Review of Land of Broken Promises

Land of Broken Promises Land of Broken Promises
by Jane Kuo
Middle School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    240 pp.
6/23    9780063119048    $18.99
e-book ed.  9780063119086    $10.99

In this sequel in verse to In the Beautiful Country (rev. 7/22), we follow Ai Shi Zhang—American name, Anna—and her family in the suburbs of Los Angeles as they struggle to carve out a place in the American Dream. They buy an American-made Buick. They sign a lease on their store. Then the Zhangs discover that they missed their window to renew their immigration visas. A summer free of plans is quickly altered: Ai Shi’s mom must go to San Diego to work and save enough money to pay for an immigration lawyer, while Ai Shi must spend every day working at the family’s shop. In order to join Speech Club at junior high next year she has to write a speech; the prompt, “What America Means to Me,” serves as the theme of the novel as Ai Shi grapples with that very question. Despite their difficult circumstances, Ai Shi and her parents navigate their world with relentless optimism, perseverance, and an earnest belief in their dreams.

From the July/August 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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