Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Shang, Wendy Wan-Long.  The Great Wall of Lucy Wu.  Scholastic Press, 2011.

Big sister Regina is gorgeous and speaks perfect Chinese.  Big brother Kenny is a math genius.  And 6th-grader Lucy is great at basketball - but that doesn't impress her family.

Still, Lucy was expecting to have a great year, what with Regina going off to college and leaving Lucy with a room all to herself.  But then - not only does Lucy's old, long-lost, and non-English-speaking Great Aunt Yi Po move in to Lucy's bedroom, but Lucy is forced to take Chinese lessons.  Plus she has Mean Girl troubles in the form of Sloane Connors.  Can Lucy's 6th-grade year be redeemed?

Lucy and her stalwart friend Madison are normal, uncomplicated basketball-crazed girls - so refreshing to read about.  Yes, Lucy is super-annoyed about this Chinese-speaking old relative she had never met filling her bedroom with strange sounds and the smell of Vicks Vapo-rub, and so her behavior veers toward the sullen and cool end of the spectrum where Yi Po is concerned.  But it's all perfectly understandable, with a satisfying conclusion.  There isn't much character development, just lots of types - but they are familiar types, and Lucy's voice is vibrant enough to make up for the lack of dimension in the other characters.

This is funny, warm family/school tale for ages 9 to 12.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to read this one! It sounds like something so many kids can relate to.