cover image New from Here

New from Here

Kelly Yang. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8830-4

Drawing deeply from her own family’s experiences, Yang (the Front Desk series) pens a tender, resonant narrative following the Wei-Evans, an American family living in Hong Kong when news of Covid-19 arises in January 2020. Middle child Knox, 10, who has a “blurting-things-out problem,” doesn’t want to leave his best friend—his white father—in Hong Kong as his work-focused Chinese mother, overachieving 12-year-old brother Bowen, and cheery six-year-old sister Lea plan to head to an inherited home in El Tercera, Calif. But soon, the oft-squabbling siblings must adjust to a single-parent household, East Bay schools, financial tension, an ADHD diagnosis for Knox, and mounting anti-Asian racism, including hateful confrontations as well as avoidance of Chinese people and food. Banding together, the siblings launch Operation Dad Come Over: raising money to afford their father’s plane ticket, and applying to jobs on his behalf. Narrating from Knox’s approachable, first-person-present perspective, Yang adeptly maintains a sense of hope and belief in love, balancing haunting dramatic irony (“That won’t happen in America.... They have the most advanced medical system in the world”) with moments of levity as the family works to be reunited. Back matter features an author’s note. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (Mar.)