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“Chao’s effervescent debut explores topics and themes that are salient for all teens…perhaps even more so for children of immigrants, who have a foot in two cultures and an ever-present awareness of the sacrifices their parents have made.” –Publishers Weekly

American Panda

Written by Gloria Chao

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies. With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese. But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how, unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

Primary ISBN: 9781481499101

Available As: Hardcover
Middle Grade, Age 12 or older

Community Represented: ,

Themes: , , , , ,

Setting: United States

Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: 1st Generation

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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