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A hysterically funny debut novel about discovering where you come from—even if you have to lie to get there.
When Vee Crawford-Wong’s history teacher assigns an essay on his family history, Vee knows he’s in trouble. His parents—Chinese-born dad and Texas-bred Mom—are mysteriously and stubbornly close-lipped about his ancestors. So, he makes it all up and turns in the assignment. And then everything falls apart.
After a fistfight, getting cut from the basketball team, offending his best friend, and watching his grades plummet, one thing becomes abundantly clear to Vee: No one understands him! If only he knew where he came from… So Vee does what anyone in his situation would do: He forges a letter from his grandparents in China, asking his father to bring their grandson to visit. Astonishingly, Vee’s father agrees. But in the land of his ancestors, Vee learns that the answers he seeks are closer to home then he could have ever imagined.
About the Author
L. Tam Holland was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and actually convinced someone once that every student there rode dolphins to school. After moving to Northern California and earning an undergraduate degree from Stanford, Holland went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco. Along with teaching high school English and creative writing, Holland coaches water polo, avoids tofu, and enjoys writing limericks. Visit her at LindsayTamHolland.com.
"While characters with mixed heritages are increasingly visible in teen literature, their experience in a rapidly shifting cultural landscape is seldom explored in depth. This first-rate debut does exactly that." — Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"Vee’s narrative voice is lyrical, full of witty snark and credible sophomore angst... Besides being a stylistically compelling coming-of-age narrative with a warm nuclear family dynamic, this will be a boon for collections in need of high quality titles featuring contemporary Asian-American protagonists." — The Children's Bulletin
"Vee’s story is upbeat, entertaining, and humorous. His personal dilemmas and explicit descriptions and language capture the adolescent male psyche; offer a mixed-ethnicity perspective; portray the social crosscurrents of public high school; and highlight the values of family, forgiveness, and self-respect." — The School Library Journal
"Vee is intelligent and self-effacing, and he’s also the yin to Sherman Alexie’s yang." — Publishers Weekly