11yr old Lucy is looking forward to the sixth grade. Lucy's older sister Regina is going away to college and she's finally going to have her own room. Lucy thinks her great year is ruined when she learns, her grandmother's sister Yi Po is coming to visit from China for a few months. Lucy is not happy about losing her room. When Yi Po moves in , Lucy builds a wall with her dresser to divide the two sides.
Lucy and her best friend Madison love playing basketball. This year Lucy will won't being able to play on the team because Chinese school is at the same time as basketball practice. Lucy's parents want Lucy to improve her Mandarin.
The sixth grade students will be playing the teachers in basketball for charity. Lucy wants to be captain but Sloane, another sixth graders is using every dirty trick to scare and intimidate Lucy.
'Then I found the writing on the wall. Did it really say that? I shook my head and looked again. Still there. The wall seemed to grow until it was nearly flattening me. Sloane hadn't been leaving me alone - she had been plotting. I grabbed some paper towels and tried to wash off the words with some soap and water. It didn't work. I wanted to kick the tile in, crack it, so no one else could see it. It reminded me of the chants that mom had told me about the horrible things that kids said to her when she was the only Chinese girl in the entire school."
Slowly Lucy begins to accept the changes, when she does her luck turns around. Lucy also opens up to Yi Po, listening to stories about her growing up during the Cultural Revoultion.
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu is partly about Lucy learning more about her Chinese heritage. The author does a good job of including facts and not forgetting the story. Though at times the story felt a bit rushed, some scenes could've been more developed.
The strength of this novel comes from the like and beliveability of Lucy. From the very beginning I cared about and loved Lucy's voice. She has a loving family and a wonderful friend in Madison. I really enjoyed the school story lines. From, queen bee Sloane to Harrison Lucy's crush and the basketball game. This was a great debut.
Warning- Reading this will make you hungry for Chinese dumplings. The real deal not to be found in the mall.