“Engaging and empowering.” —STARRED review, Nonstop Reader
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.
Organized and introspective nine-year-old Anne Nguyen misses her Grandma Nội, a lot. But even though Grandma Nội passed away, it doesn’t mean she’s disappeared.
When Anne and her younger siblings Jacob and Liz are given gifts passed on to them by Grandma, Anne soon realizes that hers—a beautiful jade bangle—has a secret power. One that might just give her the strength to stand up to her ballet teacher, who treats her differently than her white classmates, and embrace her Vietnamese identity through cooking Grandma’s recipes. No matter how difficult things get, Anne learns that the love of her ancestors is always with her.
- Nominated, Outstanding Works of Literature, BookPal 2022
“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
“Engaging and empowering . . . Despite the action filled plot . . . the author manages to delve into deeper and meaningful themes such as integration and isolation, respect for culture, honesty, integrity, dealing constructively with racism, activism, and family in an age-appropriate manner.”- Nonstop Reader, STARRED review
“This is a sweet title that handles the concepts- School Library Journal
surrounding racism as experienced by younger children in a relatable and
age-appropriate way; it should be considered for all chapter book collections.”
“An emotionally intelligent, straightforwardly
told family story, it’s the first installment of a series centered on Anne and
“A solid chapter book laced with themes of cultural confidence and family.”- Kirkus Reviews