Millicent Min: Girl Genius

by Lisa Yee

The fact that Millicent Min has a resumé is the first clue that she isn’t... read more

The fact that Millicent Min has a resumé is the first clue that she isn’t your typical 11-year-old. The fact that she’s just completed her junior year of high school is another. And then there’s the summer class she’s signed up for just for fun: Classic and Contemporary Poetry at the local college. Millicent is a genius, and if she’s a genius without any friends, well, that’s just the price you have to pay for being so far ahead of your peers. But Millicent’s mom thinks otherwise. She’s signed Millicent up for volleyball over the summer in the hopes that Millicent will connect with someone her own age. And Millicent does. Emily has no idea that Millicent is a genius, and when Millicent decides she’d like to keep it that way, she begins spinning a web of deception that is bound to come unraveled. Millicent’s first-person voice is funny (“Oh. My. God. My life is over. My mother has signed me up for team sports.”). But through the narrative, Yee also masterfully conveys how Millicent is a girl so very smart, and yet so very clueless, not only about friendship but, much to Millicent’s surprise, a number of other things as well. Millicent’s Chinese American heritage is a subtle aspect of this sparkling novel. (Ages 10–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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