We’re nearing the end of the month, but I hope you all will continue to read and share amazing books by and about Asian American Pacific Islanders. Today’s recommended middle grade book is another I had the honor and pleasure of reading as a galley:
The Comeback by E.L. Shen
FSG/January 19, 2021
From the publisher: Twelve-year-old Maxine Chen is just trying to nail that perfect landing: on the ice, in middle school, and at home, where her parents worry that competitive skating is too much pressure for a budding tween. Maxine isn’t concerned, however―she’s determined to glide to victory. But then a bully at school starts teasing Maxine for her Chinese heritage, leaving her stunned and speechless. And at the rink, she finds herself up against a stellar new skater named Hollie, whose grace and skill threaten to edge Maxine out of the competition. With everything she knows on uneven ice, will Maxine crash under the pressure? Or can she power her way to a comeback?
Set in Lake Placid, New York, this is a spunky yet stirring middle-grade story that examines racism, female rivalry and friendship, and the enduring and universal necessity of love and support.
What I think: While Maxine Chen feels at home skating on the ice, she struggles to find a place to belong in school as she navigates the twists and turns of changing friendships and mean boys. I cheered for the spirited and determined Maxine both on and off the ice in this fast-paced story that made me laugh out loud and cry tears of joy and heartbreak. A story deserving of a gold medal!
Pre-order here: bookshop.org