Sixteen-year-old Emily is one of three Asian students at her high school in Richmond, Virginia, and the only child of protective, ambitious parents. She loves her parents and has always strived to please them, but her interest in a sexy new student, her growing passion for art, and her need to break away without breaking her tightly-knit family apart force Emily to create a web of lies, one that traps her just as tightly as her circumstances. It's her art that provides a key to freedom and a new understanding of her place in the world.
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(210mm x 140mm x 27mm)
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
In this coming-of-age montage, a Chinese-American teen discovers her world is "richer with the music of two languages, the rhythm of two cultures." American-born Emily has loving Chinese parents, two best friends, good grades, artistic talent and her first boyfriend, yet she's "yearning for something new." A devoted, obedient daughter, Emily helps out in her parents' Chinese restaurant. Her American girlfriends urge her to be more "elegant" by wearing make-up, while her shallow American boyfriend unwittingly racially stereotypes Emily by wanting her to look more "exotic." Afraid to disappoint anyone, Emily just wants to spread her wings and be herself. She's happiest when absorbed in her painting. Only after spending the summer in Taipei learning Chinese does Emily connect with her heritage and realize she can be at home in both worlds. Writing in free verse laden with Chinese images, Emily charts her progress from childhood to first romance to discovering her real self. The poetic form proves the perfect vehicle for Emily's unique voice. Sensitive and finely crafted. (Fiction. 14+) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Joyce Lee Wong
Joyce Lee Wong is the winner of numerous "new talent" prizes given by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She is a lawyer, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two small children.