Humor comes at surprising moments and the growing relationship with Danny and his grandmother are the highlights of this new tale. The story is unique and a welcome addition to the middle grade shelves. Here’s the scoop from Abrams Publishers:
Eleven-year-old Danny’s life is turned upside down when his Chinese grandmother comes to live with his family in England. Things get worse when Danny finds out he’ll have to share his room with her, and she took the top bunk! At first, Danny is frustrated that he can’t communicate with her because she doesn’t speak English—and because he’s on the verge of failing math and Nai Nai was actually a math champion back in the day. It just feels like he and his grandmother have nothing in common. His parents insist that Danny help out, so when he’s left to look after Nai Nai, he leaves her at the bingo hall for the day to get her off his back. But he soon discovers that not everyone there is as welcoming as he expected . . . Through the universal languages of math and art, Danny realizes he has more in common with his Nai Nai than he first thought. Filled with heart and humor, Danny Chung Sums It Up shows that traversing two cultures is possible and worth the effort, even if it’s not always easy.:
Danny’s narration brings out all of his frustrations at being 11 and having parents who are too busy to spend much time with him. Nai Nai doesn’t seem like the solution with her lack of English and embarrassing her grandson at the worst times. She even shows up uninvited at school and peers through the classroom window from the playground.
What Danny really loves is drawing and creating new characters in his sketch book—many which are displayed throughout. Soon though Danny’s view of his Nai Nai begins to change and their times together become more positive. It’s a journey worth taking with the Chung family. I hope more titles are in the works.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: Sept. 7, 2021 PAGE COUNT: 240
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT DANNY CHUNG SUMS IT UP by Maisie Chan
- It’s all about friendships with middle grade kids and this has quite a few realistic connections as to how you treat people.
- I especially enjoyed the kind lady, Mrs. Cruikshanks. She brings a lot of charm to the story and treats everyone with respect. Her BINGO gaming skills are pretty good, too.
- Love wins over in the end and what more could we ask for in these difficult times?
- The food. I never ate a lychee or understood what it was, but now I’m on a search to give one a try.
- The ending made me smile in agreement.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maisie Chan is British Chinese children’s author from Birmingham. She loves dim sum, yoga and travelling. She has written early readers for Hachette and Big Cat Collins, and has a collection of myths and legends out with Scholastic. She is the author of Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths (U.K.) also known as Danny Chung Sums It Up (U.S.), and the Tiger Warrior chapter book series (M Chan). She runs Bubble Tea Writers Network to support and encourage writers of East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) descent in the U.K. She has a dog called Miko, who has very big eyes and wakes up too early. She has a large old school hip hop collection. She lives in Glasgow with her family.
I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Comment below and be sure to visit all the other MMGM posts .