by Susan Tan (Author) Dana Wulfekotte (Illustrator)
Priscilla "Cilla" Lee-Jenkins has just finished her (future) bestselling memoir, and now she's ready to write a Classic. This one promises to have everything: Romance, Adventure, and plenty of Drama--like Cilla's struggles to "be more Chinese," be the perfect flower girl at Aunt Eva's wedding, and learn how to share her best friend.
In Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book Is a Classic, author Susan Tan seamlessly weaves experiences as a Chinese American with universal stories about being a big sister, making friends, and overcoming fears. Cilla Lee-Jenkins will bulldoze her way into your heart in this winning middle grade novel about family, friendship, and finding your voice.
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Gr 3-5—Cilla Lee-Jenkins is back. The spunky protagonist readers first met in Cilla-Lee Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire is now writing "a classic" with a focus on family traditions. Cilla, who is biracial, Chinese and White, is now in the third grade, and Gwendolyn, her baby sister whose arrival Cilla was dreading in the first book, is beginning to crawl. Cilla is an observant child which is an important quality for an aspiring author. She recognizes and is curious about the differences between her Chinese American grandparents and her White grandparents, and she wonders about her place in a biracial family. While Cilla is trying to understand how families work, she's increasingly jealous that her "best best friend," Colleen, is beginning to share jokes and playdates with another classmate. Cilla loves the traditions she shares with Colleen, but she experiences a few bumps and bruises on the path to learning that it's possible to welcome new friends. The most important event of Cilla's third grade year is her Auntie Eva's upcoming wedding, a celebration that gives Cilla many opportunities to explore traditions and adventure. Cilla loves her aunt and is committed to being a "perfect flower girl" at the wedding, but, as she learns, weddings are also the perfect settings for drama. Cilla's year is full of lessons about family and friendship, and Tan successfully gets into the head of an inquisitive and exuberant young girl. Wulfekotte's gentle line drawings enhance a jubilant story that will leave young readers wanting to hear more about Cilla's adventures. VERDICT A strong choice for most collections.—Shelley Sommer, Inly School, Scituate, MACopyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
"Feels like a modern classic." —Kirkus Reviews
"With humor, but also insight, Cilla writes about how families meld and sometimes clash . . . Fresh and funny. Expect to see more of Cilla." —Booklist
"Cilla's year is full of lessons about family and friendship, and Tan successfully gets into the head of an inquisitive and exuberant young girl. Wulfekotte's gentle line drawings enhance a jubilant story that will leave young readers wanting to hear more about Cilla's adventures." —School Library Journal
Praise for Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire
"Cilla's empathy, candor, and skill at turning a phrase indicates that her claim to be a future author extraordinaire is completely justified . . . Anyone who spends time with Cilla Lee-Jenkins will look forward to reading her in the future." —Booklist, starred review
"Tan writes in a fun and spunky voice that brings to mind favorite characters such as Junie B. Jones, Ramona Quimby, and Fancy Nancy but is still all her own . . . Readers will identify with Cilla and wish they were friends with her in real life." —School Library Journal
"Tan, who grew up in a mixed-race family, does a lovely job of showing how Cilla finds joy in both sides of her heritage." —Kirkus
"Meeting Cilla felt like making a new best friend. I can't wait to share the book with my own daughter." —Grace Lin, author of Newbery Honor book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and National Book Award finalist When the Sea Turned to Silver
"There's humor and heartache, and future writers of all kinds will see themselves in Cilla. But above all, this is a book just bursting with love." —Kate Milford, New York Times-bestselling author of Greenglass House
"This story has everything: an irresistible voice, a cast of authentic characters, and a hilarious and whip-smart heroine . . . Cilla Lee-Jenkins is brilliant." —Kate Beasley, author of Gertie's Leap to Greatness
"I challenge anyone to read this book and not fall in love with Cilla Lee-Jenkins. With the spunk of Ivy and Bean and the heart of Ramona Quimby, she's a charmer from start to finish of this laugh-out-loud-funny book." —I. W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above