The Year of the Fortune Cookie by Andrea Cheng Illustrated by Patrice Barton

Anna Wang #3. HMH Books for Young Readers (May 2014) Library
Eleven-year-old Anna heads off to sixth grade, leaving the comfort and familiarity of elementary school behind and entering the larger, more complex world of middle school. Surrounded by classmates who have their roots all in America, Anna begins to feel out of place and wonders where she really belongs.  When Anna takes a trip to China, she not only explores a new country and culture, but finds answers to her questions about whether she is more Chinese or more American. 

Anna is starting in the terrifying world that is middle school. Luckily, she gets the opportunity to do something amazing - go to China! Her former teacher, Mrs. Sylvester, and her husband are adopting a baby just like her baby sister Kaylee was. She's agreed to help them out since she knows the language and only one person can afford to leave with them at the time. Her real goal is to visit the guarded orphanage Kaylee was taken care of at. Anna and her friends sell fortune cookies to raise money for the orphanage. They also knit hats for all the babies. Anna's adventure brings her closer to her sister and her culture. She begins to accept how much her culture means to her and how it's such a big part of who she is.

I read the first book of Anna's, The Year of the Book, a while back so I knew I missed some new info (a whole baby!) reading the third book, but I was fine navigating on my own.

I've grown to really like this series. It captures a whole new point of view from a perspective I've never read before. I thought that Anna really exploring China, where her parents and her sister came from, and who she is were the best parts of the book. The way Anna is caring towards her sister and wanting to know where she came from is pretty touching. Anna and her friends have generous hearts donating their time and efforts into raising money and creating something for the orphanage. That's what really got me into the story - the sense of love very apparent across the pages. I'd be happy to read more of Anna's story in the future.


  1. This series sounds perfect for my daughter. She's reading books faster than I can keep up (as surprising as that may be). Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh I think she would love them. Ivy and Bean is supposed to be a great series too (I've read only one book from the series).


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