Being adopted isn’t easy—especially when you’re seen as a national enemy. A teen seeks the roots of her identity in this stirring novel from the acclaimed author of Crossing the Tracks.
When Lily was three, her mother put her up for adoption, then disappeared without a trace. Or so Lily was told. Lily grew up in her new family and tried to forget her past. But with the Korean War raging and the fear of “Commies” everywhere, Lily’s Asian heritage makes her a target. She is sick of the racism she faces, a fact her adoptive parents won’t take seriously. For Lily, war is everywhere—the dinner table, the halls at school, and especially within her own skin.
Then her brainy little brother, Ralph, finds a box containing a baffling jumble of broken antiques—clues to her past left by her “Gone Mom.” Lily and Ralph attempt to match these fragments with rare Chinese artifacts at the art museum, where she encounters the artistic genius Elliot James. Elliot attracts and infuriates Lily—especially when he calls their first kiss “undimensional.” With the help of Ralph and Elliot, will Lily summon the courage to confront her own remarkable creation story?
A poignantly beautiful novel, Girl in Reverse celebrates “a remarkable journey of self-discovery, inner resilience, and the fragile, surprising, and exquisite complexity of family” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Barbara Stuber is the author of the novels Girl in Reverse and Crossing the Tracks, which was a finalist for the American Library Association William C. Morris Debut Award, a YALSA Best Fiction for YA and a Kirkus Best Book for Teens. When not writing, she is a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Visit Barbara online at BarbaraStuber.com.
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (May 13, 2014)
Length: 336 pages
Grades: 7 and up
Ages: 12 - 99
Lexile ® HL690L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
*"Stuber (Crossing the Tracks) creates a remarkable journey of self-discovery, inner resilience, and the fragile, surprising, and exquisite complexity of family."
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
Lily’s fragmented memories of her mother—her scent, the color of her sweater, the texture of her hair—and the yearnings they inspire are the novel’s most genuinely affecting moments... moments of beautiful sensory detail."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Stuber offers a poetic, introspective story of a girl caught between two worlds."
Awards and Honors
MSTA Reading Circle List
Wisconsin State Reading Association's Reading List