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About The Book

From the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk comes a “involving, realistic” (Booklist, starred review) middle grade novel about a young girl who leaves China to live with her parents and sister, after five years apart, and learns about family, friendship, and the power of being finally seen.

My sister got to grow up with my parents. Me? I grew up with postcards from my parents.

When ten-year-old Lina Gao steps off the plane in Los Angeles, it’s her first time in America and the first time seeing her parents and her little sister in five years! She’s been waiting for this moment every day while she lived with her grandmother in Beijing, getting teased by kids at school who called her “left behind girl.” Finally, her parents are ready for her to join their fabulous life in America! Except, it’s not exactly like in the postcards:

1. School’s a lot harder than she thought. When she mispronounces some words in English on the first day, she decides she simply won’t talk. Ever again.
2. Her chatty little sister has no problem with English. And seems to do everything better than Lina, including knowing exactly the way to her parents’ hearts.
3. They live in an apartment, not a house like in Mom’s letters, and they owe a lot of back rent from the pandemic. And Mom’s plan to pay it back sounds more like a hobby than a moneymaker.

As she reckons with her hurt, Lina tries to keep a lid on her feelings, both at home and at school. When her teacher starts facing challenges for her latest book selection, a book that deeply resonates with Lina, it will take all of Lina’s courage and resilience to get over her fear and choose a future where she’s finally seen.

About The Author

Photograph by Jessica Sample

Kelly Yang is the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk (winner of the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature), Three Keys, Room to DreamKey Player, Top StoryParachutesPrivate Label, Yes We WillNew from HereFinally Seen, and Finally HeardFront Desk also won the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal, was the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and has earned numerous other honors including being named a best book of the year by The Washington PostKirkus ReviewsSchool Library JournalPublishers Weekly, and NPR. Learn more at KellyYang.com. 

About The Readers

Photograph by Jessica Sample

Kelly Yang is the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk (winner of the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature), Three Keys, Room to DreamKey Player, Top StoryParachutesPrivate Label, Yes We WillNew from HereFinally Seen, and Finally HeardFront Desk also won the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal, was the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and has earned numerous other honors including being named a best book of the year by The Washington PostKirkus ReviewsSchool Library JournalPublishers Weekly, and NPR. Learn more at KellyYang.com. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (February 28, 2023)
  • Length: 6 disks
  • Runtime: 7 hours and 21 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797150444
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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Raves and Reviews

"Kay skillfully portrays Lina’s thoughts, a messy mixture of happiness at rejoining her family, sadness at having left her beloved grandmother, curiosity about her new home, and severe anxiety over her imperfect English. Kay balances this with Lina’s ever-growing voice as she learns to speak out on behalf of the people and beliefs she holds dear. Kelly Yang enthusiastically narrates her author’s note about the value of being seen in children’s literature."

– Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Magazine

Awards and Honors

  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
  • SLJ Best Book of the Year
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Top Pick
  • South Carolina Children's Book Award Nominee

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Kelly Yang

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