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Pie in the Sky

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,582 ratings  ·  422 reviews
When eleven-year-old Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he's landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English, and he's often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao.

To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the
385 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Henry Holt and Co.
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02 is best girl basically, it's about two brothers who move to Australia and have to learn English and fit in…morebasically, it's about two brothers who move to Australia and have to learn English and fit in(less)

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CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
My full review can be found in my blog, The Quiet Pond.

There are books that I love -- and there are books, like Pie in the Sky, that stay in my heart forever. I loved this book so so much - prepare for me to YELL about this book.

- A MG novel filled with gorgeous illustrations by Lai herself!
- It follows two Chinese brothers who move to Australia with their mother, and how Jingwen, the older brother, navigates the challenges of moving to a new place.
- This story explores immigration, assimilatio
Rajani LaRocca
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read this book before it was published...what a hilarious, poignent, GORGEOUS middle grade book! The feeling of being in a strange alien world, and then realizing YOU'RE the alien, will be familiar to every kid, immigrant or not, because that's part of growing up. I didn't see the fully illustrated product -- will add to this review when I do! But Remy Lai is insanely talented, and has a gift for words and art that make us laugh through our tears. READ THIS AS SOON AS YOU P ...more
This year, I stumbled into an unexpected pattern. Though I didn’t quite mean to, I ended up reading a whole slew of middle grade novels that were funny. I’m not avoiding the serious stuff, but through a series of unlikely events I found myself diving deep into funny book after funny book. Now a hilarious novel for children can go one of two ways. It can be simply amusing for the sake of amusement, making no attempt at being meaningful in any way. I have a grudging respect for these books, since ...more
Amanda Rawson Hill
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is going places. Funny, heartfelt, great art, timely topic. Just wonderful.
Wendi Lee
I loved this middle graphic novel about a boy who moves to Australia and struggles with his new life. Full RTC to come.
Kate Olson
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a unique and special story ❤️ Having this story be from the perspective of a 11 yo who moves to Australia (from an unnamed country) and doesn’t know any English makes it such an important one for all kids and teachers to read. I’ll be buying this for my school library and will be booktalking it heavily! The partial graphic format will make it one I can push to my DOAWK lovers to hopefully get them to branch out a bit. Grades 3-6
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
11 year old Jingwen moves to Australia with his mother and annoying younger brother, and it's like he's landed on Mars. His English isn't great, school sucks, his little brother picks up English quickly, the other students think he's slow, and he's wracked with the guilt of memories of his father. But Jingwen has a solution. If he can just bake all of the cakes his father planned for his cake shop, life will get better.

There's just one problem. Jingwen's mother won't allow him to bake.

I requeste
Truebluedah ♪
I absolutely adored this book. ❤️
At my age, there aren’t many middle grade books that satisfy me. But this one did! It was such a sweet, heartfelt book.I know how hard it is to feel like an alien. (Mostly cause I actually look like one.. 😂
And the story was so creative and well written.
And guys...

And they are evened out perfectly.
Not too much so that it feels like a graphic novel,
But not too little that it is like “where be all the pictures? 🙀🤔”

This story of friendship, gettin
ash ♡
Read this review on my blog!

Before I read Pie In The Sky, I fully expected that it would be a cheery, lighthearted middle grade novel.

And as I began, I was easily swept into the story and found myself loving the way it was told through a mixture of prose and beautiful illustrations, so I thought my expectations would be correct. However, while Pie In The Sky was definitely easy to read, it ended up being so much more than a cute and fluffy novel, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Pie In The S
Prince William Public Libraries
Jingwen is frustrated. He has just moved to Australia and feels like an alien because he doesn’t speak much English. He’s doing poorly in school and thinks the other kids are making fun of him. He’s jealous that his little brother Yanghao is quickly picking up the language and making new friends, and he’s annoyed at having to watch him in the evenings when his mom leaves for work. Mostly he misses his dad, who died in a car accident before the big move.

But Jingwen thinks he’s found a solution t
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
The premise of the book was intriguing and because I'm Asian, I like to support my own kind.

I really liked the illustrations and was hoping this was going to be more of comic book, rather than novel.

Unfortunately, the storytelling was a bit too long for my attention span and I felt this was more of a story catered to a younger audience. It read more like a children's book (between ages 6-9), rather than middle grade.

**Thank you Raincoast Books & Henry Holt and Company for my ARC**
Laura (bbliophile)
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one so, so much <3
Itasca Community Library
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-beth
Beth says:
This illustrated novel is the story of two brothers who have recently moved to Australia with their mother after their father's death. It's told from the perspective of Jingwen, the older brother, who feels like he has just landed on Mars as he doesn't understand what anyone is saying and has to get used to a whole new set of customs. Making cakes based on his father's recipes helps him as he struggles to get used to his new country and deal with his grief. Jingwen and his brother must
Michelle Glatt
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
One thing that strikes me about this lovely book is that it can be enjoyed by a variety of readers on a variety of levels (one might say it is like The Little Prince in that regard). Some might focus on the brotherly rivalry. Others might revel in the cake baking. Still others will emotionally connect with Jingwen's struggles to adjust to a new school, language, and country. And then there will be those who will grieve with him over the loss of his father. Of course there will be readers, too, w ...more
B.A. Wilson
Mar 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Thank you to Netgalley, and the publisher, for allowing me to read an early copy of this book, which releases on May 14. Unfortunately, I'm the odd woman out, as I seem to be one of the only people who just really did not enjoy this and couldn't even force myself through to the end. Under the circumstances, you may want to take my review with a grain of salt. This obviously just wasn't for me.

I wanted this to be a fascinating story about immigration, but I confess I didn’t e
Interest Level: 3-6

Imagine that you have to move to another country and you do not speak the language. How hard would it be to make friends? Eleven-year-old Jingwen is facing this exact situation. Jingwen, his mom, and his annoying little brother, Yanghao, are moving to Australia and they do not speak English very well. It was a dream of Jingwen's dad to move to Australia and open up a fancy bakery but he passed away unexpectedly before they could move. Jingwen's mom decided to go ahead with the
Sweet, funny and poignant. This story covers a lot of ground as it deals with a family moving to a new country, learning a new language, and finding new friends, all while dealing with the grief of a dead family member.
Older brother Jingwen is having a lot of trouble fitting in at his new school after he, his mother and younger brother Yanghao move to Australia after the death of the boys’ father. English isn’t coming to Jingwen easily, unlike younger brother Janghao, and Jingwen is still griev
VERY CUTE & TOUCHING!!! this book reminds me a lot of the slice-of-life contemporaries i read fondly as a kid, and i have a lot of nostalgia for these kinds of stories. the themes of being misfit in a completely foreign culture you've been dropped into, being the eldest sibling in an asian household, and grief were relatable and woven into the story with a lot of heart. i can't really emphasise how much remy lai was able to completely replicate the voice of a twelve-year-old kid with care and ab ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jingwen, his brother, Yanghao, and their mother move to Australia, but it might as well Mars because neither of the boys speak any English. While Yanghao embraces their new community, Jingwen is stuck in the past and the life they left behind, including their grandparents cake shop, and their father who passed away a few years ago. Jingwen is convinced if he can just bake all of the cakes that he and his father had on their list for their dream cake shop, Pie in the Sky, that he will somehow be ...more
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
My friend lent me this kids' book, and I really loved it. The 11-year-old main character's feelings of isolation and loneliness, and envy at his younger brother's comparatively easy assimilation into the family's new life in Australia, were so perfectly developed. His struggle to come to terms with his father's death in an accident before they immigrated is the emotional core of the book and, I found, very moving. Many tears shed. I liked the hybrid novel format with occasional graphic novel ele ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I gave this one five stars because I have never seen anyone so graphically illustrate how disorienting and confusing it is to suddenly find yourself in a new country where you do not understand the language or any of the visual social cues. Although "Our in the Sky" is told from the point of view of Jingwen, a middle school aged Chinese immigrant to Australia, it has implications for anyone trying to understand, or anyone who has never given a thought to the difficulties faced by people trying t ...more
Abby Johnson
This is a really sweet (see what I did there?) story of a kid immigrating to a new country that feels like Mars since he doesn't speak English and can't understand anyone. This graphic novel / prose hybrid is a great choice for Wimpy Kid fans who like a little more meat to their story. It's both funny and serious - sweet and salty like the perfect salted caramel sauce.

Full review coming on my blog! Stay tuned.
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so good! It may seem a bit boring in the first few chapters and yanghao may seem like a booger but pie in the sky is amazing and you can relate to jingwen. This book is about jingwen who has recently moved to Australia not understanding english and getting bullied. The only thing that comforts him is cake.
Kate Hannigan
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. So much heart! Would give this to any kid who like graphic novels. Or cake. A fantastic read.
Georgina Peachey
I loved every second of this book and am excited to share it with my class in the future! This book perfectly puts into words how many children feel when going to new places! I believe this would be perfect to share with a class if someone new was joining, especially if the child was from a different background. Every child should read this as it would help them to gain a new perspective.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cake makes everything better

This is a well done Fish Out of Water story, except in this case, it is Martian in Australia.

Jingwen cannot learn English as fast as his brother can, and he is feeling isolated. He knows this is happening, but he is also sad that his father didn’t live to see them emigrate to Australia. The only way he knows how to mourn is to recreate the cakes that his father and he made, that they had planned to make at his shop, that he would one day have.

Jingwen thinks if he can
NOTE: I received an ARC via a book sharing group. The book is now available to purchase though.

Jingwen and his mother and brother move to Australia, but it feels like Mars to Jingwen. He struggles with the language and missing his father, who passed away. Jingwen and his brother, Yanghao, begin to secretly make the cakes Jingwen had made back home with his father before he died.

While there is a lot about Pie in the Sky that I can celebrate, including the strength of this novel for being "windows
Ipuna Black
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautiful, heartfelt, and funny! Moving to a new country and learning a new language and culture can make one feel like an alien! Remy does an excellent job showing the trials Jingwen faces and overcomes through baking his deceased father's recipes. Grief, love, and family are themes Remy covers well in this touching middle-grade book. And the illustrations are WOW! I strongly recommend this book! ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read this GORGEOUS book before it comes out. What a wonderful story! An incredible balance of humor and heartbreak with illustrations that will make you feel like you're experiencing a whole new country along with Jingwen. There's also a wonderful little brother and so many cakes. Read this one immediately! ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite debuts of 2019! The prose and art in PIE IN THE SKY are both stunning. You'll fall immediately for the brothers and their secret cake-baking—and if you're especially weak-willed, you, like me, might end up baking several of the cakes yourself. ;)

Update 5/2019: Just finished reading this aloud to Kate. It was a big hit!
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“Jingwen, the worst kind of lie ... is the one you tell to benefit yourself but will hurt others.” 0 likes
“I stop at hi. Because what if he asks other questions? I won't have the replies ready, and I'll be staring at him like a frozen booger. I can't possibly prepare all the questions and all the answers. The number of questions he could ask is infinite. My English is very, very finite.” 0 likes
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