We love this one so much we are sharing THREE reviews of it here!
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are our own.
American Panda by Gloria Chao
(Simon Pulse ~ February 6, 2018)
I completely fell in love with awkwardly adorable Mei! Her parents have expectations of her that she can’t possibly fulfill. She must find an inner strength she doesn’t know she has to make her own way and defy their wishes. At turns funny and shocking (some Taiwanese cultural traditions and familial demands will really surprise most readers), AMERICAN PANDA is a beautifully written look at what happens when cultures collide and children of immigrants dare to dream their own dreams. The witty, cute banter between Mei and her love interest, Darren, really sealed the deal for me. Love this book! Must buy for all high schools.
And ANOTHER review of this one!
American Panda by Gloria Chao is an amazing YA read. Mei Lu is a 17-year-old college freshman who is so smart she was able to skip the fourth grade thanks to choices made by her parents. Mei’s parents have had her future planned since the day she was born, including who she will marry and her career path. She was raised with strong Taiwanese roots and is expected to become a doctor.
However, Mei struggles with these expectations. She is paranoid of germs, is crushing on a Japanese American boy which is strictly forbidden, and is struggling to understand her family’s strict rules. Her brother refused to follow these strict rules and cultural beliefs and his family has disowned him. No one in the family is allowed to talk to him or help him in any way. Mei also struggles with her choices. One day she decides to bend the rules and find out just who Mei can be. One by one her secrets begin to spill out and her family life unravels. Mei struggles with what she wants vs. what is expected of her in order to be the best Mei she can be.
In the author notes, the author tells how her life and Mei’s are very similar in the way they struggled to become their own person. I had some idea of the cultural beliefs of Taiwanese Americans, but had no idea just how strong and rooted they were. It was very interesting to read and understand why the struggles seemed so real for Mei.
And ANOTHER review of this one!
Review and Picture by Christina ~ Originally posted on Instagram, @mycornerforbooksand
Mei is a 17 year old college student who has her future planned out by her parents who want her to become a doctor and to marry within her Taiwanese culture. But Mei doesn’t want to be a doctor and she has a crush on Darren who in fact is not Taiwanese. In this story, we follow Mei as she overcomes feeling like she can’t think for herself, and begins to believe in herself. This happens even though she knows that being disowned is a big possibility after what happened to her brother Xing when he disobeyed their parents and disregarded their beliefs.
This is a story of family, love and a girl wanting to follow her dreams, but not having the support she needs or wants. I recommend this book for young teens. I wish I had this book growing up.
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