- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 780 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 6, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1481499106
- ISBN-13: 978-1481499101
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 87 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
American Panda Hardcover – February 6, 2018
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Mei Lu is out of place at MIT and everywhere else in her life. At 17, she is younger than all of the other college freshmen. In her Taiwanese family, she is struggling against her parents' expectations of med school and an approved marriage. Mei is a dancer at heart with a lifelong dream of opening a dance studio, and her fear of germs is another strike against her future as a doctor. As she fights to create her own place in the world, she must also restore her relationship with her exiled brother and figure out how her crush on a Japanese fellow student fits into her traditional family's expectations. The college experience is a unique and welcome setting, and the Mandarin language woven throughout creates a rich reading experience. Mei's relationship with her parents is emotionally complex, with deeply ingrained cultural traditions and biases in sharp contrast to the life Mei imagines for herself. While Chao writes in the author's note that this is just one story of one Taiwanese American experience, the themes of defying parental expectations, following dreams, and fighting to belong are universal. VERDICT A first purchase for libraries serving teens.—Kate Olson, Bangor School District, WI
A Junior Library Guild Selection
B&N Teen Blog Most Anticipated Debuts 2018
Justine Magazine’s Most Anticipated Books 2018
Bustle’s 27 Most Anticipated YA Contemporary Books
New York Public Library’s Most Anticipated YA Books of 2018
Hypable’s Most Anticipated Diverse YA Books of 2018
Read Brightly’s 18 Most Exciting YA Books of 2018
Book Riot’s Must Read February Books
“Weepingly funny.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Vibrant and bright.” —Bustle
“Beautifully told.” —Hypable
“A soulful and hilarious debut.” —Booklist, starred review
“Effervescent.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Universal.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“This deserves a place on every shelf, though it will not stay there long.” —VOYA, starred review
“Eye-opening, hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking.” —Shelf Awareness
“An earnest, funny, and emotional story.” —Book Riot
“American Panda is an absolute delight; an insightful, incisive, and often hilarious story of one girl's struggle to balance her family's expectations against her own secret ambitions. Overflowing with wit and empathy, Chao's debut charmed my socks off.” —David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland
“A charming and hilarious tale of a precocious Taiwanese American walking the tightrope of family expectations...in ice skates. Mei Lu is a goofy, lovable American teenager. I loved her.” —Stacey Lee, award-winning author of Outrun the Moon
"Incredibly timely, honest, and moving—the must-read book of the season!" —Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi
“A dazzling debut that hooked me with its humor and heart from the very first page.” —Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician
“The perfect coming of age story for anyone who's ever felt unsure of where they belong. —Kerri Maniscalco, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Stalking Jack the Ripper
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Being only seventeen and at an Ivy League college would be a big enough struggle, without throwing in the fact Mei's parents are dead set on her becoming a doctor. So Mei is enrolled in all the right classes to set her on that track, despite the fact biology bores her to tears and she is way to conscious of germs lurking everywhere.
Her true love is dance, but her parents don't see that as a suitable career - certainly not one that will impress other Taiwanese parents, especially those with eligible sons. Sons Mei isn't interested in meeting because she's already met Darren, the handsome Californian with Japanese roots.
As she struggles to balance her own needs with her parents' demands, Mei finds herself increasingly torn and reaches out to her estranged brother who has been cut off by the family for dating an unsuitable woman. She is surprised to find him happy and unrepentant and starts to wonder if trying to fit herslf into a box that is clearly the wrong size and shape is worth the lies and heartbreak.
While I'm sure this book doesn't represent the experiences of all Asian Americans, it feels wholly honest to the author's experiences. I can imagine that re-living these experiences and emotions must have been incredibly difficult, but Chao has managed to write a book that is both touching and hilariously funny. The characters are authentic and never ridiculed, even when Mei is at her most exasperated at the cultural gap between herself and her family.
This book has everything one could ask for in a contemporary YA novel. It's HILARIOUS. I'm talking scream laugh funny. There is also a sweet romance, and tidbits about MIT that are fascinating for this outsider. There are family dynamics, urban legends, and vivid settings. Plus, the book will make you hungry.
I can't say enough good things about American Panda. It's one of my favorites of 2018. Highly recommended.
I also LOVED that this book takes place during Mei's freshman year at MIT, a rare setting for YA but one I desperately want to see more. It's still 100 percent a coming-of-age story, a story about identity, a story about being pinned between two worlds and how to forge your own path.
Gloria Chao's debut is not to be missed.
I enjoyed this book immensely which is remarkable because Young Adult literature is not my favorite. Gloria Chao's American Panda is thought provoking in its consideration of the perpetuation of traditions among immigrants. People who have left their home countries seem to hold on even tighter to traditions, cherishing these as a link to their home. But, considering that not all traditions have merit, why continue unnecessary, sometimes stifling traditions? Why not instead begin new traditions?
Still, the book is far from all-heavy material. There are sweet moments between Mei and Darren, funny scenes with her dramatic family and great camaraderie between Mei and Xing. It also brings to life the ups and downs of college existence in a university like MIT.
In Summary, American Panda is not just for young adults. Anyone who's ever embarked on the arduous journey to self will enjoy this read. A perfect blend of wit and substance, American Panda is delightful, inspiring and stimulating!
Most recent customer reviews
Author: Gloria Chao
Read by: Emily Moo Zeller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: Approximately 7 hours and 33 minutes
I absolutely loved this young adult book!!!Read more