Getting her fortune told by a Taiwanese 'belly-button grandmother' (who feels up her navel) instead of attending the spring dance is just one of the joys of being Patty Ho, a covertly snarky 'hapa' (half Asian, half white) struggling with her dual heritage. Patty's domineering mother is determined to make her a good Taiwanese girl. Gangly Patty, no 'China doll,' longs to be white like her long-gone father...readers will find a compelling narrative, and a spunky, sympathetic heroine. This book should enjoy wide appeal.
"Patty's contemporary, immediate thoughts about finding direction and relating to family have universal resonance, while her specific struggles will speak directly to biracial teens." -- Booklist
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"In a wisecracking, first-person narrative reminiscent of Gaby Triana's Cubanita (2005), half-Taiwanese Patty Ho calls herself "a Freakinstein cobbled together from Asian and white DNA." The 15-year-old feels as uncomfortable at school as she does at home, where her domineering Taiwanese mother subjects her to installments of the "Mama Lecture Series"--one of which ends in horrified Patty's enrollment in Stanford Math Camp. To her surprise, she actually likes the brainy, spirited campers, who encourage her to celebrate her hapa (half-Asian) background and spur awakenings about both her intellect and her desirability (she upgrades from "ugly duckling" to "fiery hot chicky babe" by summer's end). Through a supportive aunt who lives near the camp, Patty also comes to a richer understanding of her tough but loving single parent. " -- Booklist