Shanghai Messenger

By Andrea Cheng
Illustrated by Ed Young

Paperback: $10.95

Six Pack: $65.70

"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.

Check out the curriculum guide for Buffalo Song from the William Allen White Children's Book Awards, established and directed by Emporia State University.

Video Interview with illustrator Ed Young

About the Creators

Thumb_thumb Andrea Cheng - Author

was 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 taught English as a Second Language at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. She passed away in late 2015. Learn more about her work at

Thumb_thumb Ed Young

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.

About This Title


Hardcover: 9781584302384

Paperback: 9781620142301

Six Pack: 9781620142417


Lasting Connection Title
Book Links

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

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Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 3 - 7

Reading Level:

Grades 4 - 4


Middle Grade, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Holidays/Traditions, Grandparents, Families, Cultural Diversity, Biracial/Multiracial Interest, Asian/Asian American Interest

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