This middle-grade book follows Lucy, a short Chinese-American girl caught between two cultures. Lucy plays basketball (very well) and would choose mac and cheese over most Chinese dishes. Her older siblings seem to fit the "perfect Chinese child" stereotype more than she does. Regina, her older sister started a Chinese club in high school and speaks flawless Chinese, while her brother Kenny, although a bookworm loves and eats all Chinese food and is a Math whiz. Still Lucy perseveres with interests, eagerly anticipating her sister's move to college so she can have their room all to herself, but that is not to be.
Today's pick is a much-loved book about two boys -- one Indian, one American -- bullied or mocked for different reasons, who become unlikely friends in the cafeteria of their middle-school. If you haven't read it yet, you should. This was one of the first middle-grade boy books I ever read (and I loved it!) -- the audiobook is really good, with two narrators, one of Indian descent, and the other American. If you or your kids loved this book, here are more books like Save Me a Seat.
Serenity and her brother, Danny, have to move in with their grandparents after her mother's death. Their father is nowhere to be found and the kids have to deal with their grief while adjusting to a new lifestyle -- new school, new friends, new routines -- with their mother's parents. Their grandfather is a preacher and both grandparents are ardent churchgoers. The story is told from Serenity's point of view as she tries to make sense of life through her poetry in English class.