Summer at Squee

Listening Library. Mar. 2024. 648p. $23. ISBN 9780593820544.
Gr 3-7–“For the entire year, I’ve longed for camp,” Phee confesses as she returns to Summertime Chinese Culture, Wellness, and Enrichment Experience (SCCWEE or "Squee" for the devoted regulars). She’s thrilled to reunite with her BFF Squad, but five new girls have caused some changes, although they act like they don’t even want to be there. When the newbies reveal they’re transracial adoptees, the Squad begins to understand a whole new set of identity challenges and cultural assumptions about being Chinese American. Shen draws on her background as a playwright and actor for an expansive performance, adroitly distinguishing characters with notable, camera-ready attitudes. Phee and Squad are immediately easy with each other while the newbies are quickly recognizable as impatient eye-rollers, embodying their discomfort at feeling out of place.
VERDICT Hand to reluctant readers seeking narratives with more mature issues

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