A charming early chapter book series that explores Vietnamese culture and identity through the eyes of the Nguyen siblings, with elements of the supernatural, spirituality, and social justice woven in.
I touch my earrings and feel a rush of wind. I can almost hear Grandma Nội’s laughter through them.
Spontaneous and energetic Liz, the middle Nguyen sibling, grew up hearing stories from her Grandma Nội about the fantastically fierce Trung Sisters, freedom fighters in ancient Vietnam. And with a new school year about to start, Liz is determined that her taekwondo classes will prove she is just as important and brave as the famous warriors. That is, until the new boy at school, Michael, threatens her plans by turning her best friend against her, telling her the things she can’t do because she’s a girl. Struggling with both her friendships and her place in her family, Liz finds help where she least expects it—in the pearl earrings her Grandma Nội left her as a gift, reminding her of her Vietnamese heritage. Armed with the earrings’ mysterious power, Liz decides to show Michael exactly what girls are capable of.
- Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Center 2023
“Fans of Mindy Kim and Junie B. Jones— check this out! . . . The first book is about discovering who you are, valuing your heritage and understanding your ancestral background. It is also about standing up for your culture and standing up against racism–all folded into a child-friendly story.”- Bedashruti Mitra Basu, Bookstagrammer @bedashrutimitrabasu