The Ping-Pong Queen of Chinatown


Author: Andrew Yang

Perfect for fans of Ben Philippe and Mary H. K. Choi, this charming, insightful YA novel follows two high school students who form a complicated, ground-shifting bond while filming a mockumentary.

On the eve of Felix Ma’s junior year of high school, his parents hires a college admissions coach to help him find a marketable activity. Cynically trawling for extracurricular excellence, Felix decides to start a film club at school.

But then he meets Cassie Chow, a bubbly high school senior who shares Felix’s anxieties about the future and complicated relationship with parental expectations. Felix feels drawn to Cassie for reasons he can’t quite articulate, so as an excuse to see her more, Felix invites Cassie to star in his short film.

While the project starts out as a lighthearted mockumentary, at the urging of Felix’s college admissions coach, who wants to turn the film into college essay material, it soon morphs into a serious drama about the emotional scars that parents leave on their kids. As Felix and Cassie uncover their most painful memories, Cassie starts to balk at opening her wounds for the camera.

With his parents and college admissions coach hot on his heels, Felix discovers painful truths about himself and his past—and must decide whether academic achievement is worth losing his closest friend.