Shu-Li’s family moved to Canada two years ago. They now run a Chinese deli in Vancouver’s Commerical Drive area. Her classmate Tamara recently moved into the neighbourhood. The two girls become good friends, but an ugly rumour threatens their relationship.
Shu-Li, whose Chinese family immigrated to Canada, is thrilled when she finally makes a good friend: Tamara, who is in her fourth-grade class. When Joey, another classmate, spreads a rumor that Tamara has stolen money and the tale reaches Shu-Li’s father’s ears, he warns his daughter to be careful. The moment of truth comes at the school fair, when $20 goes missing from the class bake-sale funds. Joey accuses Tamara, but Shu-Li asks the right question to resolve the matter. The story, which takes place in a multicultural Vancouver community, balances immigrant issues and cultural differences with the broader themes of friendship and loyalty. Recipes for cookies from three culinary traditions are appended. With at least one stylized drawing on every spread, this sturdy paperback is an attractive choice for children starting to read chapter books. Yee received Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for Ghost Train (1996).
Carolyn Phelan – worldcat.org
“Vivid characters and challenging plots create thought-provoking moral ambiguity for Yee’s readership. His themes—challenging new responsibilities, exotic foods, charity fundraising projects—provide a wealth of information, context, and stimulation for individual pondering and for group discussion.”
“This friendship book has an amiable tone, readable dialouge, and a believable plot.”
School Library Journal
“The illustrations give [the Shu-Li books] a dynamic edge that would obviously find popularity with its target audience. Of course, the rather wholesome rhetorical nature of these books will have parents also approving of these narratives and characters.”
“Shu-Li and Tamara is must read for any school classroom. The language and topics are perfect for ESL students and new immigrants…. It’s a great book for critical thinking, … (and) it reveals to everyone – new immigrants and young Vancouverites equally – the difficulties of moving to a new country. ”