March/April 2022 Kids Indie Next List
“Knox grapples with ADHD, moving with his mom and siblings far away from his dad, anti-Asian racism, and a health crisis. Humor tempers serious discussions about race, and readers will feel hope for a future we still don’t fully grasp.”
— Robin Stern, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!
This “timely and compelling” (Kirkus Reviews) middle grade novel about courage, hope, and resilience follows an Asian American boy fighting to keep his family together and stand up to racism during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus.
When the coronavirus hits Hong Kong, ten-year-old Knox Wei-Evans’s mom makes the last-minute decision to move him and his siblings back to California, where they think they will be safe. Suddenly, Knox has two days to prepare for an international move—and for leaving his dad, who has to stay for work.
At his new school in California, Knox struggles with being the new kid. His classmates think that because he’s from Asia, he must have brought over the virus. At home, Mom just got fired and is panicking over the loss of health insurance, and Dad doesn’t even know when he’ll see them again, since the flights have been cancelled. And everyone struggles with Knox’s blurting-things-out problem.
As racism skyrockets during COVID-19, Knox tries to stand up to hate, while finding his place in his new country. Can you belong if you’re feared; can you protect if you’re new? And how do you keep a family together when you’re oceans apart? Sometimes when the world is spinning out of control, the best way to get through it is to embrace our own lovable uniqueness.
About the Author
Kelly Yang is the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk (winner of the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature), Parachutes, Three Keys, Room to Dream, New From Here, and Finally Seen. Front Desk also won the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal, was the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and has earned numerous other honors including being named a best book of the year by Amazon, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and NPR. Learn more at KellyYang.com.