“The class is so quiet you can hear Tina’s hard shoe soles on the floor. Everyone is watching us. Sisters, they are thinking.”
Ten-year-old Sarah misses her best friend and neighbor, Victoria, terribly. She still waits for her in the backyard just in case she comes back. The last thing Sarah needs is to be paired with the new girl at school, Tina, who has just arrived from China. Sarah is used to being confused with other Asian students at school, but she doesn’t want people to assume that she and Tina have a lot in common. In fact, even simple communication is hard for them: Tina’s English is poor, and Sarah doesn’t speak a word of Chinese. Thrown together amidst a swirl of problems at home and at school, Sarah and Tina are reluctant to forge a friendship. But both of them must come to terms with the changes in their lives—whether they are able to overcome their differences or not.
Andrea Cheng has remained true to the hearts and voices of two ten-year-old girls in this moving story about friendship.
Told in alternating stories and in the innocent voices of two ten year old girls, Honeysuckle House addresses alienation, longing, prejudice, and cultural differences without ever losing touch with the true preoccupations of childhood.
* “With a smoothly drawn and interesting plot, strong characters, and graceful writing, the story has more immediacy than much realistic contemporary fiction.” –School Library Journal, starred review
“This deft character-driven story about two ten-year-old girls rings with clarity. . . . Honesty and subtlety co-exist in Cheng’s thoughtful, never-didactic writing.” –Kirkus Reviews
“This will satisfy readers not quite ready for An Na’s immigrant drama Step From Heaven, or those simply looking for a different take on the old story of new friendship.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books