Other Books in Series
This is book number 1 in the An Anna Wang novel series.
Summer 2012 Kids' Next List
“While Anna is struggling with friends at school, she turns to books to find the company of her favorite characters. Real life situations, however, actually begin to show her the joys of real friends. This is a heartwarming story about true friendship and also about being true to yourself.”
— Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA
A novel to treasure with every middle-grade reader you know (NYTBR), this first Anna Wang story shows how a young Asian-American girl navigates her way around friendship and learn to accept that our diversity is what makes us unique.
In Chinese, peng you means friend. But in any language, all Anna knows for certain is that friendship is complicated.
When Anna needs company, she turns to her books. Whether traveling through A Wrinkle in Time, or peering over My Side of the Mountain, books provide what real life cannot—constant companionship and insight into her changing world.
Books, however, can’t tell Anna how to find a true friend. She’ll have to discover that on her own. In the tradition of classics like Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy books and Eleanor Estes’ One Hundred Dresses, this novel subtly explores what it takes to make friends and what it means to be one.
About the Author
Andrea Cheng is the author of several children’s books, including the acclaimed middle-grade Anna Wang series critics call "gentle," "accessible," and "just right." Though she passed away in 2015, her books will continue to inspire readers. Visit her website at andreacheng.com.
Abigail Halpin is the talented illustrator of several chapter books including Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, 2009), cover artwork for Emma Jean Lazarus Fell In Love (Puffin Books, 2010), The Melancholic Mermaid (Simply Read Books, 2010), Penny Dreadful (Random House, 2010) and The Grand Plan to Fix Everything (Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, Spring 2011). Both illustrator and graphic designer, she lives in New England, a stone’s throw from the Maine coastline. See her artwork at: http://www.theodesign.com/.
"A gentle, affectionate take on familiar middle-grade issues and the joys of reading."
"Tender . . . Cheng credibly portrays Anna's budding maturity."
"Cheng's telling is as straightforward yet sympathetic as her self-contained main character; and Halpin's often lighthearted pencil-and-wash sketches both decorate and enrich this perceptive novel."
"Readers are led to discover the extraordinary within the ordinary, and to witness how kindness can draw trust and create confidence in a hesitant child."
—School Library Journal
"This is a remarkably pithy and nuanced portrait of a fourth-grader and her world, and the streamlined simplicity of Cheng's writing and the brief page count make it accessible."
"The Year of the Book was a pleasure to read and more. This is a novel to treasure and share with every middle-grade reader you know."
—New York Times Book