Remember sixth grade? *shudder* Tough year. Andy Zhou starts his sixth school year with an accidental head of pink hair. And an unsettling suspicion that trying to be the right kind of kid - for his best friend, for his new friend, for his parents, for his grandparents visiting from China - is going to backfire no matter how hard he tries to keep everyone happy. Throw in the hundreds of the microaggressions and larger moments of racism Andy has to deal with on a daily basis, and it’s no wonder he’s pulling out his hair. Literally. Loved this sweet book that manages to combine funny with big learning.
“Andy Zhou and best friend Cindy start middle school together, but circumstances change their understanding of each other and their friendship. A wonderful emotional journey of finding yourself, both as an individual and in a community.”
— Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA
“Another beautiful book by Jack Cheng.” —Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Award-winning author of Hello, Universe
Creative and brave sixth grader Andy Zhou faces big changes at school and at home in this new novel by the award-winning author of See You in the Cosmos, for fans of When You Trap a Tiger and The Stars Beneath Our Feet
Andy Zhou is used to being what people need him to be: the good kid for his parents and now grandparents visiting from Shanghai, or the helpful sidekick to his best friend Cindy’s rebellious plans and schemes.
So when Cindy decides they should try out for Movement at school on the first day of sixth grade, how can Andy say no? But between feeling out of place with the dancers, being hassled by his new science partner Jameel, and sensing tension between his dad and grandfather, Andy feels all kinds of weird.
Then, over anime, Hi-Chews, and Andy’s lizard-inspired artwork, things shift between him and Jameel, opening up new doors—and also new complications.
No matter how much Andy cares about his friends and family, it’s hard not to feel pulled between all the ways he's meant to be, all the different faces he wears, and harder still to figure out if any of these masks is the real him.
“A joy and a journey.” —Tae Keller, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Trap a Tiger “Sincere . . . Perceptive . . . Captures the joys and complex anxieties of middle school.” —Kirkus "Beautiful . . . Recommended for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Nicole Melleby." —SLJ "Realistic . . . Compelling." —Booklist "Beautifully and naturally depicts Chinese American family life and the first year of middle school” —Common Sense Media “There’s an aching poignancy [that] will resonate with kids.” —BCCB "Beautifully written, [with] complexity and nuance." —Book Riot “Andy’s quiet courage and budding artistry have readers cheering him on.” —Paula Yoo, National Book Award longlisted-author of From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry
About the Author
Jack Cheng is a Shanghai-born, Detroit-based author of critically acclaimed fiction for young readers. His debut middle grade novel, See You in the Cosmos, won the Golden Kite and Great Lakes, Great Reads awards. Jack has visited schools across the globe speaking with students about finding their paths as writers and artists. He is a 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow.
“This book sings with beautiful writing and rich detail. Seeing Andy come into his own is a joy and a journey.” —Tae Keller, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Trap a Tiger
★ “The Many Masks of Andy Zhou is a brilliant, heartfelt story of self-discovery. Andy faces challenges that Cheng deftly tackles without ever weighing down the story or pausing its momentum. . . . Complex, earnest, [and] authentic.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“There’s an aching poignancy [here]. This moving novel about self-discovery will resonate with kids navigating the shifting waters of middle school.” —BCCB
"Cheng’s comedic timing and poignant use of metaphor make it easy to picture Andy’s anxiety and self-consciousness, [and] rich descriptions abound of Andy’s Chinese and Jameel’s Chaldean cultures . . . A beautiful, contemplative novel that will stay with readers. Recommended for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Nicole Melleby." —School Library Journal
“This thoughtful novel beautifully and naturally depicts Chinese American family life and the first year of middle school . . . This novel explores necessary topics and productively packages them in a great story about friendship, forgiveness, and family.” —Common Sense Media
“Readers will find a friend in Andy—a kind-hearted kid trying to find his footing while caring for those around him. Andy contains multitudes, like all of us. Another beautiful book by Jack Cheng.” —Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Award-winning author of Hello, Universe
"Beautifully written and contemplative, [full of] complexity and nuance." —Book Riot
“Andy’s quiet courage and budding artistry have readers cheering him on as he searches to define himself and learns there are no boundaries to who we are—and who we can become. With honesty and gentle humor, Jack Cheng explores the joys and heartaches of growing up.” —Paula Yoo, National Book Award longlisted-author of From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry
“Cheng draws on personal experience, detailed in an author’s note, to pen this novel of internal and interpersonal tensions that touches on mental health . . . The message of becoming one’s authentic self comes through loud and clear.” —Publishers Weekly
“Cheng succeeds in capturing the nuances of shifting relationship dynamics during the vulnerable early years of adolescence, including mental health struggles. . . . The story has a sincere heart that will resonate with tweens as they recognize themselves and their friends in the pages. A perceptive coming-of-age tale that captures the joys and complex anxieties of middle school.” —Kirkus
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