By Victoria Chang (Author)
Frances Chin, a 10-year old Chinese-American girl, lives in the suburbs of Detroit with her immigrant parents and older sister, Clara. At school Frances copes with bullies and the loneliness that comes with not quite fitting in. At home, she feels a different kind of aloneness. Her parents are preoccupied with work and worry about Clara, whose hair is inexplicably falling out. But, with the help of her friend Annie, Frances is determined to play Nancy Drew and solve the mystery of Clara’s condition. She also faces the everyday challenges and unexpected thrills of being a tween, especially when she receives encouragement from a tennis coach. Although she struggles to speak up, Frances’s powerful inner voice resonates in gorgeous imagery and evocative free verse.
"Love and more love to Victoria Chang for her lyrical and gentle prose poems that, in excavating a deep secret, usher readers beyond shame and into the warmth of understanding." —Thanhhà Lại, New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Inside Out & Back Again, and most recently Butterfly Yellow
PRAISE“Rooted in personal experience, this novel in verse captures the trials of being a young Chinese immigrant in suburban Detroit. Frances Chin, the 11-year-old daughter of Chinese immigrants, struggles to adapt to life in America with her parents and older sister, Clara, who is experiencing inexplicable hair loss. Clara’s only wig is stolen by school bullies. Endless doctors’ appointments fail to unearth answers. Frances is bullied at school and feels overlooked at home. Like Nancy Drew, Frances becomes obsessed with determining the cause of Clara’s hair loss. In five chapters of short, free-verse poems, Chang shows young Frances blossoming with the help of a friend named Annie, who is also Chinese American, and a tennis coach. Readers first see the pain and loneliness of being different before Annie’s friendship distracts Frances from her daily troubles. Frances channels her frustration onto the tennis court under the tutelage of an interested coach, which gives her the strength and courage to find the root of her sister’s illness. The starting point of a tennis match is stated as “love, love”—a place of equality. Amid the challenges of first-generation life, Frances grasps onto the hope that there is a level playing field in this country. This lyrical story shows that, for some, the pressure of success is hard to bear. In her author’s note, Chang describes her sister’s experiences with mental illness and provides links to resources. An expressive book of poetry that provides a glimpse into life in an immigrant family.” —Kirkus (Starred review)
"Love and more love to Victoria Chang for her lyrical and gentle prose poems that, in excavating a deep secret, usher readers beyond shame and into the warmth of understanding." —Thanhhà Lại, New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Inside Out & Back Again, and most recently Butterfly Yellow -
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
The daughter of Taiwanese and Chinese immigrants, Victoria Chang was born in Detroit and grew up in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Her poetry has earned such honors as a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Residency Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, and many others. Victoria is also the Program Chair of Antioch's MFA Program in Los Angeles. She lives in LA with her family and two wiener dogs.