By Andrea Cheng
Illustrated by Ed Young
"You are my messenger. Look everything. Remember." Grandma Nai Nai tells eleven-year-old Xiao Mei as the girl heads off to Shanghai, China, to visit their extended family. Xiao Mei is both excited and apprehensive. She will meet many new relatives, but will they accept her, a girl from America who is only half Chinese?
Xiao Mei is eagerly embraced by her aunties, uncles and cousins and quickly immersed in the sights, smells and hubbub of daily living in Shanghai. At first battling homesickness, Xiao Mei soon ventures on her own, discovering the excitement of a different way of life and a new appreciation of her Chinese heritage. When it is finally time to leave, Xiao Mei must gather up her memories and bring "a little bit of China" back home.
Ed Young's exquisite drawings touchingly highlight Andrea Cheng's lyrical story of adventure, self-discovery, and the strong bonds that tie families together.
Video Interview with illustrator Ed Young
About the Creators
is the author of several critically-acclaimed books for young readers. Her works range from picture books to young adult novels, and her stories often draw on the experiences of her Hungarian relatives or her husband’s Chinese family. When not writing books, Cheng teaches English as a Second Language at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Cheng and her husband have three grown children. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find her online at www.andreacheng.com.
is one of the most versatile and highly honored illustrators of children's books today. He has won numerous awards for his illustrations, including the Caldecott Medal in 1990 and Caldecott Honors in 1993 and 1989. A native of Shanghai, China, Young now lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife and their children.
Reviews & CommentsBrizmus Blogs Books
Into the Wardrobe
Horn Book Guide
Library Media Connection
Center for Children's Books
Field Guide to Parenting
School Library Journal
School Librarian's Workshop
About This Title
Lasting Connection Title
Junior Library Guild Selection
100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
New York Public Library
Notable Books for a Global Society
International Reading Association (IRA)
Asian/Pacific American Award Honor for Literature
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)
CALA Book Award
Chinese American Librarians Association
Children's Crown Award Masterlist
National Christian School Association
Original Art Show
Society of Illustrators
Recommended Award Winner
Parents' Choice Foundation
William Allen White Masterlist
Emporia State University, Kansas
Interest Level:Grades 3 - 7
Reading Level:Grades 4 - 4
Middle Grade, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Holidays/Traditions, Grandparents, Families, Cultural diversity, Biracial Interest, Asian/Asian American Interest