After years of hard work, Mia Tang finally gets to go on vacation with her family – to China! A total dream come true! Mia can’t wait to see all her cousins and grandparents again, especially her cousin Shen. As she roams around Beijing, witnessing some of the big changes China’s going through, Mia thinks about the changes in her own life, like . . .
1. Lupe’s taking classes at the high school! And Mia’s own plans to be a big writer are . . . stuck.
2. Something happened with Jason and Mia has no idea what to do about it.
3. New buildings are popping up all around the motel, and small businesses are disappearing.
Can the Calivista survive? Buckle up! Mia is more determined than ever to get through the turbulence, now that she finally has . . . room to dream!
The story starts out sometime in November 1995. I know this for a fact because the movie Toy Story is mentioned and that movie first released back in November 1995.
Anyway, just like with Kelly Yang’s first book, I got sucked in by this story. Kelly Yang’s story is truly amazing. I couldn’t stop talking about this book, it made me so happy.
Just like the first two books, this story addresses many serious subjects. The main subject being the struggles of independently owned businesses, how they get pushed out by big business. It’s really messed up how the powerful chain businesses take over.
So much happens in this story but I found myself more invested in the drama between Mia and Jason. I even skimmed ahead because I just had to know what happened with them. I still don’t like Jason that much. He has a crush on Mia but doesn’t seem to care about her feelings. Plus he needs to get his temper under control. I think he gets it from his dad.
The thing I like most about these books is the strong family relationship between Mia and her parents. Most middle school books I read, the parents are either part of the problem or one or both of them aren’t even alive. It’s refreshing to read a story where the parents are actually involved in the kid’s life.
I was really surprised when the Yang family invited Hank to come with them to China. He even gets mistaken for Samuel Jackson. The whole thing was hilarious . . . and a little racist. I love how Mia’s relatives welcomed Hank into the family, it was so heartwarming.
I think the overall lesson to take from this story is that with hard work and determination, sometimes the little guy wins.
Be sure to check out the Author’s Note to learn more about Kelly Yang and her journey to become a writer.