Parents' Guide to

Girl in Reverse

By Sally Engelfried, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Moving story of adopted girl's hunt for clues to her past.

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The effects of the Korean War in America is not much documented in juvenile historical fiction, and that in itself makes GIRL IN REVERSE interesting. It also might be the first YA novel to explore the racism against the Chinese during that time. But more than a treatise against prejudice, Lily's attempts at uncovering the truth about her birth mother's past and thus gaining an understanding of herself will be relatable to any teen.

Lily's awkwardness, and her own awareness of that awkwardness, is charming and realistic. The wise African-American janitor who just happens to be an expert Chinese chef is perhaps too good to be true, but he offers a perspective on self-acceptance that Lily is unable to get from her family. The slight bit of romance and the gradual uncovering of the mystery of her birth parents add excitement to this introspective story.

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