Indies Introduce

Young Adult Non-Fiction

  • Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American, Laura Gao
    Balzer + Bray, 9780063067769 / 9780063067776, February 15, 2022 (Young Adult Non-Fiction)

    “Laura Gao spent her early childhood in Wuhan, China, and then immigrates to Texas where everything feels foreign and different. Their story is a coming of age story about finding their true selves while balancing two identities. This graphic memoir is beautifully illustrated, funny, and insightful.”

    —Shoshonna Roberts, Maggie Mae’s Kids Bookshop, Gresham, OR

    “Laura’s roots are very tangled. She was left in Wuhan China right after she was born when her parents immigrated to the United States. Four years later when her parents returned, she, of course, did not know them. Moving to Texas, Laura not only had to become acquainted with her parents but also a new school and learning English. Her parents wanted her to continue the traditions of China while she struggled to fit into the American culture. Her life got even more difficult with the Covid virus, and some mis-informed people blamed China. Laura Yuyang Gao concludes that even though she has tangled roots, she will grow a home ‘from the ground up…using the roots I’ve nurtured…with the people I love.’ Reading this very touching graphic memoir, one hopes for a sequel to learn where Laura has planted her roots.”

    --Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink Children's Bookstore, Indianapolis, IN


    “Told through Laura Gao’s signature kinetic art style, Messy Roots combines hilarious inner dialogue, early 2000s childhood references, and moments of pure vulnerability, creating a graphic memoir that is both effortlessly accessible and beautifully honest. It is a gift to be allowed in on Gao’s journey of self-discovery.”

    —Laura Graveline, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

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