Recommended Reading: Many Voices
Get ready to read! Here is a list of recommended books that address our Action Book Club theme: Many Voices. These books celebrate diversity, our differences, and the similarities that connect us all. Do you know of another great book that fits this theme? You’re welcome to read that instead; we’d love to hear your book ideas.
Everyone can take part in the Action Book Club program. That’s why this list of suggested books—recommended by Little Free Library stewards, communities, and advisers—includes options for young readers, middle readers, and adults.
Dario and the Whale by Cheryl Lawton Malone, illustrated by Bistra Masseva (32 pp, Albert Whitman & Company, 2016). Fiction. When Dario and his mother move to Cape Cod from Brazil, Dario has a hard time making friends since he doesn’t speak English well. But one day Dario meets someone else who has just arrived in New England and he doesn’t speak any English at all…because he’s a whale! Day after day Dario and the whale meet at the beach. But what will happen when it’s time for the whale to migrate?
A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui (32 pp, Capstone Young Readers, available August 2017). Fiction. As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Phi’s expertly crafted prose reflects an immigrant family making its way in a new home while honoring its bonds to the past.
I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien (32 pp, Charlesbridge, 2015). Fiction. Three students are immigrants from Guatemala, Korea, and Somalia and have trouble speaking, writing, and sharing ideas in English in their new American elementary school. Through self-determination and with encouragement from their peers and teachers, the students learn to feel confident and comfortable in their new school without losing a sense of their home country, language, and identity. Young readers from all backgrounds will appreciate this touching story about the assimilation of three immigrant students in a supportive school community.
Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi, illustrated by Lea Lyon (32 pp, Tilbury House Publishers, 2015). Fiction. Lailah is in a new school in a new country, thousands of miles from her old home, and missing her old friends. When Ramadan begins, she is excited that she is finally old enough to participate in the fasting but worried that her classmates won’t understand why she doesn’t join them in the lunchroom. Lailah solves her problem with help from the school librarian and her teacher and in doing so learns that she can make new friends who respect her beliefs.
Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez (32 pp, Candlewick, 2015). Fiction. Mia’s abuela has left her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to live with Mia and her parents in the city. The night she arrives, Mia tries to share her favorite book with Abuela before they go to sleep and discovers that Abuela can’t read the words inside. So while they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English (“Dough. Masa“), and Mia learns some Spanish too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn the words she needs to tell Mia all her stories. Then Mia sees a parrot in the pet-shop window and has the perfecto idea for how to help them all communicate a little better.
A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts, illustrated by Hyewon Yum (32 pp, Candlewick, 2016). Fiction. When Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. One day he is invited to a classmate’s house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea—mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him—and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a “piece of home” in their new garden.
This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by James Ransome (32 pp, Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013). Fiction. The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family’s history. But for three generations, that rope is passed down, used for everything from jump rope games to tying suitcases onto a car for the big move north to New York City, and even for a family reunion where that first little girl is now a grandmother.
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales (40 pp, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016). Fiction. Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that’s all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder. But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name…a name that is sure to light up the sky.
We’re All Wonders by R. J. Palacio (32 pp, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2017). Fiction. More than 5 million people have fallen in love with the YA book Wonder, soon to be a major motion picture, and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy. With We’re All Wonders, author R. J. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way. We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are.
American Street by Ibi Zoboi (336 pp, Balzer + Bray, 2017). Fiction. On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (208 pp, Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017). Fiction. Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized. Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (229 pp, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009). Fiction. Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (240 pp, Square Fish, 2008). Fiction. Jin Wang starts at a new school where he’s the only Chinese-American student. When a boy from Taiwan joins his class, Jin doesn’t want to be associated with an FOB like him. Jin just wants to be an all-American boy, because he’s in love with an all-American girl. Danny is an all-American boy: great at basketball, popular with the girls. But his obnoxious Chinese cousin Chin-Kee’s annual visit is such a disaster that it ruins Danny’s reputation at school, leaving him with no choice but to transfer somewhere he can start all over again. The Monkey King has lived for thousands of years and mastered the arts of kung fu and the heavenly disciplines. He’s ready to join the ranks of the immortal gods in heaven. But there’s no place in heaven for a monkey. Each of these characters cannot help himself alone, but how can they possibly help each other?
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (368 pp, Puffin Books, 2016). Fiction. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
Flying Lessons and Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh (240 pp, Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017). Fiction. In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children’s publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers. From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories. Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (400 pp, Puffin Books, 2017). Fiction. It’s 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi’s appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade—no matter how many times she’s told no. This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi’s perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.
Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone (208 pp, Wendy Lamb Books, 2017). Nonfiction. Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls’ education, created a film that chronicled the stories of nine girls in the developing world, allowing viewers the opportunity to witness how education can break the cycle of poverty. Now, award-winning author Tanya Lee Stone deftly uses new research to illuminate the dramatic facts behind the film, examining barriers to education including early child marriage and childbearing, slavery, trafficking, gender discrimination, and poverty. With full-color photos from the film, infographics, and a compelling narrative, Girl Rising will inspire readers of all ages to join together in a growing movement to help change the world.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (464 pp, Balzer + Bray, 2017). Fiction. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana (304 pp, Katherine Tegen Books, 2017). Nonfiction. This profoundly moving memoir is the remarkable and inspiring true story of Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who tells the tale of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism. Sandra was just ten years old when she found herself with a gun pointed at her head. She had watched as rebels gunned down her mother and six-year-old sister in a refugee camp. Remarkably, the rebel didn’t pull the trigger, and Sandra escaped. Through a United Nations refugee program, she and her surviving family members moved to America, only to face yet another ethnic disconnect. Sandra may have crossed an ocean, but there was now a much wider divide she had to overcome. And it started with middle school in New York.
Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai (288 pages, HarperCollins, 2016). Fiction. A California girl born and raised, Mai can’t wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai’s parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.
March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (256 pp, Top Shelf Productions, 2016). Nonfiction. In this stunning conclusion of the award-winning March trilogy, Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, brings the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today’s world. By the fall of 1963, the civil rights movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative, nonviolent campaigns, but fractures within the movement are deepening . . . even as 25-year-old John Lewis prepares to risk everything in a historic showdown high above the Alabama river, in a town called Selma.
The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz (320 pp, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2016). Fiction. Twelve-year-old Jaime makes the treacherous and life-changing journey from his home in Guatemala to live with his older brother in the United States in this gripping and realistic middle grade novel, inspired by true events. Jaime is sitting on his bed drawing when he hears a scream. Instantly, he knows: Miguel, his cousin and best friend, is dead. Everyone in Jaime’s small town in Guatemala knows someone who has been killed by the Alphas, a powerful gang that’s known for violence and drug trafficking. Anyone who refuses to work for them is hurt or killed—like Miguel. With Miguel gone, Jaime fears that he is next. There’s only one choice: accompanied by his cousin Ángela, Jaime must flee his home to live with his older brother in New Mexico.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (384 pp, Delacorte Press, 2016). Fiction. Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Advanced and Adult Readers
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (400 pp, Random House, 2016). Fiction. Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last imagine a brighter future. However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades. When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, all four lives are dramatically upended, and Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (176 pp, Spiegel & Grau, 2015). Nonfiction. In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (304 pp, Spiegel & Grau, 2016). Nonfiction. Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (240 pp, Riverhead Books, 2017). Fiction. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland behind, they find a door and step through. Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance (272 pp, Harper, 2016). Nonfiction. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success. But Vance’s family struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (320 pp, Vintage, 2017). Fiction. Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery. Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.
In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero and Michelle Burford (272 pp, Henry Holt and Co., 2016). Nonfiction. Diane Guerrero, the television actress from Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends. In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman’s extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. Written with bestselling author Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families like the author’s and on a system that fails them over and over.
The Leavers by Lisa Ko (352 pp, Algonquin Books, 2017). Fiction. One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon—and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind. Told from the perspective of both Daniel—as he grows into a directionless young man—and Polly, Ko’s novel gives us one of fiction’s most singular mothers. Loving and selfish, determined and frightened, Polly is forced to make one heartwrenching choice after another. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid examination of borders and belonging. It’s a moving story of how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past.
New People by Danzy Senna (240 pp, Riverhead Books, available August 2017). Fiction. As the twentieth century draws to a close, Maria is at the start of a life she never thought possible. She and Khalil, her college sweetheart, are planning their wedding. They are the perfect couple, “King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom.” Their skin is the same shade of beige. They live together in a black bohemian enclave in Brooklyn. They’ve even landed a starring role in a documentary about “new people” like them, who are blurring the old boundaries as a brave new era dawns. Everything Maria knows she should want lies before her—yet she can’t stop daydreaming about another man, a poet she barely knows. As fantasy escalates to fixation, it dredges up secrets from the past and threatens to unravel not only Maria’s perfect new life but her very persona. Heartbreaking and darkly comic, New People is a bold and unfettered page-turner that challenges our every assumption about how we define one another, and ourselves.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich (368 pp, Harper Perennial, 2013). Fiction. One of the most revered novelists of our time—a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life—Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family. Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich’s The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction—at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (480 pp, Ballantine Books, 2016). Fiction. Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told she’s been reassigned. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong. With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers.
Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli (128 pp, Coffee House Press, 2017). Nonfiction. “This is a vital document for understanding the crisis that immigrants to the U.S. are facing, and a call to action for those who find this situation appalling,” writes Publishers Weekly. Structured around the forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction between the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants and the reality of racism and fear—both here and back home.
The Wangs Vs. the World by Jade Chang (384 pp, Mariner Books, 2017). Fiction. Charles Wang, a brash, lovable businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, has just lost everything in the financial crisis. So he rounds up two of his children from schools that he can no longer afford and packs them into the only car that wasn’t repossessed. Together with their wealth-addicted stepmother, Barbra, they head on a cross-country journey from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the Upstate New York retreat of the eldest Wang daughter, Saina. The trip brings them together in a way money never could. An epic family saga, and a new look at what it means to belong in America.
Looking for more book ideas? Check out the recommended reading list for our last Action Book Club theme “Good Neighbors.”