Friends come in unexpected ways....

Making Friends with Billy Wong - Augusta Scattergood

 

I didn't know why so many Chinese people lived here and I sure didn't understand why one school needed to be better than another school or why you couldn't go to whichever school you wanted to. If I paid attention and listened, maybe I'd find out.

- Chapter 6

 

Azalea doesn't want to spend the summer with her grandmother, who she barely knows. But, her grandmother is injured and needs help, so her parents take her there and leave her for the summer. Azalea doesn't like meeting new people and she doesn't do well with strangers. A bunch of local kids come to the house to help with her grandmother's garden, so she is forced to interact with them. She meets a strange delinquent boy, a nice Chinese boy, and a stuck up girl who wears dresses to help in the garden. But, people are not always what they seem, and friendship comes when you least expect it.

 

Azalea is a great character who does her best to do the right thing. She comes to town to help her grandmother but ends up finding friends she didn't expect.

 

The book is inspired by true accounts of Chinese immigrants who lived in the American south during the civil rights era. It is told from two points of view, Azalea's in prose, and Billy's in verse. It's a cute, well-written book that will appeal to boys and girls who enjoy realistic or historical fiction.