Apple has always had a hard time fitting in; she just can’t seem to get along with her mom or her old friends. This story tells of her coming of age, as she begins to examine the different aspects of her identity and what they mean to her. Apple’s personality and relationships are well written. Her difficulties balancing the Filipino and American parts of her identity seem realistic for a child of her age. Apple’s treatment by her schoolmates due to her ethnicity also seems accurate and eye-opening in its cruelty. Even her need to find a way to connect with her long dead father through playing guitar is told with gut-wrenching emotional honesty. This story is about identity: how you define yourself and those around you. There are many elements of this story that kids will relate to, whether it’s not getting along with a parent, dealing with friends who treat you poorly, or learning how to combine different aspects of your identity. Review based on an ARC.
Jessica Ormonde, San Mateo Co Lib