Alterations (Hardcover)

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By Ray Xu
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Staff Reviews

Kevin is your typical first generation Chinese-Canadian. Older sister is perfect, mom is too busy working, and his newly arrived Popo (grandmother) can only communicate by yelling. All Kevin wants to do is draw in his comics, watch his cartoons, and maybe be able to walk through the halls at school without someone calling him Egg Boy, kids never let things like that go. It’s not bad enough his sister is starting to resent him, his dad left them, and his mom isn’t around, but the more frustrated he gets, the more he acts out, the more he gets in trouble, the more his sister resents him, on and on in a cycle. This is Kevin’s story and the story of lots of struggling first generation kids trying to respect their parents' culture and find some of their own in the only country they’ve ever known.

— Sameah


For fans of Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese and Svetlana Chmakova's Awkward, this funny yet poignant middle-grade coming-of-age story highlights the struggle of feeling invisible while yearning to be seen by all.

Kevin Lee is having a really bad week. Although he lives in a crowded Toronto apartment above the family's alterations and dry-cleaning store, he mostly goes unnoticed. School isn't exactly an oasis either--being one of the few Asian kids makes for some unwelcome attention. But when Kevin's class plans a trip to Thrill Planet, a spectacular theme park, will he finally have a chance to turn his life around, or will it just be another day for Kevin Lee?

Fans of middle school graphic novels exploring identity and self-esteem will appreciate the poignant yet humorous journey of finding one's place in the world, and readers who are looking for Asian representation in books will connect with Kevin's story of racism, bullying, and the immigrant experience. With its mix of family relationships, friendships, and a thrilling amusement park climax, this inspiring read is perfect for fans of humorous middle grade fiction with diverse characters overcoming obstacles.

Praise for Alterations

"A funny and heartfelt story that beautifully communicates the honest and awkward relationships we have with life and our immigrant parents."
--Dan Santat, Caldecott Medal winner and creator of A First Time for Everything

"A busy, evocative slice of school life and the trials of a second-generation immigrant."

About the Author

Ray Xu is a Toronto-based story artist for television and feature films. His recent work includes the 2021 Netflix animated hit The Mitchells vs. The Machines; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem; and more. He invites you to visit him online at http: //

Product Details
ISBN: 9781454945840
ISBN-10: 1454945842
Publisher: Union Square Kids
Publication Date: January 30th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English