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Oy, a Thai immigrant, has to decide what she will give up to fit in. What would you do if the most popular girl demanded that you bring or special dress to school, or else?

A Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novel of 2002
Book Sense Spring 2007 Children’s Picks “great reading group suggestions”

on the following master lists:
Iowa Children's Choice (2005-2006)
Sunshine State Young Readers' Award (Florida, 2004/2005 Finalist)
Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award (2004-2005)
North Carolina Children's Book Award (2004-2005)
Prairie Pasque Award (North Carolina 2004-2005)
and was nominated for:
Minnesota Youth Reading Awards: the Maud Hart Lovelace Award
South Carolina Children's Book Award (2005)
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award (Vermont, 2003)
Rhode Island Children's Book Award (2004)
Alabama Emphasis on Reading (2003)


“Marsden writes with keen observation and finesse about the social dynamics of the classroom and with simplicity reveals layers of emotion.” Booklist-starred review

“A fine novel for early independent readers that conveys a lot of information—about Thailand and about making friends—in a familiar kind of classroom story." The New York Times

“Marsden hits the issues of this age group squarely and truthfully.” Publishers Weekly—starred review

“Carolyn Marsden’s debut novel about the beauty of differences is sure to connect with young readers in our increasingly diverse country.” Washington Parent

When my daughter, Preeya, was in elementary school in Tucson, Arizona, she was teased about being Chinese. Because my husband is Thai, Preeya is half-Thai. I suggested ways that she could prove this to her friends. Meanwhile, I was watching the conflict carefully, coming up with ideas for a book.