Reviews for Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time
Booklist Reviews 2005 November #2
Gr. 4-7. Yee, who won the 2004 Sid Fleischman Humor Award for Millicent Minn, Girl Genius (2003), offers an equally funny sequel, switching viewpoints to Stanford Wong, who, after flunking sixth-grade English, must forgo celebrity basketball camp for summer school and afternoon tutoring with Millicent. During their sessions, the former adversaries grudgingly discover that they have more in common than just their grandmothers, who are best friends, and each helps the other move through messy predicaments grounded in their own embarrassment and lies. Yee weights the lively sparring between her young characters (and Stanford's new crush on Millicent's friend) with Stanford's worries at home: his grandmother, recently placed in a nursing home; his parents'fights; and his remote, hard-to-please father. Young readers will find themselves chortling over comedic scenes, delivered in Stanford's genuine, age-appropriate voice, even as the well-drawn, authentic heartache about family, friends, and integrity reaches directly into their lives. Young sports fans, particularly boys, will appreciate a portrait of a wholly likable underachiever in the classroom who shines on the court. ((Reviewed November 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
In Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Millicent is forced to tutor "stupid Stanford Wong," who's a genius only at basketball. This companion novel tells the same story, from Stanford's point of view. Fans of the first book will enjoy hearing from Stanford, whose struggles are as humorously portrayed as Millie's were. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #1
In Yee's previous novel, Millicent Min, Girl Genius (rev. 9/03), Millicent gets roped into tutoring "stupid Stanford Wong," but both pretend the situation is reversed -- Millie, so her new friend Emily won't think she's freakishly smart, and Stanford, so his new crush (the self-same Emily) won't think he's an idiot. The situation afforded lots of laughs, and still does in this companion novel that follows the same timeline -- from Stanford's viewpoint. In Millicent, the contrast between Millie's incredible braininess and her equally incredible social naivetŽ and nonathleticism was very funny. Stanford couldn't be more different: he's a terrible student (he imagines his Ripley's Believe It or Not! headline: "Stanford Wong, the only stupid Chinese kid in America!") but has lots of friends and admirers, and he's a genius on the basketball court. Fans of the first book will enjoy hearing from Stanford, whose struggles -- with school, with his dad (who has never attended a single one of Stanford's games), and with adolescent anxieties ("Maybe I should hold her hand. But...what if my hand gets all sweaty? Do people ever use antiperspirant on their hands?") -- are as cleverly portrayed as Millie's were. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2005 October #1
Yee's companion to Millicent Min, Girl Genius (2003) tells the story of the same pivotal summer that Millicent tutors Stanford Wong-but this time through Stanford's eyes. Although the story is again laced with humor and told in the first person, 11-year-old Stanford is more of a regular kid, and therefore by necessity his voice is more regular too, lacking the hilarious perspective of his socially clueless but intellectually gifted contemporary. Yee compensates by giving her likable protagonist numerous comic tribulations. His biggest is that he failed English and must attend summer school supplemented by Millicent's tutoring. His scholastic problems are further complicated by a difficult home life-a disapproving father, constantly fighting parents and his concern over his increasingly addled but full-of-heart grandmother. He also has several self-generated troubles, specifically lies he told that, in order to keep from being found out, require numerous gyrations to protect. Parts of the story seem drawn out and not all of the complications are credible, but overall readers should find this story amusing, enjoyable and finally touching. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 November #1
Fans of Millicent Min, Girl Genius , have a chance to take a closer look at Millicent's nemisis, Standford Wong, in this winsome companion novel told from Standford's point of view. Here, behind Standford's pesky exterior, readers will discover a complicated, vulnerable and lovable hero, whose summer after sixth grade begins on a sour note. After flunking English class, Standford must give up his opportunity to go to a prestigious basketball camp in order to attend summer school. To add insult to injury, his parents have hired brainy Millicent (whom they both greatly admire) to be his private tutor. Meanwhile, tensions rise in Standford's home due to Mr. Wong's recent obsession with work and Mrs. Wong's suggestion that Standford's beloved but forgetful, live-in grandmother, Yin-Yin be placed in a nursing home. During a summer filled with painful growing experiences, Standford learns that there's more to life than basketball as he struggles to win his father's acceptance, falls in love for the first time and develops surprising loyalties to much-taunted Millicent and the "Teacher Torturer," who flunked him. Upon finishing this book, those who have already opened their hearts to Millicent will find room to include Standford too, and will likely want to know how both will fare in the upcoming school year. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) [Page 74]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2005 December
Gr 5-7 -A companion volume to Millicent Min, Girl Genius (Scholastic, 2003). From birth, when his father named him for his alma mater, great things have been expected from Stanford Wong. When his lack of interest in academics causes him to fail sixth-grade English and lands him in summer school, his star status on his school's basketball team is endangered. It is a summer of turmoil and family tension. Stanford's father is working longer and longer hours to try for a promotion, and a host of other changes are occurring. Stanford must come to grips with missing out on basketball camp, grit his teeth through tutoring sessions with Millicent the genius, see his beloved grandmother moved to an assisted-living facility, and try to hide his summer-school attendance from his buddies. His observations on his overachieving father and sister can be hilarious, and the loving close-up of his grandmother's dementia is wonderfully drawn. Stanford's days are narrated one by one, so readers are privy to all his musings, from the odor of farts to the rush of a first crush. There's much here for boys to identify with, including Stanford's need for parental approval and his single-minded pursuit of the sport he loves. His growth as a person as the summer unfolds is warmly satisfying. The conclusion has Stanford's workaholic father undergo an unexpected and unsubstantiated change of heart, but kids won't mind the surprise happy ending.-Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL [Page 160]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2006 February
In this parallel novel to Yee's earlier Millicent Min, Girl Genius (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2003/VOYA June 2004), Millie's nemesis Stanford Wong gets to tell his own story. Stanford defies Asian American stereotypes: His life is focused on basketball and he is a terrible student. Having failed sixth-grade English, he is now forced to attend summer school rather than the basketball camp on which his heart had been set. After reading just a few chapters of Stanford's jumpy, hyperkinetic, nervously funny narrative style, this reviewer began looking for an ADHD outcome, as in Jack Gantos's Joey Pigza stories, however no such clinical diagnosis emerges here. Instead Stanford begins to get his act together as a result of many motivating factors-a caring teacher, supportive friends and family, an exasperated but ultimately helpful tutor (Millicent), and love interest Emily Ebers, another character from Yee's earlier novel. Unlike a sequel, a parallel novel takes place during the same period as its predecessor, as in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow (Tor, 1999/Voyages,VOYA October 2002) which is set in the same time as Ender's Game (Tor, 1992.) Like Card's famous Ender books, Yee's first novel-also about a child prodigy-has universal appeal. Millicent's story is a book for everyone and not just for school kids. This follow-up novel about her friend is equally humorous and entertaining, but because it is centered upon a less exceptional preteen, it will be appreciated most by its natural audience of upper elementary and middle school readers.-Walter Hogan 4Q 4P M Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.