Review of New from Here

New from Here New from Here
by Kelly Yang
Intermediate    Simon    368 pp.    g
3/22    978-1-5344-8830-4    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-8832-8    $10.99

Yang’s (Front Desk, rev. 7/18; Three Keys, rev. 11/20) pandemic-set tale, based partly on her own experiences, focuses on a biracial Chinese American expat family in January 2020. Impulsive middle-child Knox Wei-Evans, ten, is filled with dread when he, his siblings, and their high-powered banker mother relocate to the Bay Area while his best friend—his father—stays in Hong Kong. Drama ensues as the kids struggle to fit in at school, Knox is diagnosed with ADHD, and the family’s finances become precarious when Mom loses her job. The Wei-Evanses also experience several instances of racism, such as bullying in the form of “coronavirus tag” and accusations of being “virus carriers.” Yang presents these incidents in a realistic way and defuses them by emphasizing the importance of educating others and speaking up. Despite the serious subject matter, Yang includes plenty of humor, with wry observations about Zoom schooling and the kids’ efforts to “help out” with a garage sale and LinkedIn job hunt. Knox’s experience with ADHD is portrayed with nuance and empathy. Some quibbles aside (the plot can feel a bit forced, and Yang largely skirts the mainland China–Hong Kong political conflict), this is a strong and timely novel about a family weathering adversity. An author’s note is appended.

From the May/June 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee is a young adult librarian for the New York Public Library.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.