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Girl in Reverse

Girl in Reverse

For Ages: 12 and up
Being adopted isn’t easy—especially when you’re seen as a national enemy. A teen seeks the roots of her identity in this stirring novel from the acclaimed author of Crossing the Tracks.

When Lily was three, her mother put her up for adoption, then disappeared without a trace. Or so Lily was told. Lily grew up in her new family and tried to forget her past. But with the Korean War raging and the fear of “Commies” everywhere, Lily’s Asian heritage makes her a target. She is sick of the racism she faces, a fact her adoptive parents won’t take seriously. For Lily, war is everywhere—the dinner table, the halls at school, and especially within her own skin.

Then her brainy little brother, Ralph, finds a box containing a baffling jumble of broken antiques—clues to her past left by her “Gone Mom.” Lily and Ralph attempt to match these fragments with rare Chinese artifacts at the art museum, where she encounters the artistic genius Elliot James. Elliot attracts and infuriates Lily—especially when he calls their first kiss “undimensional.” With the help of Ralph and Elliot, will Lily summon the courage to confront her own remarkable creation story?

A poignantly beautiful novel, Girl in Reverse celebrates the formation of identity as well as the art that draws us all together.
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  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442497344 | 
  • May 2014 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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Read an Excerpt

Girl in Reverse Chapter 1
JANUARY 1951

I hold my face as if it has been dipped in plastic, slide down in my seat, and stare at the doodle—a tornado-shaped ink spiral gouged in the desktop.

Five rows ahead Neil Bradford faces our class in his ROTC uniform. He holds out a cartoon taped to red construction paper that he has brought for current events. His eyes glitter. “See? It’s an army tank stuffed with Chinese commies about to crush all these little kids in the crosswalk. Each of the kids wears a... see more

About the Author

Barbara Stuber
Photograph by Tessa Elwood

Barbara Stuber

Barbara Stuber is the author of the novels Girl in Reverse and Crossing the Tracks, which was a finalist for the American Library Association William C. Morris Debut Award, a YALSA Best Fiction for YA and a Kirkus Best Book for Teens. When not writing, she is a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Visit Barbara online at BarbaraStuber.com.

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