Today Biblio Links welcomes middle grade author Wendy Wan Long Shang!
Biblio Links:A student walks into my library and I think, That kid needs a copy of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu. Who is this child?
Wendy Shang: I think I wrote LUCY in part because I needed a story like this one. When I was growing up, it was very rare for me to find a modern Chinese-American character in books or popular culture. (Hence my undying love for Judy Blume and her Tracy Wu character, the best friend of Jill, in BLUBBER.)
There is so much more diversity in today’s children’s literature scene, thank goodness, but I’d like to think that LUCY is perfect for a kid who feels that everyone else’s family is so much more supportive, fair and well, mainstream, than his or her own. I hope that kids who read LUCY realize that their own families can be amazing sources of strength and inspiration.
Biblio Links: If we were to peek into a classroom where a teacher is using your book in a lesson or with a small group, what might we see?
Wendy Shang: I would love to see LUCY used in a discussion of how characters change and grow over the course of a book. Having just completed a series of writing workshops with 4th, 5th and 6th graders, I think that’s a challenging thing to get kids to think about, though it’s so essential to storytelling. It would be great to hear the teacher ask, “How does Lucy’s outlook change from the beginning of the book to the end of the book?”
Biblio Links: Where can teachers, librarians and students learn more about you and your book?
Wendy Shang: They can go to wendyshang.com, where they can learn about my childhood and my (slight) gummi bear obsession.
The Nitty Gritty~
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Number of Pages: 320
Ages: 8 and up