A 12-year-old boy is caught in the middle of cultures, friends, and growing up Chinese Jewish American in this acclaimed, hilariously witty, and heartwarming coming-of-age story.
David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot on his plate. Preparing for his upcoming bar mitzvah would be enough work even if it didn't involve trying to please his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers, who argue about everything. But David just wants everyone to be happy.
That includes his friend Scott, who is determined to win their upcoming trivia tournament but doesn't like their teammate -- and David's best friend -- Hector. Scott and David begin digging a fallout shelter just in case this Cold War stuff with the Soviets turns south... but David's not so convinced he wants to spend forever in an underground bunker with Scott. Maybe it would be better if Hector and Kelli Ann came with them. But that would mean David has to figure out how to stand up for Hector and talk to Kelli Ann. Some days, surviving nuclear war feels like the least of David's problems.
About the Author
Wendy Wan-Long Shang is the author of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, which was awarded the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature, and The Way Home Looks Now, an Amelia Bloomer Project List selection and a CCBC Choices List selection. She lives with her family in the suburbs of Washington, DC.
Madelyn Rosenberg is the author of Dream Boy, co-written with Mary Crockett, and many books for younger readers, including the How to Behave books and Nanny X books. She writes books, articles, and essays for children and adults, and lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC. You can visit her online at madelynrosenberg.com.
Praise for This Is Just a Test:
2017 Sydney Taylor Award -- Honor Book
CBC Book of the Year Finalist
2017 VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers
New York Historical Society's Children's History Book Prize Finalist
2018 Young Adult Virginia Author Award Finalist
"For a book about the possible end of the world, Rosenberg and Shang keep the tone surprisingly light. . . . The dialogue is snappy and the plot fast-paced." -- The New York Times Book Review
* "It's refreshing to meet a male protagonist who, like Tara in Paula Freedman's My Basmati Bat Mitzvah, is struggling with how to be authentically Jewish in a bicultural family. . . . Giggle-inducing, light, and charmingly realistic fiction that will resonate with a wide variety of readers." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"There's a lot to enjoy, but it's David's relationships with his two grandmothers that steal the show, especially when the rivals eventually unite to teach him he's not 'half of each' but 'all of both.' A nostalgic and heartwarming period coming-of-age comedy." -- Kirkus Reviews
"A journey filled with humor, emotional depth, and important realizations about what it means to be a friend and to embrace multiple cultures. His struggle to make sense of the Cold War will resonate with readers grappling with a confusing political climate themselves." -- Publishers Weekly
"This novel tackles the very difficult topic of understanding who you are while appreciating your background and differences . . . In today's society, where families come in diverse variations and many children are growing up biracial and/or multiethnic, plenty of readers will find relevance to their lives in this middle-grade novel." -- School Library Connection
"The first-person narrative engages readers with David's candid reflections as well as his droll telling of events." -- Booklist
"Rosenberg and Shang keep the plot episodic and light, allowing David's feuding grandmothers to upstage the kids in many of the acts . . . Underpinning the domestic comedy is respect for fears that transcend generations." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"[A] seamless collaboration by two truly gifted writers [and] a perfect read for summer and beyond." -- Christian Science Monitor
"Rosenberg and Shang infuse this story with humor, tenderness and a genuine examination of what it means to grow up caught between cultures." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Sure to hold a reader's interest and filled with humor." -- Jewish Book Council
"This is the funniest middle-grade novel I read this year. . . . Everything about this book is satisfying." -- Tablet Magazine
"A delightfully told story of competing sides in a tug-o-war/give-and-take battle, showing the reader that even 12-year-old seventh graders have a lot to deal with, whether it be on a grand scale such as international relations or on a smaller scale of balancing new and old friendships." -- Compass Book Ratings
"Rosenberg and Shang's warm, mostly realistic handling of David's multicultural family speaks for their comprehensive understanding of the struggles of identity they depict, and makes David a unique and relatable role model of a character." -- International Examiner
Praise for Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Praise for The Way Home Looks Now:
An Amelia Bloomer Project Selection
A CCBC Choices Selection
A BookPage Best of the Year selection
* "[A] fine story of family, loss, growing up and learning to play baseball, raised to a higher level by gracefully incorporated themes of feminism and kindness." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Shang (The Great Wall of Lucy Wu) skillfully balances the different aspects of Peter's life, robustly characterizing his friendships and his time at school and home. Issues of sexism, racism, and struggles with depression are handled deftly in scenarios grounded in reality, including an ending that's hopeful without being pat." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Readers will cheer Peter on as his love for his family drives him to persevere at home and on the field. Parallels between home plate and home as place abound as grief completes its work and relationships are restored. Interwoven with cultural ties to both Peter's Chinese heritage and to the women's liberation movement, this touching novel shows the importance of patience -- baseball." -- Booklist
Praise for The Great Wall of Lucy Wu:
Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Library Association Award for Children's Literature
"A delightful story about assimilation and family dynamics . . . sure to appeal to young readers struggling with issues of self-identity, whatever their heritage." -- Los Angeles Times
"Thought-provoking, funny, and incredibly heartwarming." -- Booklist
"A realistic and amusing portrait of family dynamics, heritage, and the challenge of feeling like an outsider." -- Publishers Weekly
"Genuinely touching." -- Kirkus Reviews
"A unique look at the power of family." -- Discovery Girls Magazine