American Panda

American Panda

eBook - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
3
1
"Weepingly funny." —The Wall Street Journal "Delightful." —Buzzfeed "Charmed my socks off." —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland Four starred reviews for this incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies. With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese. But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn't always so black and white.
Publisher: 2018
ISBN: 9781481499125
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Related Resources


Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

LPL_EricaS Aug 06, 2018

I read this book, because I love a good laugh and it was billed as hilarious. While there weren't as many laugh-out-loud moments as I hoped for, it was a good story about a Taiwanese-American teen trying to find a path in life that honors her parents, but feels true to herself. Mei is only 17 and a freshman at MIT. She's horrified to learn that she can't overcome her germophobic ways and slowly realizes that her parents' dream of her being a doctor might be unobtainable with her squeamish reactions to even the littlest medical problems. Mei's family and tightly knit Taiwanese community force pressures upon their children that if not realized often result in disowning the children that don't live up to expectations. Mei's own brother is one of those disowned children. The witty dialogue and funny moments, like an embarrassing skin rash from new jeans, lightens the mood as Mei learns what is most important to her and finds a way to challenge old traditions.

JCLHebahA May 14, 2018

This book hits a wide range of emotional notes, from the giddy delight of falling in love to the heavy weight of trying to balance overwhelming and guilt-inducing parental expectations with personal autonomy. Readers who have grown up with first-generation immigrant parents will likely see aspects of their experience in Mei's story (even if their experiences aren't as extreme), but it's also a sympathetic window for those not of a similar background.

samcmar May 01, 2018

American Panda has a misleading cover. From first glance, it seems like this book would be a cute, fluffy read -- and it is in parts. This book also at times takes a bit of a darker tone, which is rather unexpected. Even with that tonal shift at times, I happily want to recommend this book.

This book follows the story of Mei, a Taiwanese-American girl who has very strict parents. Her family wants her to be a doctor, marry someone who is Taiwanese and also aspiring to a similar career. Under no circumstances is Mei allowed to date someone who is not Taiwanese or approved by her parents. In fact, her parents already have Mei's life plotted out for her.

This was such a difficult read for me at times as I found myself sympathizing with Mei a lot. I recognize that I am not Asian and have never had this experience, but I was a former ESL teacher whose main clientele were all Asian, and on numerous occasions I would have conversations with my students about their home lives and parent's expectations. It broke my heart a lot of the time given many of the teens I dealt with just wanted to be understood by their parents, and you definitely see that here with Mei. She wants her parents approval, but she still also wants to be her own individual with her own choices being made. There is a huge tug-and-pull between following traditions and choosing your path in this story, and it makes for an interesting story, if one I've heard many times before.

Some of my favourite parts of this book were Mei's interactions with her disowned brother, Xing. Xing and Mei's re-connection is one of the strongest parts of this story as it gives you a lot of insight into just how important certain traditions to older generations. Being Italian, I oddly can understand this given many Italian parents only want their children to marry other Italians. I really just loved how close the siblings became given the circumstances involving Xing's becoming disgraced.

One area where this book didn't quite work for me was some of the humour. I found it to be pretty hit-or-miss, and oddly found myself loving the book more when it was about the family relationships and less about Mei's interest in Darren (though I'll admit, they were very cute!). I really felt for Mei's mother in the story, regardless of how overbearing she was.

American Panda is a story I've read before, but one I still very much enjoyed. I found Mei's perspective very informative and her feelings were completely worn on her sleeve. She's a girl I definitely found myself connecting with even though our circumstances are so different. Don't let this fluffy, cheerful cover fool you -- Gloria Chao doesn't shy away from punching the reader in the feelings.

Age

Add Age Suitability

d
donutwombat
Aug 14, 2018

donutwombat thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at YLPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top