May/June 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“Being a kid is a lot harder when you have to worry about being deported. Parachute Kids is equal parts sweet and searing, a portrait of the lengths families are willing to go for the perceived American Dream. An absolute must-read.”
— Leah Grover, Scrawl Books, Reston, VA
From New York Times bestselling comic artist Betty C. Tang comes a funny, fast-paced, and heartrending story about three siblings living on their own as undocumented new immigrants, inspired by the author’s own childhood as a parachute kid. Perfect for fans of New Kid and Front Desk.
★ “Emotionally moving and beautifully executed.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "A compelling story of immigration and family bonds; highly recommended." — School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Readers will find this story hard to put down.” — Booklist, starred review
★ “Poignant and triumphant.” — The Horn Book, starred review
A DREAM TRIP TO AMERICA TURNS INTO A NIGHTMARE!
Feng-Li can’t wait to discover America with her family! But after an action-packed vacation, her parents deliver shocking news: They are returning to Taiwan and leaving Feng-Li and her older siblings in California on their own.
Suddenly, the three kids must fend for themselves in a strange new world—and get along. Starting a new school, learning a new language, and trying to make new friends while managing a household is hard enough, but Bro and Sis’s constant bickering makes everything worse. Thankfully, there are some hilarious moments to balance the stress and loneliness. But as tensions escalate—and all three kids get tangled in a web of bad choices—can Feng-Li keep her family together?
About the Author
Betty C. Tang is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of the Jacky Ha-Ha series of graphic novels by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. She has worked for various Hollywood animation studios including Disney TV and Dreamworks Animation, and codirected an animated feature called Where’s the Dragon? Betty is also a fourth degree black belt in aikido, a Japanese martial art. Born in Taiwan, Betty immigrated to California as a Parachute Kid when she was ten. She lives in Los Angeles. Learn more about her work at bettyctang.com.
Praise for Parachute Kids:
★ “The development of the characters and their relationships is convincing and balanced, and the siblings’ respective experiences are relatable for anyone who has tried to fit in somewhere. This empathic story centers a less widely recognized community and thoughtfully presents a distinct facet of immigration. Emotionally moving and beautifully executed.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "At once common and unique, this is a compelling story of immigration and family bonds; highly recommended." — School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Tang’s artwork clearly conveys the emotions of each scene, and readers will find this story hard to put down.” — Booklist, starred review
★ “Tang weaves themes of family, racial stereotyping, cultural adaptation, sacrifice, peer pressure, sexuality, bullying, and survival into a poignant and triumphant story of perseverance and resilience, presenting a remarkably honest depiction of an Asian American immigrant experience.” — The Horn Book, starred review
"Uplifting...Across crisp, boldly colored panels, the creator addresses heavy topics such as bullying, queer identity, and racism. Inspired by her own experience as a “parachute kid,” defined in an author’s note as children brought to live with friends or relatives in foreign countries, Tang balances humor and heart with the difficult realities of what parachute kids may face." — Publishers Weekly
“Tang's debut graphic novel effectively telegraphs the characters' fears and anxieties with focused perspectives and animated panels, underscoring the obstacles immigrants must face. . . . The siblings' emotional journey and ultimate ability to appreciate and honor both Western and Taiwanese cultures with friends and family make an aspirational model for young people trying to make the best of relocating in unforeseen situations.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, recommended