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Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American

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Author: Laura Gao

"Messy Roots is a laugh-out-loud, heartfelt, and deeply engaging story of their journey to find themself--as an American, as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, as a queer person, and as a Wuhanese American in the middle of a pandemic."--Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream

After spending her early years in Wuhan, China, riding water buffalos and devouring stinky tofu, Laura immigrates to Texas, where her hometown is as foreign as Mars--at least until 2020, when COVID-19 makes Wuhan a household name.

In Messy Roots, Laura illustrates her coming-of-age as the girl who simply wants to make the basketball team, escape Chinese school, and figure out why girls make her heart flutter.

Insightful, original, and hilarious, toggling seamlessly between past and present, China and America, Gao's debut is a tour de force of graphic storytelling.

Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Published: 03/08/2022
Pages: 272
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.26lbs
Size: 9.02h x 6.18w x 0.64d
ISBN: 9780063067769
Audience: Young Adult

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 01/01/2022 pg. 114
Publishers Weekly 01/10/2022
Booklist 01/01/2022 pg. 58
Horn Book Magazine 03/01/2022
School Library Journal 03/01/2022 pg. 127

About the Author
Gao, Laura: -

Laura Gao is a comic artist and bread lover currently living in San Francisco. Laura's art career began by doodling on Pokémon cards and has since blossomed to be featured on NPR, HuffPost, and, most notably, her parents' fridge. She is a proud queer Asian American immigrant and strives to inspire others to live unapologetically loud. Laura's pronouns are she/they. Say hello and send her bakery recommendations at

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