The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
Author: Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic Publication Month
January 2011; Ages 9-14; $16.99
In her debut novel for middle-grader readers, Wendy Wan-Long Shang introduces Lucy Wu, an irresistible sixth grader learning the hard, humorous lessons about crushes, bullies, compromise and the value of family and friends.
The story begins as Lucy Wu, an aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life. She’s ready to rule-the-school as a sixth grader and take-over the bedroom she has always shared with her older sister, the perfect Regina. Her plans are shattered when she finds out that Yi Po, her long-lost great aunt, is coming to visit from China and will be staying in Lucy’s room!
Lucy’s vision of a perfect year is starting to crumble, and in its place come an unwelcome roommate, foiled birthday plans, forced attendance to Chinese School with the unbearable Talent Chang, and an impending showdown with the school bully Sloane Connors.
Her perfect year is ruined, or is it? While Lucy may not get the “perfect” year she had in mind, maybe she can create something even better?
In this humorous and heartfelt novel, debut author Wendy Wan-Long Shang has crafted a poignant and engaging story about learning who you are, and what matters, in the most unexpected ways.
Wendy Wan-Long Shang is the recipient of a Work-In -Progress Grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The Great Wall of Lucy Wu is her first novel. She lives with her family in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
“The Great Wall of Lucy Wu was inspired by a relative in China who was conducting genealogy research,” states author Wendy Wan-Long Shang. “When my mother sent him copies of family photos, he responded with awe and gratitude: He thought those images had been lost forever in the course of China’s difficult history. In an age when a digital photo can be multiplied across the Internet in an instant, the idea of a lost photograph sent me searching for a way to connect a modern-day character to a very different time and place.”
Throughout her life, Wan-Long Shang has worked with children and books. She has been the office manager of a literacy organization, a juvenile justice attorney, a Court-Appointed Special Advocate, a tutor in elementary schools and a juvenile facility, and an early literacy volunteer with the public library. Of all the jobs, though, Wendy loves being a mother and author the best, always relishing the moment when a child finds that perfect book” and can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Wan-Long Shang lives in suburban Washington, DC, and is the recipient of a Work-in-Progress Grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu is her first children’s book.