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  • The Year of the Fortune Cookie: An Anna Wang Novel by Andrea Cheng
  • Jeannette Hulick
Cheng, Andrea. The Year of the Fortune Cookie: An Anna Wang Novel; illus. by Patrice Barton. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. 154p Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-544-10519-5 $15.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-544-28984-0 $15.99 R Gr. 3-5.

As Anna Wang (of The Year of the Book, BCCB 7/12, and The Year of the Baby, BCCB 7/13) begins sixth grade at the local middle school, life becomes increasingly complicated. Best bud Laura is now going to Catholic school, leaving Anna with only Camille (who is, like Anna, Chinese American) as her only close school friend. Because of Anna’s knowledge of Chinese and familiarity with international adoption (Anna’s little sister was adopted from China), she has also been asked by [End Page 565] her former teacher Mrs. Sylvester to accompany her and her husband to China as they adopt a baby girl. Anna continues to thoughtfully spread her wings in this title, joining a school service club and making a new friend, traveling to China with the Sylvesters and improving her Chinese, and further exploring what her heritage means to her as a Midwestern Chinese-American kid. Complex issues of international adoption and cultural and racial identity are age-appropriately introduced and respectfully considered within the context of Anna’s experiences, and Anna’s introspective young adolescent voice continues to ring with authenticity. Quieter tweens just beginning to examine their own identities will relate to Anna’s narrative, and fans of Anna’s previous adventures will definitely want to keep following her as she journeys toward young adulthood.