Summer Reads: The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong
Like the previous book, our teen protagonist (sixteen-year-old Vee) has to investigate his family. Which is a bit of a mission since his Chinese Dad and Texan mother never talk about themselves, so the homework sucks, and Vee hates that he doesn't know much about his family. Its as if his father never had a life before going to the USA: Vee says:
"I hated my life. I hated brainless, cruel homework and the way I was supposed to figure out everything on my own. Other kids would have tough life stories: single parents, divorced parents, alcoholic parents, abusive parents, dead parents, all of the above. They'd be coddled and cooed over and given A's just for telling the truth. I wanted to tell the truth, I did, but there was no truth to tell. there was just this nothingness, this silence."
To make matters more interesting, Vee's best friend is Chinese and she does have a story to tell.
The novel chart's Vee's mission to find out the truth about both sets of grandparents, and includes along with it some good old angst, love interests, your basic teen confusion, and life as a kid of mixed parentage.
And of course he does find out the truth about his family although when his father tells him how he came to America, its not quite what Vee had imagined:
"The whole time I'd wondered in the back of my mind if he'd sneaked into America by hiding in some cramped cargo hold for months on end, or by bribing a high-level official, or by drifting the way Cubans do in a boat the size of a bathtub. Madison's family with their false papers and grueling interrogations were more interesting than Dad's immigration. His trip sounded about as exciting and difficult as an excursion to 7-Eleven."
You can check out the book on the library catalogue here. Like all great YA novels, there's no reason why folks well and truly into adulthood shouldn't read them. Take no notice of those critics who say reading young is beneath you!
For more info on Lindsay Tam Holland. Check out her website.
I sure hope she's writing another book because The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong is a winner.
And have a great reading-filled 2016, everyone!