Review of Tiger Daughter

Tiger Daughter Tiger Daughter
by Rebecca Lim
Middle School, High School    Delacorte    192 pp.
8/23    9780593648971    $17.99
Library ed.  9780593648988    $20.99
e-book ed.  9780593648995    $10.99

Two “migrant kids”—first-generation immigrants to Australia from China—aspire to escape their dysfunctional lives and constricted futures by being accepted to a prestigious, government-funded high school. Wen Li Zhou, thirteen, and her best friend, Henry Xiao, face different challenges. Wen’s controlling, verbally abusive father strictly monitors and restricts his wife’s and daughter’s every move. Henry is brilliant at math and science but fears his English isn’t good enough to pass the high-school entrance exam. When tragedy strikes the Xiao family, Wen becomes defiant and takes big risks to help Henry survive academically and emotionally; her mother, Teresa, joins the effort, at even greater risk to herself. Lim’s prose realistically conveys the anguish and fear felt by Wen and Teresa as they hide their charitable deeds and growing involvement in the neighborhood from the tyrannical Mr. Zhou. Ultimately, empathy and kindness prevail in this novel as mother and daughter both learn it is better to risk everything to do what is important rather than take no action, turning a bleak story into one about resilience and change.

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

Michelle Lee

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

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