Thursday, January 5, 2012
Book Review of #1 Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
Author: Lisa Yee
Part of a Series: Milly Trilly; Stanford Wong flunks big time, So totally Emily Ebers
Type of book: young adult, genius, changing, friendship, 2000s
Year it was published: 2004
Millicent Min is having a bad summer. Her fellow high school students hate her for setting the curve. Her fellow eleven-year-olds hate her for going to high school. Her grandmother Maddie is moving away. And in an effort to give Millicent a more "normal" childhood, her mom has not only signed her up for volleyball, she's also arranged for her to tutor Stanford Wong-jock, jerk and poster boy for Chinese geekdom.
But when Millicent meets Emily, things start to look up. Emily doesn't know Millicent's IQ score. She actually thinks Millicent is cool. And if Millicent can hide her awards, ignore her grandmother's advice, blackmail Stanford into silence, learn to serve a volleyball over the net, stop her parents from embarrassing her forever, and keep all her lies straight, she just might make her first friend.
What's it going to take?
In someways, I can relate to Millicent's character, except I never had an "Emily" in my life. Millicent is the off the charts brainy and intelligent girl that has never had a friend before and seems to be extremely clueless when it comes to relating to people. She also seems to dislike her parents' showy attentions to one another and the only person she is close to is her grandmother Maddie. In someways, she's a bit stereotypical of an Asian American character, except the fact this book is focused on friendship rather than love thus she doesn't end up with an American male. The other two characters, Standford and Emily, get their own books. I do wish for more Millicent Min and Stanford Wong battles.
Very often, the things that we hate in beginning may turn out the best things in life.
I liked watching Millicent change from being an anti-social genius to having two good friends in Stanford and Emily. This represented how people often change one another and that Millicent didn't stay the same. This is written as a diary form and takes place in one summer from June until September.
Lisa Yee won the 2004-Sid Fleischman Humor Award fro Millicent Min, Girl Genius, which was also selected for the TRA/CBC Children's Choice List and nominated for multiple state prizes. Her second novel, Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, was named an ALA Notable Book. So Totally Emily Ebers completes the trilogy, which, as Lisa likes to point out, "can be read in any order, any day of the week, and at any time, except when you're sleeping."
Lisa writes her novels, stories and grocery lists at her home in South Pasadena, California.
Vist her Web site at www.lisayee.com
The book is highly enjoyable, although in some cases tough to read and to understand Millicent's humor in some parts. I could relate to Millicent in someways, although I never had a friend that was like "Emily", unfortunately. Still it might appeal to geniuses and whatnot.
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)