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The Many Meanings of Meilan



by
Andrea Wang

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Kokila
ISBN
9780593111284
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism
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A family feud before the start of seventh grade propels Meilan from Boston’s Chinatown to rural Ohio, where she must tap into her inner strength and sense of justice to make a new place for herself in this resonant debut.

Meilan Hua’s world is made up of a few key ingredients: her family’s beloved matriarch, Nai Nai; the bakery her parents, aunts, and uncles own and run in Boston’s Chinatown; and her favorite Chinese fairy tales.

After Nai Nai passes, the family has a falling-out that sends Meilan, her parents, and her grieving grandfather on the road in search of a new home. They take a winding path across the country before landing in Redbud, Ohio. Everything in Redbud is the opposite of Chinatown, and Meilan’s not quite sure who she is—being renamed at school only makes it worse. She decides she is many Meilans, each inspired by a different Chinese character with the same pronunciation as her name. Sometimes she is Mist, cooling and invisible; other times, she’s Basket, carrying her parents’ hopes and dreams and her guilt of not living up to them; and occasionally she is bright Blue, the way she feels around her new friend Logan. Meilan keeps her facets separate until an injustice at school shows her the power of bringing her many selves together.

The Many Meanings of Meilan, written in stunning prose by Andrea Wang, is an exploration of all the things it’s possible to grieve, the injustices large and small that make us rage, and the peace that’s unlocked when we learn to find home within ourselves.Author’s note. Glossary of sayings. Suggestions for further reading. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

368

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

4.7: points 10

Lexile

730L

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2021

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Families. Identity (philosophical concept). Moving households. Taiwanese Americans. Names. Vietnam veterans. Mandarin dialect. Middle schools.

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