Perfect for fans of Janae Marks and Rebecca Stead, this touching middle grade novel maps one girl’s quests to remember her Ye-Ye through scavenger hunts, reunite her fractured family, and fight against gentrification with a new friend.
Thanks to her Ye-Ye’s epic scavenger hunts, Ruby Chu knows San Francisco like the back of her hand. But when he dies, she feels lost, and it seems like everyone—from her best friends to her older sister—is abandoning her.
After Ruby gets caught skipping lunch to avoid sitting alone, her parents decide she has to spend the summer at a local senior center, with her Nai-Nai and her Nai-Nai’s friends for company. When a new boy from Ruby’s class, Liam Yeung, starts showing up too, Ruby’s humiliation is complete.
But Nai-Nai, her friends, and Liam all surprise Ruby. She finds herself working with Liam, who might not be as annoying as he seems, to help save a historic Chinatown bakery that’s being priced out of the neighborhood. And alongside Nai-Nai, who is keeping a secret that threatens to change everything, Ruby retraces Ye-Ye’s scavenger hunt maps in an attempt to find a way out of her grief—and maybe even find herself.
“It’s an economically told, emotionally driven story that deftly incorporates multiple strands—around community care, gentrification, and the messy parts of familial change—while representing an inclusive Cantonese- and Mandarin-speaking Chinatown community.” –Starred Publishers Weekly
“Readers will identify with Ruby’s roller coaster of emotions amid the challenges of growing up: loved ones leaving, friendships waning, and fitting into the world authentically. Ruby is incredibly self-aware, and her emotions are given space and validity without excusing harm done. Empathetic and emotionally intelligent.” –Starred Kirkus
“Vividly imagined characters, relationships, and family dynamics are at the heart of this involving novel, in which building tension causes troubles that seem to dissipate but then lead to a crisis that cannot be ignored. A moving, intergenerational story with a narrator who becomes increasingly aware of others.” –Starred Booklist