by Barbara Stuber
First sentence: “Say it, Lily.”
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Content: There’s some mild swearing and kissing. It’s probably a more complicated plot than the Middle Grade section warrants, so it’s in the YA section (grades 6-8) of the bookstore.
Lillian Firestone is an adopted daughter of Chinese heritage. Which makes her a target in Kansas City in 1951, the height of the Korean War. She took the bullying and name-calling when she was younger, but now that she’s 16, she’s taking a stand. Sort of. She walked out of class and school one day, and that act started a domino chain of events that led to the discovery of her birth parents.
There’s art involved and a lot of Chinese culture as Lily goes on this journey.
(I’m tired. Can you tell?)
I wanted to like this book. I love the cover, I love the ideas, the conflict. But I could never connect with Lily. She drove. me. nuts. Completely. And so I started skimming, skipping ahead just to see what happens. And yeah, everything’s tied up in a nice little bow.
It had potential, and I’m sure some readers will really love the art and China elements. But I wasn’t really one of them.