Review of Alone like Me

Alone like Me Alone like Me
by Rebecca Evans; illus. by the author
Primary    Schwartz/Random    40 pp.    g
4/22    978-0-593-18192-8    $17.99
Library ed.  978-0-593-18193-5    $20.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-18194-2    $10.99

Life becomes challenging for Liling after her family moves from the rural mountains to a crowded city in China. Without new hùko˘u (residency) papers, she can’t go to school, so she spends her days at her parents’ workplaces and accompanies them on errands to the market. One day at the park, she’s teased for her old red coat and dirty shoes. When Liling meets Qiqi, a girl just like her, they become friends and find comfort and strength in each other. At the end of the story, they walk together, hand in hand, into the park. Evans’s pencil and watercolor illustrations use a muted color palette of blues and grays. The cool tone conveys Liling’s feelings of disengagement in the city; the girls’ bright-hued coats—red for Liling and yellow for Qiqi—are uplifting pops of color. Evans also makes use of varied perspectives to enhance the narrative and mood of the story. In a double-page spread where Liling first sees Qiqi from her balcony, viewers look down at the scene from above, observing the special connection between the characters. Both sad and hopeful, this tale shows the value of finding strength in true friendship. It is important to note that the story reflects only part of the reality of life in modern China, and readers should see the author’s note to get a better idea of the big picture. A helpful glossary precedes the text.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Weileen Wang
You-Ling (Weileen) Wang loves to write, read, and illustrate. She attended Vanderbilt University, where she studied child development and fell in love with children's literature. She holds a master's degree in arts in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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