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American Panda
Cover of American Panda
American Panda
"Weepingly funny." —The Wall Street Journal "Delightful." —Buzzfeed "Charmed my socks off." —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland Four...
"Weepingly funny." —The Wall Street Journal "Delightful." —Buzzfeed "Charmed my socks off." —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland Four...
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  • "Weepingly funny." —The Wall Street Journal
    "Delightful." —Buzzfeed
    "Charmed my socks off." —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland

    Four starred reviews for this incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.
    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.

About the Author-

  • Gloria Chao is the critically acclaimed author of American Panda and Our Wayward Fate. Her wayward journey to fiction included studying business at MIT, then becoming a dentist. Gloria was once a black belt in kung-fu and an avid dancer, but nowadays you can find her teaming up with her husband on the curling ice. Visit her tea-and-book-filled world at GloriaChao.Wordpress.com and find her on Twitter and Instagram @GloriacChao.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 20, 2017
    Mei is only 17 and already a freshman at MIT, but her Taiwanese immigrant parents won’t be satisfied until she has a medical degree, a Taiwanese doctor husband, and children. To ensure the success of this plan, Mei’s mother monitors Mei’s behavior, calling constantly, nagging her to be more feminine, and engineering meet-ups with approved boys. But there’s so much her parents don’t know: the boy Mei likes is Japanese American, she’s too germophobic to be a doctor, and she’d rather be dancing. Worse, she’s in touch with the brother her parents disowned when he failed to meet family standards. Chao’s effervescent debut explores topics and themes that are salient for all teens—finding oneself and establishing an identity separate from one’s family—and 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. With sensitivity and an abundance of humor, Chao captures Mei’s growing realization that her desires are worth pursuing and the way that this discovery eventually brings Mei and her mother closer together. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kathleen Rushall, Andrea Brown Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine At the age of 17, Mei, a first-generation Taiwanese-American, struggles with starting college and longs to follow her own path instead of the one planned by her strict, demanding parents. Emily Woo Zeller's narration of Mei's story is as diverse as its characters, giving voice to the culture clash between Mei's family's beliefs and the world around her. Zeller's soft, introverted-sounding voice for Mei contrasts well with the brash voices of the non-Asian young women--but the frequent volume changes between the speakers are disconcerting. Nonetheless, Zeller captures Mei's anxiety over familial expectations and her disgust at germs and all things medical, as well as the humor she often uses to cover up her insecurities. A.L.S.M. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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