Measuring Up – book review

Measuring Up
by Lily LaMotte & Ann Xu
Graphic Novel
Juvenile Fiction
Realistic Fiction
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)

When Cici’s family moves from Taiwan to Seattle, Cici is worried about adjusting to life in a new place, but her transition is pretty seamless. She makes friends right away and does well in school. Her parents work long hours, though, and they all miss A-má (Cici’s grandma/father’s mother) who stayed behind in Taiwan. Although Cici can talk to A-má on their computer, it’s not the same, and she’s always looking for ways to convince her grandma to visit. She and her friends come up with a plan when they learn that a junior cooking competition is offering a $1000 grand prize. They convince Cici’s mom to allow her to participate, and Cici’s A-má to come for her son’s birthday. It will be a surprise for Cici’s father. Cici is quite good at cooking, but most of her experience is with preparing Taiwanese food, so it’s a good thing when she gets paired up with Miranda for the competition. Miranda has spent most of her life in the kitchen at her dad’s restaurant and really knows her way around the kitchen. They learn a lot from one another, and when they get split up, Cici studies up on Julia Child. The competition is fun, but it takes up a lot of time and Cici’s dad is upset with her when she gets a less than perfect grade on her math test (and lies about it). Will she be able to convince him to let her keep competing? What about A-má? And what if Cici’s true passion lies in cooking (and not in a lab, like her dad)? This story should appeal to fans of realistic graphic novels and those interested in the experiences of newcomers to the United States. And cooking shows! The judging could be right out of the “Great British Baking Show!” Funny, suspenseful, and full of heart.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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