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Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time

by Lisa Yee

Published by Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2005
296 pages
ISBN: 0-439-62247-6

Ages 10-13

In Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Lisa Yee chronicled the trials and tribulations of an eleven-year-old Chinese American girl whose genius-level IQ stands in the way of social success. Millicentís memorable and singular voice describes how her summer is almost ruined by volleyball and Standford Wong, the brainless Chinese American boy she has to tutor. Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time gives Stanford a chance to speak. In a novel that covers the same time period as Millicent Min, Yee covers significant new ground as Stanford details life in his family, including concern about his once feisty grandmother whose memory and lust for life are waning, and tension with a father whom he never seems able to please. Most of his friends share Stanfordís obsession with basketball, but none of them play as well as Stanford, whose been chosen for the A-Team at school in the fall, if he can make up for a failing English grade. Too embarrassed to admit to even his best friend that he flunked English, Stanford is desperate to keep the fact that heís in summer school, and being tutored by stuck-up, brainy Millicent Min, a secret. This is where the two stories overlap, as Yee offers up many of the same events covered in Millicent Min, but from Stanfordís point of view. Already overwhelmed by pressures and changes at home and tensions with a friend who is jealous of his basketball success, things grow increasingly complicated for Stanford when he develops a crush on Millicentís new friend in town, Emily. Emily has no idea Millicent is a genius. Itís something both Stanford and Millie (who likes being perceived as a regular kid for once) would like to keep a secret. And so there is lying, subterfuge, and, inevitably, repercussions that take honesty, courage, and humility to resolve.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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