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Pie in the Sky
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Pie in the Sky
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A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy's immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks! Perfect for fans of Raina...
A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy's immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks! Perfect for fans of Raina...
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Description-

  • A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy's immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks! Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang!

    A Parents Magazine Best Kids Book of the Year!
    A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year!
    An NPR Best Book of the Year!
    A Horn Book Best Book of the Year!
    A Kirkus Best Book of the Year!
    Recipient of FIVE starred reviews!

    "Pie in the Sky is like enjoying a decadent cake . . . heartwarming and rib-tickling." —Terri Libenson, bestselling author of Invisible Emmie

    When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he's landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn't speak English, and he's often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao.

    To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she's at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they'll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.

    In her hilarious, moving middle-grade debut, Remy Lai delivers a scrumptious combination of vibrant graphic art and pitch-perfect writing that will appeal to fans of Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham's Real Friends, Kelly Yang's Front Desk, and Jerry Craft's New Kid.

    A Junior Library Guild selection!

    "Seamlessly mixes together equal parts of humor, loss, identity, discovery, and love to create a delicious concoction of a story. . . illustrated beautifully with Lai's insightful drawings." —Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Night Diary

    * "The humor [is] akin to that of Jeff Kinney's popular "Wimpy Kid" series . . . the perfect mixture of funny and emotionally resonant." —School Library Journal, starred review

    * "Perfect for fans of Gene Luen Yang and Victoria Jamieson." —Shelf Awareness, starred review

    This title has common core connections.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Remy Lai studied fine arts, with a major in painting and drawing. She was born in Indonesia, grew up in Singapore, and currently lives in Brisbane, Australia, where she writes and draws stories for kids with her two dogs by her side. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed Pie in the Sky, Fly on the Wall, and Pawcasso.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 18, 2019
    Lai centers her incisive illustrated novel debut on Jingwen, who moves from his unspecified home country to Australia with his mother and younger brother Yanghao after his father’s death. The boy mourns the loss of his father and feels like an alien among his fifth-grade classmates as he struggles to learn English, which sounds like “Martian words” (blue-tinged illustrations show others, then the boys, as space aliens in their daily life). Summoning memories of baking with Papa, Jingwen imagines the cakes they’d anticipated selling at Pie in the Sky, the bakery they planned to open upon moving. Jingwen vows to make the 12 cakes, believing this will preserve his memories of Papa—and that “cakes make everything better.” But his baking obsession leads to the betrayal of his hardworking mother’s trust, landing him and Yanghao in hot water. Though repetition of facts and dialogue (including the brothers’ penchant for calling each another “Booger”) at times thwarts the narrative flow, its pace accelerates in the final chapters as Lai adds a few surprise ingredients to concoct a deeply satisfying ending for this heartwarming immigrant story about sibling bonds, honesty, and surmounting obstacles. Ages 8–12.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2019
    Two brothers navigate a new country, a new language, and grief through cake. In this graphic/prose hybrid novel, 12-year-old Jingwen, his little brother, Yanghao, and their mother immigrate to Australia. The family is Chinese, though their home country is never specified. The boys start at the Northbridge Primary School not knowing any English, which has Jingwen feeling they have just arrived on Mars. Quickly he realizes it is he and Yanghao who must appear to be the Martians to everyone else, comically literalized with pictures of a four-eyed, antennae'd Jingwen. While Yanghao quickly picks up English, Jingwen resists, struggling in lessons and to make friends. Piece by piece readers learn it was Jingwen's father's dream to open a cake shop called Pie in the Sky in Australia before he suddenly passed away. After finding the family's cookbook, the boys decide to secretly bake all the Pie in the Sky cakes. Jingwen especially takes it to heart, pouring his grief and frustrations into every frosted layer, believing that it "will fix everything." Herself an immigrant to Australia from Singapore, Lai unfolds the story like a memory, giving brief flashbacks interspersed throughout the daily musings and nuanced relationships among family members. Jingwen's emotional journey is grounded in honest reality; it ebbs and flows naturally with strategic spots of humor to lighten the overall tone. Like salted caramel, a perfect balance of flavors, this deftly drawn story is a heartfelt treat. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 10-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from June 1, 2019

    Gr 3-6-Having recently immigrated to Australia, 11-year-old Jingwen feels like he's been dropped onto a strange planet full of gibberish-spouting aliens. He knows life would be easier if he learned more English like his annoyingly chipper, too-loud, too-energetic little brother Yanghao. But guilt over his father's accidental death festers. Worried that assimilating into Australian culture means he's forsaking his father's memory, Jingwen latches on to the idea that if he can make all the cakes his father planned to feature on the menu of his dream bakery, Pie in the Sky, then everything will be okay. Even if that means disobeying his mother's rules while she's working the night shift at a local bakery. Written from Jingwen's perspective, the text is augmented with humorous, often exaggerated black and blue spot and sequential paneled illustrations that offer a visual window into Jingwen's experiences and emotions. Frequent flashbacks to Jingwen's younger years in his (unnamed) country of origin contribute to strong character and relationship development and to the satisfying conclusion. Whether Jingwen and Yanghao are teasing, supporting, or bickering with each other, their relationship rings true. The humor, akin to that of Jeff Kinney's popular "Wimpy Kid" series, occasionally veers into the delightfully gross, such as when Yanghao barfs from one too many slices of cake. VERDICT A first purchase for all libraries, this #OwnVoices hybrid chapter book/graphic novel is the perfect mixture of funny and emotionally resonant.-Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Terri Libenson, bestselling author of Invisible Emmie

    Winner of the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor!
    A Parents Magazine Best Kids Book of the Year!
    A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year!
    An NPR Best Book of the Year!
    A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year!
    A
    BookRiot Best Book of the Year!
    A Horn Book Best Book of the Year!
    A Kirkus Best Book of the Year!
    Five STARRED reviews!

    A Junior Library Guild selection!
    An Indie Next pick!

    "Pie in the Sky
    is like enjoying a decadent cake. . . heartwarming and rib-tickling."

  • Shelf Awareness, starred review * "Perfect for fans of Gene Luen Yang and Victoria Jamieson."
  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "Like salted caramel, a perfect balance of flavors, this deftly drawn story is a heartfelt treat."
  • Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Night Diary "Remy Lai seamlessly mixes together equal parts of humor, loss, identity, discovery, and love to create a delicious concoction of a story. . . illustrated beautifully."
  • Fuse #8 "If this is what Remy Lai's got going on straight out of the gate, I can't wait to see what she comes up with next."

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    Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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