From the moment that “snowboarding became as natural as walking,” 15-year-old Syrah Cheng has wanted to be a professional rider. But after she narrowly survives an avalanche, her parents bar her from the sport. Syrah misses the anonymity and escape she found on the slopes. As the daughter of a billionaire cell-phone magnate, she feels misunderstood in public and abandoned at home by her workaholic, absentee parents, and her isolation intensifies after her only close friend, Age, stops returning her calls. Then Syrah develops a close friendship with fellow-student Lillian, whose sister is dying of cancer. A project to help Lillian’s family becomes the energizing force that pulls Syrah toward new discoveries about her own family, cultural heritage, and strengths. Writing in Syrah’s witty, engaging voice, Headley offers a stirring, layered novel about a Chinese American girl who rejects the false glitter of her superrich Seattle community and resolves to use her advantages to create large-scale change and relationships that are deep and true. Grades 7-11. --Gillian Engberg
About the Author
Justina Chen Headley grew up near Buffalo, NY and San Francisco. After attending Stanford University she spent time in New York and Sydney, Australia before settling near Seattle, Washington, where she currently lives with her two children. This is Justina's second YA novel. Her first, Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies)
, was a Book Sense pick, and her third novel, North of Beautiful
, garnered critical acclaim with three starred reviews.