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A warm, tender story about a creative girl who hopes that by winning a filmmaking contest, she'll convince her great-grandfather not to move back home to the Philippines. For fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Kelly Yang.
Kaia and her family live near the beach in California, where the fun of moviemaking is all around them. Kaia loves playing with makeup and creating special effects, turning her friends into merfolk and other magical creatures.
This summer, Kaia and her friends are part of a creative arts camp, where they're working on a short movie to enter in a contest. The movie is inspired by the Filipino folktales that her beloved Tatang, her great-grandfather, tells. Tatang lives with her family and is like the sparkle of her special-effects makeup. When Tatang decides that it is time to return to his homeland in the Philippines, Kaia will do anything to convince him not to go.
About the Author
Mae Respicio's debut novel is The House That Lou Built, which received the Asian/Pacific American Library Association Honor Award in Children's Literature and was an NPR Best Book of the Year. Mae lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two sons. Like the main character in this book, she grew up hearing Filipino folktales and history from her family--though it wasn't until much later that she learned to start asking questions. Find out more about her work at maerespicio.com and follow her on Twitter (@maerespicio) and Instagram (@maerespiciobooks).
★ "Full of Filipino folklore, history, and cuisine, and the beautiful backdrop of the ocean adds to the story's visual appeal. . . . A tender #OwnVoices tale." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Inspiring and heartfelt, this book will leave readers with smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes." —Booklist
"Respicio brings another refreshing contemporary glimpse into the Filipinx American experience. . . . A tale of family relationships and transitions told with plenty of heart." —Kirkus Reviews
"A sweet and touching journey of discovering that home will always be in the hearts of those you love—no matter how far apart you roam." —Jo Knowles, author of See You At Harry's
“A heartfelt story about family, embracing change, and the meaning of home.” —Publishers Weekly