So honored that American Panda has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection and so thrilled it has received starred reviews from Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Voya Magazine (reviews pasted below)! I have to say, I became teary thinking about my book reaching the readers who need it most.
There was also plenty of buzz as the new year rolled in, with American Panda being featured on the following lists:
Bustle’s 27 Most Anticipated YA Contemporary Books
Barnes & Noble’s 21 Most Anticipated Debuts of 2018
Buzzfeed’s Start Off Your 2018 Right by Reading These 18 YA Books
Teen Librarian Toolbox’s 18 2018 YA Books To Have On Your Radar
Epic Read’s 12 Most Exciting Books, Winter 2018
Bustle’s 17 YA Books by Authors of Color To Look Out For, first half of 2018
Hypable’s Most Anticipated Diverse YA Books of 2018
Book Riot’s 6 YA Romance Novels to Swoon for in Winter 2018
Read Brightly’s 18 Most Exciting YA Books of 2018
Cultured Vultures’ 20 Most Anticipated Books of 2018
YA Books Central’s Buzzworthy Books of Winter 2018
Epic Read’s 17 #OwnVoices YA Books Coming Out This Year We Can’t Wait to Read
Pick My YA’s 18 YA Books to Read in 2018
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Chao, Gloria. American Panda. Simon Pulse, February 2018. 320p. $17.99. 978-1-4814-9910-1.
Can you be a doctor with an aversion to germs and a deep love for hand sanitizer? Seventeen-year-old MIT freshman Mei Lu is caught between two worlds—the hyper-traditional Taiwanese-Chinese culture of her family and the 21st-century world of Boston—with no true footing in either. What Mei really loves is dance, but after her older brother Xing was disowned by her family years ago for reasons Mei still does not understand, can she disobey her parents and follow her own path? Could she go back to life in the shadows, after having caught the eye of cute and understanding classmate Darren Takahashi? And, most importantly, does she want to?
Debut author Chao nails it with this charming, funny, and true-to-life contemporary novel. Chao is a Taiwanese-American MIT graduate turned dentist (and now writer) with a clear understanding of the difficulties of straddling two cultures, attempting to be respectful to both while still truthful to oneself. Mandarin phrases and Taiwanese culture references create an authentic and lively backdrop for Mei’s freshman year struggles. Teens will easily see themselves in Mei’s (dance) shoes as she tries to make friends, falls in love for the first time, and shows her parents that she is her own person with valid and valuable interests. Readers will laugh, cry, and ultimately cheer for Mei as she decides that making herself happy is a priority. This deserves a place on every shelf, though it will not stay there long.—Aileen Valdes.
Cannot believe this book will be out in the world in 2 weeks!!! 😱