Daily Archives: July 31, 2012

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

by Wendy Wan-long Shang
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Category: Copyright 2011

Personal Evaluation: I tried so hard to just skim this one but it was so good I couldn’t stop myself from reading it. Lucy felt like a friend of mine, I knew her so well. Her siblings were full of surprises: real, many-faceted characters that I was not expecting, ready to write them off to stereotypes of goody-two-shoes older sister and math-whiz brother. It occurred to me that, though Lucy had been Lucy all along, she had also changed subtly over the course of the book, as had her relationship with her great-aunt. I like that she ends up having a great year even after it seems like it’s been ruined. The whole time I was reading it, I was comparing it to Ribbons by Laurence Yep which I also reviewed here and is about a Chinese girl whose grandmother comes to stay. Lucy Wu was written about 15 years later and blows Ribbons out of the water. It showed me that the quality of children’s writing has really changed for the better.

What might interest children: When I was reading this book, I was also thinking of my friend Elana, who started a 5’2″ and under basketball club that I think Lucy would love to be part of. I think kids who are into sports will like it, but especially girls. Also kids who are in the throes of their first crush, experiencing sibling tensions, family changes, and personal injustice… basically any 5th or 6th grader alive (even boys, really).