Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire

illus. by Dana Wulfekotte. 256p. ebook available. Roaring Brook. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781626725515.
Gr 3–5—Eight-and-a-half-year-old Priscilla Lee-Jenkins (aka Cilla) has big plans. She knows that her destiny is to be a world-famous author when she grows up, and is practicing by sharing her life story (so far) with readers. Tan writes in a fun and spunky voice that brings to mind favorite characters such as Junie B. Jones, Ramona Quimby, and Fancy Nancy but is still all her own. Cilla is biracial, Chinese and white, and has a lot of feelings about where she fits into her family. She sometimes worries about being "too Chinese" for her white grandparents and "too white" for her Chinese grandparents, and she is acutely aware that both sets of grandparents, while all a big part of her life, tend to stay separate from each other. She also experiences microaggressions from some adults who ask her questions like, "Where are you from?" and "What are you?," particularly while she is with the white side of her family. No one in Cilla's family really understands what it is like to be her, and while that bothers her, she is not looking forward to sharing her family—or anything else—with the new baby who is on the way.
VERDICT Highly recommended for school and public libraries. Readers will identify with Cilla and wish they were friends with her in real life.

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