Pie in the Sky
Pie in the Sky
Jingwen, his brother Yanghao and mother have just moved to Australia. The plan has always been to move but things were put on hold when dad died in a car accident. Now mom has decided to move them anyway. They leave behind grandma and grandpa and the family bakery. Mom starts working in a local bakery and the boys start school. Yanghao picks up English fairly quickly and starts to make friends. Jingwen is very different. He doesn't understand what anyone is saying and feels like he is on a different planet. He makes very little effort to learn English or to get along in school. The only thing that makes him feel better is baking the cakes he baked with his father. Dad planned on opening a bakery called Pie in the Sky and selling fancy cakes. Jingwen thinks that if he can bake all 12 of the cakes his father baked things will get better. The only problem is that mom has forbidden them to bake. So Jingwen and Yanghao have to hide the fact that they are baking cakes every day after school. Of course no secret can be kept for long.
There are not that many books about kids moving to a new country and trying to assimilate. Pie in the Sky does a great job of showing how difficult it is to fit into another culture. I am not sure how accurate the school situation is as I would assume most schools would not just throw a non-English speaker into regular classes and assume they would be ok. I think the fact that this is an illustrated novel (like Diary of a Wimpy Kid) will make it appeal to readers more. I did find Yanghao almost over the top annoying for a little brother; it was borderline stereotypical.