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Frankly in Love

by David Yoon

Published by Putnam, 2019
432 pages
ISBN: 978-1-9848-1220-9

Age 13 and older

High school senior Frank Li is first generation Korean American. Heís grown up solidly middle class thanks to his parentsí drive. They work almost constantly as owner/operators of a store in a poor urban neighborhood an hour away. Frankís older sister, Hanna, has become persona non grata at home (but not to Frank) since dating and marrying a Black man. Frankís best friend, Q, is Black, and he wishes he was courageous enough to challenge his parentsí racism like Hanna always did. He wishes it even more when he starts dating Brittany Means, who is white, knowing his parents would never approve of a girlfriend who isnít Korean. Instead, he deceives them, working out a plan with Joy, daughter of another Korean immigrant family, to fake date. Joy has been keeping her Chinese American boyfriend a secret from her parents, and this keeps all the parents happy while freeing Frank and Joy to spend time with their significant others. What could go wrong? Frankís first-person voice is funny and tender in an exceptional, emotionally charged debut novel that plays out in ways both expected and unexpected, offering an insightful, nuanced examination of immigrant families, parents and children, race and racism, love and romance, and the sustaining gift of friendship. ©2019 Cooperative Childrenís Book Center

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