Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood

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Even though this is mostly Azalea’s tale, it’s a refreshing novel inspired by real-life Chinese-American communities not often seen in stories.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Azalea is not happy about being dropped off to look after Grandmother Clark. Even if she didn't care that much about meeting the new sixth graders in her Texas hometown, those strangers seem much preferable to the ones in Paris Junction. Talk about troubled Willis DeLoach or gossipy Melinda Bowman. Who needs friends like these!

And then there's Billy Wong, a Chinese-American boy who shows up to help in her grandmother's garden. Billy's great-aunt and uncle own the Lucky Foods grocery store, where days are long and some folks aren't friendly. For Azalea, whose family and experiences seem different from most everybody she knows, friendship has never been easy. Maybe this time, it will be.

Inspired by the true accounts of Chinese immigrants who lived in the American South during the civil rights era, these side by side stories--one in Azalea's prose, the other in Billy's poetic narrative--create a poignant novel and reminds us that friends can come to us in the most unexpected ways.
 

About Augusta Scattergood

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Former librarian and children’s book reviewer Augusta Scattergood has devoted her life and career to getting books into the hands of young readers. Her reviews and articles have appeared in THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, DELTA MAGAZINE, the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, and other publications. Additionally, Augusta is an avid blogger. Please visit her at http://ascattergood.blogspot.com. She lives in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
 
Published August 30, 2016 by Scholastic Press. 224 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Making Friends with Billy Wong
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 01 2016

Even though this is mostly Azalea’s tale, it’s a refreshing novel inspired by real-life Chinese-American communities not often seen in stories.

Read Full Review of Making Friends with Billy Wong | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Aug 13 2016

Azalea’s narration is interspersed with occasional entries from Billy’s perspective, written in verse, that show his strength of character and desire to succeed, despite facing clear challenges in the segregated South.

Read Full Review of Making Friends with Billy Wong | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Reader Rating for Making Friends with Billy Wong
97%

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