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Pie in the Sky

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,033 ratings  ·  306 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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KAS I don't think so, no. You see an indirect injury as a result of using the oven, which is shown as a very upsetting scene, and more importantly the boo…moreI don't think so, no. You see an indirect injury as a result of using the oven, which is shown as a very upsetting scene, and more importantly the book places a lot of focus on it being bad that the main character is sneaking around and even lying to his mother about ignoring her rules.(less)

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 ·  1,033 ratings  ·  306 reviews

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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.
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
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.
laurel [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
Gigi H
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 ...more
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
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!
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
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
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.
Dee Dee G
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t expect to enjoy this book the way I did. Funny and fast paced read. The little brother is AGGRAVATING. Whew!
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.
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!
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!
Melissa Sarno
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-books
This book is so deliciously sweet and tender and delightful. I loved every second of it.
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Probably 3.5 stars. I liked it but it took a while to get going and moved pretty slowly/repetitively. Not sure if students will like it or not!
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written and illustrated story about being out of place, about loss and recovery, and about trying to make magic happen when the deck is stacked against you.
I received this title as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book made me cry. Which really isn't a good thing because I do a lot of reading while on the treadmill at the gym.

This is the story of Jingwen and his little brother, Yanghao, who have just moved with their widowed mother from China to Mars. Well, actually, it's Australia but it is close enough in Jingwen's mind. That is, until he realizes it's not everyone else who is an alien: he is.

Jingwen struggles with lear
Ben Truong
Pie in the Sky is an illustrated novel written and illustrated by Remy Lai. It centers on Jingwen, who moves from his unspecified home country to Australia with his mother and younger brother after his father's death.

Jingwen mourns the loss of his father and feels like an alien among his fifth-grade classmates as he struggles to learn English, which sounds alien to him. Summoning memories of baking with Papa, Jingwen imagines the cakes they'd anticipated selling at Pie in the Sky, the bakery the
Imagene Wonders
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jingwen, Yanghao and their mom, have just moved from China to Australia. Jingwen feels like he is on planet Mars. He is struggling with his English, and also feels like he is an alien there because his looks and his language are different. He is trying to make friends. In the meanwhile, at home, he is dealing with his little brother, who is constantly asking for cake. Every night, Jingwen and Yanghao make cakes together. They try to keep it a secret from their mom, who insisted that the boys don ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really thought this book was gonna be chill BUT IT REALLY HIT ME IN THE FEELS AND TUGGED ON MY HEART STRINGS!!!

it’s a lovely heartbreaking story about moving to a new place, grief over losing a loved one, dealing with all sorts of emotions and the struggle of being an older sibling. So many changes happen for jingwen and baking is the only thing that makes him happy as it reminds him of his dad.

I love the cute illustrations and the cakes did look delicious but I have no idea how they managed
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, graphic-novels, 2019
PIE IN THE SKY is a stunning middle grade debut that will grab you from the very first page. When we meet Jingwen, he is moving to Australia with his mom and (annoying!) little brother Yanghao—we also learn Jingwen’s dad has recently passed away. Jingwen understandably struggles with his grief and with the challenges of living in a new country. He comes up with the plan to make every cake on the menu of the “Pie in the Sky” bakery, which his dad dreamed of opening. But Mom has forbidden the boys ...more
Shane Harcombe
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Have seen this book recommended regularly (although strangely on U.S. sites rather than Australian ones, given Remy is an Australian author), and so finally got around to reading it over these holidays. I loved it, probably 4.5 stars!

The book is about Jingwen, a Chinese boy who immigrates to Australia, along with his mother & brother, Yanghao. It deals with what it feels like to land in a country & culture that is completely foreign to you. Jingwen describes it as feeling like he has landed on M
Jill Kenna
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is about two Chinese brothers that move to Australian with their mother and the consequences of that move. When they first get there Jingwen feels like an alien. He can't speak the language (or understand it) and is forced to watch out for his kid brother a lot of the time. To pass the time while they are at home they break one of their mother's rules - no using the oven when she is not at home - to bake cakes. They have to hide the cakes from their mom in creative ways to hide the fac ...more
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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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