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The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong Hardcover – July 23, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144241264X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442412644
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-High school sophomore Vee Crawford-Wong is smart, witty, insecure, occasionally brash, and living with parents who refuse to talk about their pasts. When his history teacher assigns an essay on family history, the teen invents grandparents and experiences to explain his half-Chinese, half-Texan identity. Angry at his parents' silence on this issue, Vee, with the help of his Asian friend, Madison, forges a letter from Vee's imagined Chinese grandparents inviting their son and his family to visit China. When the trip becomes a reality and his dying grandfather is actually located, Vee at last begins to understand his father and himself. This engaging narrative is brimming with what-I-am-thinking vs. what-I-just-did quandaries about girls, sex, athletics, bullies, teachers, coaches, and family relationships. Vee's crush on volatile hottie Adele temporarily blinds him to the loyalty and support of Madison and the integrity of his teacher. His joking demeanor belies his (and possibly readers') understandable frustration with his parents' lack of communication. Ultimately, his mother's and father's family histories and tensions are partially revealed. Although rambling in spots, Vee's story is upbeat, entertaining, and humorous. His personal dilemmas and explicit descriptions and language capture the adolescent male psyche; offer a mixed-ethnicity perspective; portray the social crosscurrents of public high school; and highlight the values of family, forgiveness, and self-respect.-Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NCα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Vee longs to know more about his mysterious family. Why does Dad never talk about China? Mom hails from Texas but never mentions her family. And that’s only one of the wisecracking California teen’s issues. He longs to be on gorgeous Adele’s radar, make the basketball team, and be less disappointed in the whole business of high school. When JV basketball does not pan out and Vee becomes the girls’ team manager, his social life opens up—but so does a new level of angst. Aided by a friend, Vee forges a letter from China asking the Crawford-Wongs to visit and reconnect with their roots. Will Dad buy it? Suffice it to say, the China trip is the best part of the story, full of suspense regarding who they’ll meet and benefiting from the well-drawn relationship between Vee and his father. The R-rated high-school element includes some stereotyping, and Vee’s intense self-reflection gets a bit overdone. Still, the bittersweet conclusion saves the day and shines a poignant light on family life, regret, and gratitude. Grades 9-12. --Anne OMalley

More About the Author

L. Tam Holland was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and actually convinced someone once that everyone there rode dolphins to school. After moving to Northern California and earning an undergraduate degree from Stanford, Holland went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco. Along with teaching high school English and creative writing, she coaches water polo, avoids tofu, and enjoy writing limericks.

Follow her on Facebook at Lindsay Tam Holland: Author
or Twitter: @ltamholland
Or visit her website: http://www.lindsaytamholland.com

Happy reading!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I enjoyed it a lot and was sad to have it end.
Dave
I really related to all the characters, who were flawed and believable in their own way.
Deb CG
The author has a distinctive style that is funny and thoughtful.
OBC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kungfuquaker on October 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book I have read in a long time. Not just as a young adult book, but as any kind of book. The first chapter was so hilarious I could hardly put it down. And even as it moves on to more serious content it remains a fun and enjoyable read. It is one of those rare books that I found myself reading more and more slowly as I got closer to the end because I didn't want the story to be over.

Although it is a teen book adult characters are an integral part of the story and are portrayed very realistically and believably, rather than appearing as mere caricatures. The teenagers are also portrayed realistically. There are no good guys or bad guys, just people finding their way among all the difficult choices to be made in daily life.

Humor is used as a necessary ingredient for getting through all the messes we find ourselves in from time to time. I found myself laughing often and stopping to re-read sentences and even whole sections that serve as a reminder of this. But I also found myself moved to tears because I felt what the characters were feeling and could understand the hope and sorrow that is also a part of life and the complicated relationships between parents and children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Wueste on October 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Laugh out loud funny, plot twists and genuine characters, I could not put this book down! Enjoyment from cover to cover...highly recommended.

It will be a holiday gift for all of the "young adults" on my gift list this year.

Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By OBC on October 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure if I would like this but it turned out to be a fantastic read! The author has a distinctive style that is funny and thoughtful. The characters are complex, interesting, and feel very much alive - flaws and all. Besides being creative and witty, it's a wonderful story about life, learning, and maturing without being heavy handed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave on August 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a fun read! The author address some very serious topics covered in a current and relatable way. I enjoyed it a lot and was sad to have it end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MPB on September 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having raised Asian-American children, I found the description of this book intriguing. Must say that once I got my hands on it, I could not put it down.
Author successfully displays understanding of so many teen ways of being awkward, screwing up, and, often enough, having noble impulses and doing what's good and true.

At times, Vee seems to me a little too astute in his self-reflection for a 15 yr. old with a big appetite for life, having so much to experience and integrate .
Otherwise, an imaginative and rewarding novel. Also, there is a tremendous amount of humor involved in examining teens. Holland gets this. I laughed hard dozens of times.
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