American Panda (Hardcover)
American Panda is about a Chinese-American girl who is set on a pre-planned future which has been given to her by her parents. This future includes, marrying a Taiwanese Doctor and producing a “litter of babies.” During Mei Lu’s experience, she finds that being a 17 year old at MIT is hard and confusing, especially because she falls in love with a decidedly not Taiwanese boy. I liked this book because it helps young readers find confident in themselves. The fact the Mei stands up to her parents is encouraging and shows that cultures are meant to change.— Makenzie, Cresthill Middle School in Highlands Ranch, CO
American Panda is about a Chinese-American girl, Mei Lu who is a freshman at MIT with a pre-planned life by her Taiwanese parents. Mei Lu later on decides she doesn’t want the life she has been led on and is struggling to find a way to be herself. I liked this book because of her path of finding true love and rebelling against her parents wishes. If you like unique books, you'll like this one!— Kate, Cresthill Middle School in Highlands Ranch, CO
December 1969 Indie Next List
“American Panda is the cutest book I have read in a long time. Mei's parents want her to become a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer. When Mei goes off to college, she doesn't want her family to find out that she sleeps through biology and hates germs, or that she's met Darren, who is not Taiwanese. Readers follow Mei as she struggles between keeping secrets from her parents and going after what she loves. When she reconnects with her brother Xing, who was estranged for dating the wrong girl, Mei realizes that it might not be worth it to keep her secrets. American Panda is packed with culture, romance, and family.”
— Emily Matz, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
"Weepingly funny." --The Wall Street Journal
"Charmed my socks off." --David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland Four starred reviews for this incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate. At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies. With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth--that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese. But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn't always so black and white.