|Not your all-American girl|
Author: Rosenberg, Madelyn
Sixth-graders Lauren and Tara have always done everything together so it is only natural that they both try out for their middle school musical play, about an "all-American" girl in 1958; Tara gets the lead role, as usual, because in the teacher's mind Lauren, half-Jewish and half-Chinese, does not fit the image of all-American girl--Lauren is hurt but resolved to support her friend, but her two grandmothers are furious and they intend to do something about it.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Shang, Wendy Wan Long|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 509862
Kirkus Reviews (05/15/20)
School Library Journal (06/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2020 The friendship of sixth-graders Lauren and Tara (The Royal We) hits a snag when Tara is cast as the lead in the school play, leaving Lauren relegated to the ensemble because the director tells Lauren (half-Chinese, half-Jewish) that she doesn't look All American. Tara relishes the spotlight and seems oblivious to her white privilege, while Lauren chafes at the many microaggressions aimed at her, at one point literally silencing her voice in the chorus. Set in 1984–85, this companion to This Is Just a Test (2017) is told from Lauren's perspective, with older brother David and their two grandmothers taking prominent roles in the narrative. While focusing on serious themes (racism and prejudice), the overall tone remains light, and several scenes (including Lauren's disastrous attempt to lighten her black hair, resulting in orange stripes) will elicit laughter. By the end Tara realizes her mistakes, Lauren learns to stand up for herself, and the friendship survives, stronger than before. References to Walkmans and vintage TV shows remind readers that this is a period piece. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 Gr 3–7—When Lauren Horowitz tries out for her middle school's musical, she thinks she might have a shot at the lead. She loves to sing, and even her classmates tell her that her audition is great. But when the drama teacher tells her she doesn't look "all-American" because she's Chinese and Jewish, Lauren begins to doubt whether her dream of being a singer is possible. While balancing her place in the ensemble, her growing button-making business, and her family's hopes and expectations, Lauren starts to question her place in her suburban community in 1980s Tennessee. The text is interspersed with illustrations of the buttons Lauren wears and ends with selected pages of the play's program. While many subtle cultural and historical references may be lost on a young reader, Lauren's story is a sensitive and realistic portrayal of a girl who struggles to find her place in a community where very few people look like her. The 1982 murder of Vincent Chin plays a role in the story, and the authors address it in a way that is accessible to an elementary school audience without shying away from the racist motivations of the attack. Though this book is a sequel to 2017's This Is Just a Test, it is a self-contained story, and readers do not need to read the titles in order. VERDICT For fans of Jenn Bigelow's Drum Roll, Please and Ann Hood's She Loves You, this is a funny, tender, quick-moving story of family, friendship, identity, and music.—Madison Bishop, Forbes Lib., Northampton, MA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.