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Parachutes
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Parachutes
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Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma. They're called...
Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma. They're called...
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Description-

  • Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma.

    They're called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the United States while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she'd be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California.

    Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger's house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

    Dani De La Cruz, Claire's new host sister, couldn't be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. But Dani's game plan veers unexpectedly off course when her debate coach starts working with her privately.

    As they steer their own distinct paths, Dani and Claire keep crashing into one another, setting a course that will change their lives forever.

About the Author-

  • Kelly Yang is the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk, Three Keys, and Room to Dream and is the winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature. She went to college at age thirteen and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She is the founder of the Kelly Yang Project, a leading writing and debating program for children in Asia. She lived in Hong Kong for fifteen years, where she taught many parachutes and was a columnist for the South China Morning Post. Her writing has also been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Atlantic. Kelly currently lives in Los Angeles with her family. Please find her online at www.kellyyang.com. Parachutes is her YA debut.


Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2020
    A wealthy Chinese teen is sent to America on her own to attend private school. Claire is a rich 11th grader in Shanghai; Dani is a scholarship student at a private school in Southern California who helps her mother clean houses. When Claire is parachuted into America to finish high school and Dani's mother needs the income from a boarder, they become unlikely housemates. Told in alternating voices, Yang's YA debut tells two disparate narratives that overlap but, unfortunately, never truly connect. In one, Claire is swept off her feet by one of the cutest (and richest) boys in school--by his attention, his mansion, and his Lamborghini. Meanwhile, Dani, whose mother is Filipina and whose absent father's ethnicity is unspecified, believes that securing a spot at an upcoming debate tournament will be her ticket to Yale. Her debate coach singles her out for attention but crosses the line into predatory behavior; Claire's experiences are also traumatic. While these developments are heartbreaking, compelling, and ultimately empowering, they follow lengthy exposition and plotlines involving several secondary characters. Unfortunately, supporting characters are portrayed flatly, without true exploration, so each comes to represent a stereotype whose purpose seems to be teaching readers about a particular experience or point of view. Claire's and Dani's stories are much more nuanced, but the overall result is an uneven and lengthy read. Important stories are overshadowed by too many subplots. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Dani, of Filipino descent and a scholarship student at a prestigious private school in Southern California, hopes to win a debate scholarship to Yale. To bring in some extra income, her mom rents out their spare room to an exchange student, Claire, one of many uber-wealthy students from China attending Dani's school. Although they live together, they have very different experiences at school. Through her part-time job as a house cleaner, Dani discovers how many of her classmates use their wealth to facilitate cheating and pay for opportunities she cannot access. Yang deftly weaves in parallels to recent real-life events, such as the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal and the Duke University email urging Chinese students to speak English. On top of these explorations of nationality and wealth is the realistically pervasive look at rape culture, from creepy host families and catcalling to a teacher sexually harassing a student and an actual rape. In short alternating chapters narrated by Dani and Claire, Yang creates a delicate balance between these heavier issues and the lighter moments of high school. The story seamlessly explores several difficult topics without veering into "issue-book" territory. The real feat comes at the end when Yang strikes a hopeful and powerful tone, despite the school's disappointing response to reports of sexual violence. VERDICT This is a powerful exploration of race, class, and power through multiple lenses, the most powerful being sexual harassment and rape. An engrossing read that will spark discussions on a wide range of issues.-Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 13, 2020
    In her YA debut, Yang (Front Desk) draws from personal experience and the news to tell a contemporary story of class discrepancy, the pervasiveness of rape culture, and the Asian diaspora. Claire Wang, a high school junior living in Shanghai, is used to a life of luxury, while Filipina American Dani De La Cruz, a debate champ and Yale hopeful who is on a full scholarship at California’s American Preparatory, is living a completely different life, cleaning homes to help make ends meet. After receiving a bad grade, Claire is appalled when her parents transfer her to an American high school: Dani’s. American Prep is a magnet for parachutes, or “kids from China who come to the U.S. on our own,” often scions of wealthy families. When Dani’s mom rents out their spare room to an international student, the girls’ lives become twined, even as they chafe at the other’s socioeconomic misunderstandings. But when each girl experiences a traumatic incident, they learn about the devastating convergences of power, money, and male privilege. Despite occasionally flat side characters, this is a multifaceted read, by turns poignant, fun, and exultant in its celebration of the multitudinous experiences and strength inherent in diasporic identity. Ages 14–up. Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2020
    Grades 10-1 *Starred Review* Yang, whose middle-grade debut Front Desk (2018) won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature, makes a fierce entrance into YA, navigating a plethora of complex themes with great honesty. Claire is a "parachute," a wealthy teen from Shanghai whose parents covet the prestige of a foreign education. Dani, a scholarship student, works after school cleaning the homes of her wealthy classmates to help her mom make ends meet. Although Dani and Claire share a home?as host and boarder?they exist in separate social orbits. Yang accentuates their differences through chapters that alternate between their perspectives, highlighting the narrators' socioeconomic status, reputation, and misconceptions about each other. Their divergent worlds are brought together by experiences of sexual harassment and assault, pointing to the pervasiveness of sexual abuse on school campuses. Claire and Dani's mettle and solidarity as they contend with the institutions and privilege that hide abuse is gripping and empowering. Yang offers a compelling exploration of the parachute experience and the intersection of ethnicity, class, and reputation, while underscoring striking cultural parallels between America and China. Strong characterization and thoughtful writing make for an unforgettable read. Includes a content warning description at the onset.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Yang made a huge splash, critically and commercially, when she debuted with Front Desk. This thoughtful, forceful entry into YA promises to do the same.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • New York Times Book Review

    "[Parachutes] is about the radical possibility of young women finding and detonating their voices. Yang takes a sledgehammer to rape culture itself, swinging with equal parts artistry and force. If this were a television series it would look fabulous and land deep." — New York Times Book Review

    "In her YA debut, Yang (Front Desk) draws from personal experience and the news to tell a contemporary story of class discrepancy, the pervasiveness of rape culture, and the Asian diaspora... a multifaceted read, by turns poignant, fun, and exultant in its celebration of the multitudinous experiences and strength inherent in diasporic identity." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    "A fierce entrance into YA, navigating a plethora of complex themes with great honesty... Claire and Dani's mettle and solidarity as they contend with the institutions and privilege that hide abuse is gripping and empowering. Yang offers a compelling exploration of the parachute experience and the intersection of ethnicity, class, and reputation, while underscoring striking cultural parallels between America and China. Strong characterization and thoughtful writing make for an unforgettable read." — ALA Booklist (starred review)

    "Yang deftly weaves in parallels to recent real-life events... On top of these explorations of nationality and wealth is the realistically pervasive look at rape culture... In short alternating chapters narrated by Dani and Claire, Yang creates a delicate balance between these heavier issues and the lighter moments of high school... [A] powerful exploration of race, class, and power through multiple lenses... An engrossing read that will spark discussions on a wide range of issues." — School Library Journal (starred review)

    "Yang has created two distinct and vibrant voices that shimmer with passion for both justice and independence... The convincing narrative, told in alternating first-person perspectives, confronts pervasive and xenophobic stereotypes, with secondary characters' complex identities adding depth and emotion to the story." — Horn Book Magazine

    "Yang writes astutely about the destabilizing combination of family expectations, copious wealth, and absence of adult supervision. She's also sharply perceptive about the class and race complexities of a community that contains rich Asian visitors and American-born Asians, great wealth and straitened circumstances... A spirited slice of cultural life and story of girls facing cruel inequities, and Yang's compelling author's note about parachutes and her own experience of being sexually assaulted adds another poignant facet." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    "Parachutes is a force. As fast-paced as it is powerful, its story of immigration, social class, and rape culture calls out the damaging consequences of privilege in ways that will make readers want to speak up and take action." — Randy Ribay, National Book Award finalist and author of Patron Saints of Nothing

    "Parachutes is not just a searing drama that explores the lives of Asians in America, it's a courageous, empowering story about how high women can soar when they lift each other up." — Stacey Lee, award-winning author of The Downstairs Girl

    Awards and Praise for Front Desk: Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature
    Parents' Choice Gold Medal Fiction Award Winner
    Named a Best Book of the Year by:
    NPR
    Kirkus Reviews
    Publishers Weekly
    Washington Post
    Amazon
    School Library...

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