Frankly in Love

by David Yoon

High school senior Frank Li is first generation Korean American. He’s grown... read more

High school senior Frank Li is first generation Korean American. He’s grown up solidly middle class thanks to his parents’ drive. They work almost constantly as owner/operators of a store in a poor urban neighborhood an hour away. Frank’s older sister, Hanna, has become persona non grata at home (but not to Frank) since dating and marrying a Black man. Frank’s best friend, Q, is Black, and he wishes he was courageous enough to challenge his parents’ racism like Hanna always did. He wishes it even more when he starts dating Brittany Means, who is white, knowing his parents won’t approve of a girlfriend who isn’t Korean. Instead, he deceives them, working out a plan with Joy, daughter of another Korean immigrant family, to fake date. Joy has been keeping her Chinese American boyfriend a secret from her parents, and the lie keeps all the parents happy while freeing Frank and Joy to spend time with their significant others. What could go wrong? Frank’s first-person voice is funny and tender in an exceptional, emotionally charged debut novel that plays out in ways both expected and unexpected, offering an insightful, nuanced examination of immigrant families, parents and children, race and racism, love and romance, and the sustaining gift of friendship. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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