As heard on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and BBC Breakfast TV
Winner of the YA Diverse Book Award, Bristol Teen Book Award, and ‘Simply the Book’ Coventry Inspiration Book Award
Shortlisted for the Indie Book Award
Nominated for the Carnegie Medal
It is difficult trying to talk in our family cos:
a) Grandparents don’t speak English at all
b) Mum hardly speaks any English
c) Me, Bonny and Simon hardly speak Chinese
d) Dad speaks Chinese and good English – but doesn’t like talking
In other words, we all have to cobble together tiny bits of English and Chinese into a rubbish new language I call ‘Chinglish’. It is very awkward.
Jo Kwan is a teenager growing up in 1980s Coventry with her annoying little sister, too-cool older brother, a series of very unlucky pets and utterly bonkers parents. But unlike the other kids at her new school or her posh cousins, Jo lives above her parents’ Chinese takeaway. And things can be tough – whether it’s unruly customers or the snotty popular girls who bully Jo for being different. Even when she does find a BFF who actually likes Jo for herself, she still has to contend with her erratic dad’s behaviour. All Jo dreams of is breaking free and forging a career as an artist.
Told in diary entries and doodles, Jo’s brilliantly funny observations about life, family and char siu make for a searingly honest portrayal of life on the other side of the takeaway counter.
"Sue Townsend-esque . . . really worth reading" * BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour * "A funny, sad, brilliantly doodled diary" * Guardian * "I loved it. It's hilarious, unexpectedly dark . . . has a very classic YA feel" "A rare gem . . . a first-class book" * Telegraph, 5 stars * "The diary format is an ideal way for Cheung to allow us intimate access to Jo's life and allows the inclusion of her doodle illustrations, which add verve and character" * BookTrust *
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