A Chinese-American girl longs for friendship with a classmate adopted from China in this subtle, insightful middle-grade novel.
Ginny is sure the new girl in her second-grade class will be her best friend. After all, Stephanie is Chinese, just like Ginny. But Ginny soon discovers some puzzling things about Stephanie: she doesn't like Chinese food, she hates her straight black hair, and even more surprisingly, her parents are not Chinese. At Ginny's house, MaMa cooks delicious Chinese dishes as the family prepares for their big holiday party and Stephanie spies Ginny's most prized possession — a hand-carved jade dragon — and asks to take it home. Much as Ginny yearns for a best friend, is it worth the risk of losing her special keepsake and angering MaMa? Drawing on Virginia Loh's real life story, the authors poignantly capture Ginny's dilemma as she navigates with difficulty between her culture and her friendship.
Carolyn Marsden, Virginia Shin-Mui Loh
Candlewick Press (MA)