Review of This Is Not My Home

This Is Not My Home This Is Not My Home
by Eugenia Yoh and Vivienne Chang; illus. by the authors
Primary    Little, Brown    48 pp.
2/23    9780316377102    $18.99

In this unique second-generation reverse immigration story, a girl named Lily and her mother move from the United States back to her mother’s home—Taiwan—to help care for Ah Ma, Lily’s grandmother. Taiwan is wildly different from everything Lily knows (backyard barbecues are replaced by Chinese banquets; the family now uses a scooter, not a car, etc.), and she repeatedly voices her displeasure. The turning point occurs when Lily, despondent, quietly tells her mother, “This is not my home.” Mom hugs her and says, “I’m sorry. I know this is not your home. But this is mine…And this can be ours.” Four consecutive double-page spreads (mostly wordless), with lively panels showing enjoyable activities, depict Lily’s change of heart and the actions she takes to give Taiwan a chance. At the end of the story, as her family enjoys a sumptuous meal, Lily can finally say, both in Mandarin and in English, “This is my home.” This is a special tale that carries an important message worth hearing. The front and back endpapers show scenes of neighborhoods first in the United States and then in Taiwan, representing the two very different but equally important identities Lily now owns.

From the January/February 2023 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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