In this humorous and heartfelt debut about a split cultural identity, nothing goes according to plan for sixth-grader Lucy Wu. Lucy Wu, aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life. She’s ready to rule the school as a sixth grader and take over the bedroom she has always shared with her sister. In an instant, though, her plans are shattered when she finds out that Yi Po, her beloved grandmother’s sister, is coming to visit for several months, and is staying in Lucy’s room. Her plans are ruined…or are they? As the Chinese saying goes: Events that appear to be good or bad luck often turn out to be quite the opposite. Lucy finds that while she may not get the perfect year she had in mind, she can create something even better.

“Lucy Wu may only be 4 feet tall, but she has big (and brilliantly on-the-money kidlike) dreams” – Kirkus 


“As a child, books meant freedom. If you could read in my kindergarten class, you were allowed to go to the library by yourself, and libraries were the loveliest freedom I could imagine. If I had a book, I had a companion for a long dinner with grown-ups. I could learn about anything, go anywhere, pretend to be anyone.

Favorite books from my childhood: the Little House books, the Great Brain books, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and books by Ellen Conford and Judy Blume. I recently had a school visit that had been attended by R.R. Knudson, author of the beloved girl-athlete (back when that was something of a novelty) Zan books – cool!

I live in northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC, with my husband, three children, a cat and a dog. I love freshly baked bread, good pens, and, of course, some gummi bears now and then.” Source

Big Read Book Secret ProjectJoin the fun spreading the word about the Big Read with this simple craft!


Compiled list of discussion questions (PDF) from Henry Country Schools


Wendy Shang’s website interview

Scholastic discussion guide

Interviews with Wendy Shang:

Scholastic Interview

Reading in Color

Washington Post

Borrow The Great Wall of Lucy Wu:

Poughkeepsie Public Library Catalog