Twelve-year-old Cici has just moved from Taiwan to Seattle, and the only thing she wants more than to fit in at her new school is to celebrate her grandmother, A-má’s, seventieth birthday together.
Since she can’t go to A-má, Cici cooks up a plan to bring A-má to her by winning the grand prize in a kids’ cooking contest to pay for A-má’s plane ticket! There’s just one problem: Cici only knows how to cook Taiwanese food.
And after her pickled cucumber debacle at lunch, she’s determined to channel her inner Julia Child. Can Cici find a winning recipe to reunite with A-má, a way to fit in with her new friends, and somehow find herself too?
I so enjoyed this graphic novel about Cici and her journey through a number of issues that she faces. Moving across the world to America, discovering her passion and wanting to fight for it, but also wanting to meet her parents’ expectations. This story was much more complex than it appeared on the surface and I loved seeing that. Her growth and coming into her own throughout the story was wonderful to witness, as were all the relationships and how they grew and changed over the span of the graphic novel. I loved the detail that was added when talking about all the foo represented and feel like it would be great for any young reader who is showing an interest in cooking, navigating a new home/country, or even just discovering their own voice.