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Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire: 07/08/19
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan is the start of a semi-autobiographical series about a girl who loves words and is trying to find her place between two different cultures. Her father's family is Chinese and speak Cantonese. Her mother is a multigenerational American.
Cilla's also coming to terms with becoming a big sister. She's trying to act grown up. She's trying to decide what likes and dislikes are mature enough for the person she wants to become, and which ones she needs to leave behind.
Her biggest concern is that her parents will forget about here when they're busy with her baby sister. She decides she has to begin her writing career now. She writes about her infancy, about being bald until five, and about how different her maternal and paternal grandparents are.
Through her own self reflection, Cilla manages to learn how she is like both sides of her family. She also helps both sets of grandparents learn that they are more similar than different even with the language and culture barriers.
Cilla is one of my favorite recent middle grade protagonists because she is so personally relatable. My sister-in-law is like Cilla — and her author. Except her father's family speaks Mandarin. My niece and nephew have the further balancing act of Chinese, Jewish, American and Canadian culture.
The second book in the series is Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book is a Classic (2018). I will be reviewing it next month.
Comment #1: Tuesday, July 09, 2019 at 09:45:25
This sounds so cute! I'll have to check it out, great review!
Comment #2: Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 10:47:00
It is good and the series gets better from here.