"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

12 March 2014

The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong

Holland, L. Tam. The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong. Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2013.

Vee Crawford Wong would describe himself as half Texan, half Chinese. He is in high school and he fakes a family tree for Spanish class and fakes a family history for his history class. He's frustrated because he doesn't really know his extended family at all. He ends up conning his family into a trip to China, where he meets his grandfather and finds out that sometimes things don't work out the way we expect them to.

What I liked: The multicultural aspect of this book was good. The details during the Wong family trip to China were good. Vee was a very real, very flawed character.

What I didn't like: First, Vee is uber-entitled. His family flies to China (all four of them, plus a guest) because of a letter Vee faked and which his father knew was a fake all along. That's a really expensive lesson for Vee to learn. Second, Vee refers to the girls' volleyball team as half princess and half lesbos. He stereotypes all the supposedly-lesbian volleyball players and uses the term lesbos frequently throughout his narration. That kind of homophobic language is not acceptable, and it did nothing to enhance the story at all.

Recommended for: young adults
Red Flags: homophobic slurs - "lesbo" and "fa----" neither of which is corrected, ever. Also, Vee is a teen boy, and the book is told from inside his brain. Therefore, lots of thoughts about sex.
Overall Rating: 2/5 stars

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