Minli's Reviews > The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
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's review
Feb 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: asian-interest, childrens, contemporary, yay-diversity
Read in January, 2012

(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 when her parents invite her great-aunt from China to stay with them (and share a room with Lucy), and makes Lucy go to Chinese school instead of basketball practice (groan!), her perfect year comes crashing down... to say nothing of the school bully.

The book has a casual, kid-friendly voice and explores Chinese-American identity in a way that kids might actually read, instead of in ways we want them to read. Lucy's foil is her older sister Regina, who's the perfect culturally aware Chinese-American, though her brother the history nerd also has some shining moments. Wendy Wan-Long Shang delights in subverting stereotypes, I think she does a great job of it. My only complaint is that the writing isn't as strong as I'd like--or maybe it's just written in a style I don't connect with now that I'm older. Still, I'm so happy this book exists.

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