Room To Dream By Kelly Yang, A Realistic Fiction Depicting Discrimination, While Featuring Characters Taking A Step Towards Their Dreams.
Having characters from all types of cultural backgrounds. It follows a pre-teen, as she is trying to make sense of her confusing emotions, involving an unwanted kiss. But it is also about her determinant nature, fighting for small businesses while showing her resilience.
It’s my first time reading a children’s book other than harry potter. But safe to say, this was a mature book even if it is intended for children between 8-12 years of age. It tackles topics like racism, sexism, and not being able to belong due to being an immigrant. It keeps its focus on these topics, without taking on a heavier tone of storytelling. Making it perfect for childrens’ and pre-teens.
This novel follows Tang’s family and hank, as they take a vacation to China for the first time in five years. Mia Tang is 12 years old and Hank is a family friend of the Tang Family. There she meets her favorite cousin Shen, her aunt, uncle, and grandparents.
The same excitement leaves when she discovers that, even after looking like all these people there, she still can’t seem to belong. Her trip to her hometown reignites her passion for writing. She publishes an article in the children’s section of the Chinese editorial. her family is not too thrilled considering that she shared her private details and matters publicly. After returning from China, they discover that their motel is in trouble. Small businesses are being closed, due to corporate control.
Through this all, Mia shows resilience and determination. She stands up for the motel while developing journalism skills on the side. Apart from dealing with these issues, We also see Mia, her friend Lupe and Jason, becoming a powerful and skillful friendship trio.
This book has characters representing from all backgrounds. We have Mia who is Chinese-American, Lupe who is from Mexico, Jason who is Asian, and Hank who is African-American. It is perfect for kids, as it teaches them how racial discrimination is not okay. It also teaches them to be brave and determinant at the same time.
“I smiled. It was nice to know that not everyone in my school wanted me to hide my culture”
“No matter how bad it is, It’s a lot worse if you have nobody to tell it to” – Page 26
“Part of being a great writer is not just sitting in a room and writing. It’s also about getting out there and living” – Page 27
“Then again, I thought as I smiled at Hank, Here I am halfway across the world, with a customer I met in a Motel”
“I’d really thought things would be different in Chine. That I would automatically fit in because I looked like everyone else. But as my mom scrubbed and scrubbed, I realized even though I looked the same, I had become very much an outsider” – Page 52