese-American who enjoyed lasagna and boxed mac and cheese more than home cooked Chinese food or what was being served at a well-known Chinese restaurant. Now that her older sister (the one who speaks Mandarin fluently, started the school's Chinese Culture and Language Society, and is considered a beauty) is leaving for college, Lucy can't wait to start off the new school year. She's looking forward to being an upperclassman, playing basketball, AND having her very own room. Lucy ...more
I enjoyed this funny, sweet middle grade novel about Lucy Wu and her less than perfect sixth grade year.
Oct 20, 2014 Vcchen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read wether your Asian or not

This is a great book for Asian kids. especially chinese kids, they can relate to chinese school and being pressured to quit sports for something more academic. But you can also relate if your not chinese, how your must include people, or giving others a second chance. This is a GREAT book, I wish I could give it a ten star but the highest this goes is five, so I guess that's all I have t o show how much I love this book. 100% going on my favorites list. You shou
Nov 10, 2015 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teenshelf
The author keeps it real in this story about a Chinese-American girl's struggles to be herself and also embrace her family's culture. I loved it because she lassoed so many things into the book, yet the plot didn't seem contrived or cluttered. I think that many girls in middle school will see their own dilemmas in Lucy's life.

I can't decide about this: did the author make mistakes in the pinyin on purpose because Lucy as narrator wasn't so good with the subtleties of Chinese or because she didn'
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My parents, who grew up in China, had no favorite books from their childhood to share with me, which left me to my own devices in the library. When I mentioned this to a friend, she was a bit stunned, and I understood this reaction. I certainly never felt deprived as a child, but as a parent, it's hard to imagine not having that link.

My own book is about finding the stories we discover about our f
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