The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
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The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  905 ratings  ·  174 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...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press
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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
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
Ms. Yingling
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...more
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,...more
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...more
Dec 30, 2011 Jamie rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Abby Johnson
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...more
Evelyn Tapia
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...more
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...more
I am not sure if I liked the book or hated it. So 2 stars for now.

Sorry, but Lucy was for most of the book a whiny, conceited little brat. She started to change around halfway, but sorry, that won't save the book any more for me.

I really wanted to slap Lucy and tell her to just look at the good things instead of focussing on everything that is OH SO BAD, boohoo.

Sure her parents also aren't that great, not telling Lucy about things, or having high expectations of her. And Regina, gosh I was so h...more
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.
BAYA Librarian
Lucy Wu's sixth grade year is going to be the best. She'll finally have her own room, as her bossy older sister leaves for college. She and her friends will rule the elementary school and the basketball court. But nothing goes as planned. Yi Po, a distant relative, arrives from China and takes over part of Lucy's room. Her parents push her into Chinese school and away from basketball. And, to make matters worse, she draws the attention of the school bully. To illustrate her frustration, Lucy bui...more
After Cal's parents get divorced, his mother gets full custody of Cal, Doran and Rachel. Cal a senior in high school is the oldest. The four move back to the Utah reservation Cal's mother grew up on. They move in with Raymond their grandfather. Cal is half native American. Though he has never been exposed to that part of his heritage. When Mona was a teenager, her sister Jackie died under mysterious causes. Cal is detemined to find out what really happened.

When they get to the reservation, Cal d...more
Lucy Wu is all set to have her best year ever. She's going to rule the school as a sixth-grader, she's getting her own room because her big sister is going to college, and of course she'll be playing basketball.

Her parents have other ideas, though. Her grandma's sister comes to visit from China for several months and sleeps—you guessed it—in Lucy's room. Her parents decide she should go to Chinese school instead of playing basketball, and a bullying girl at school starts to make life uncomfortab...more
BAYA draft review

Lucy Wu's sixth grade year is going to be the best. She'll finally have her own room, as her bossy older sister leaves for college. She and her friends will rule the elementary school and the basketball court. But nothing goes as planned. Yi Po, a distant relative, arrives from China and takes over part of Lucy's room. Her parents push her into Chinese school and away from basketball. And, to make matters worse, she draws the attention of the school bully. To illustrate her frus...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2011 Phoebe rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Cheryl, Deborah, Valerie
Lucy lives for basketball, and she is sure that the upcoming year (6th grade) is going to be perfect. Her older sister is finally leaving for college which means Lucy will get a whole bedroom to herself. Then the bomb drops: her great aunt Yi Po is coming to visit, and she'll share Lucy's room. Lucy hates the very idea of Yi Po, long-lost sister of beloved grandmother Po Po (who passed away two years earlier) and when her parents say she has to go to Chinese school on Saturday mornings, and give...more
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

A wise man once sang, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. In The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang, the title heroine learns this lesson the hard way. Her perfect year, a year in which she’s finally going to have her own room when “perfect” older sister Regina goes away to college, is interrupted by the appearance of Yi Po, her beloved grandmother’s long lost sister. Lucy doesn’t want to share her room or her life with the...more
From February 2011 SLJ:
Gr 4�6�Lucy knows that sixth grade is going to be the best year ever: she finally gets her own room now that her older sister is off to college, and she and her friend Madison are ready to rule the basketball courts. But Lucy's parents put a glitch in those plans when her father returns from a business trip to China with Lucy's great-aunt, who will visit until Christmas. Lucy again has a roommate, and resents this elderly lady who does not speak English and cooks only Chin...more
Stacy Ford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Langhinrichs
Reviewed for My Comfy Chair - Safe, friendly Kid-lit reviews

It is seldom that I read a book where the voice of the main character is so crystal clear and perfect that I completely forget there must be an author involved. Lucy is a short, Chinese girl who loves basketball. She looks forward to a perfect 6th grade year, finally out from under the shadow of her beautiful older sister who is off to college. Lucy has a room of her own for the first time, and looks forward to decorating it the way she...more
Madigan McGillicuddy
I really enjoyed this realistic fiction middle-grade novel about Chinese-American middle-schooler, Lucy Wu and her family. There are plenty of books out there about a put-upon kid who has to cope with sharing a room, or giving up a room to a newly moved in senior citizen family member. This book succeeds in making all of the involved parties sympathetic and well-realized. Even though she's extremely short, Lucy has a passion for basketball, something her traditional (read: scholastics obsessed)...more
(3.5 stars) The publisher of this book needs to do a massive pitch to all media outlets immediately, if they haven't done so already. For one big reason: Linsanity.

Sixth-grader Lucy Wu is about to have the best year ever. Things are starting out great--her goody-two-shoes sister Regina is FINALLY going away for college (Lucy can't wait to get the whole room to herself!), she and her best friend are going to rule the school, and she's finally going to be named captain of the basketball team. But...more
Kathryn Mueller
This book was a really good read on the heals of Anya's War by Andrea Alban. While Anya's War was set in 1939, The Great Wall of Lucy Wu is set in the 21rst century. Lucy, who is just entering the sixth grade and is ready to rule the school and the basketball court with her pro free throws, is disappointed (understatement) to find out that she's going to have to share her room with her great-aunt. (Who, incidentally, lived through the time illustrated in Anya's War.)

Lucy's spells out the reasons...more
Barb Middleton
Lucy is going to have the perfect summer. Big sister is off to college and she thinks she will get the bedroom to herself. Right? Wrong!

Great-aunt Yi Po is coming for the summer. Basketball season starts and Lucy can’t wait to play with the team. Right? Wrong! She has to go to Chinese school on Saturday.

The sixth graders are going to play the teachers in a pick up basketball game and Lucy wants to try out for captain. Right? Wrong! Not if the bully Sloane Connors has her way. She’s scaring every...more
Lucy is sure this is going to be the best year ever. Her older sister is going off to college, so she FINALLY gets her own room, and she's going to be in 6th grade, so she and her friends will rule the school! But when her dad returns from a business trip in China and announces he has found her grandmother's long lost sister, Yi-Po, it starts looking to Lucy like maybe this year won't be as great as she had hoped. Yi-Po is coming to visit, and she's going to share Lucy's room. Not only that, her...more
Maureen Milton
Lucy Wu must be one of the truest 6th-grade girls in current middle grade lit. Her concerns, woes, and successes, while they occur in the cultural context of a Chinese-American family, seem to be shared by lots of middle-class, American kids. She is not an orphan, extraordinarily rich or poor, has a family who loves her and has expectations of and for her. She's a solid basketball player without being a junior Olympian. She manages to be a perfectly normal without being perfectly boring.

I think...more
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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...more
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