Smart at old school,
struggling at new school,
where is her self and center now?
While the access scholarship admits Lucy to Laurinda, privilege and social power at the fancy private school will keep this child of Chinese immigrants from true success there. Her less-educated parents want her to be happy and do well, but aren’t demanding that she ace every exam.
Her letters to funny and outspoken Linh at her old school chronicle Lucy’s worries about fitting in, finding a friend, and her baby brother’s worsening health.
How do you stay true to yourself while trying to rise?
My book talk: As a new scholarship girl at Laurinda, Lucy suddenly walks into a world of generational privilege where acceptance by ‘the Cabinet’ of most-influential students at the historic Sydney girls’ school is more important than grades or kindness.
The distance between her scruffy immigrant neighborhood and the elegance of Laurinda is more than just a bus ride, thinks Lucy, as the disconnect grows between her home life where Ma assembles garments in the back room and school days where the Cabinet connives to discredit any teacher they dislike.
Why did the girls of the Cabinet seek out Lucy?
Why must Laurinda’s social order remain the same now as last generation?
Would Lucy return to her old school where she can be herself?
Worrying about baby brother’s health amid Ma’s sewing dust, trying to understand why the Cabinet gets away with so much, wondering if she can succeed at Laurinda without completely losing herself, this teen child of Chinese immigrants pours out her new life in letters to Linh.