The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Anna’s Ma hasn’t got out of bed for weeks. With her Baba on the other side of town running a restaurant, it’s up to Anna to take care of her family – but she’s falling behind at school, and looking after her siblings by herself is a big responsibility.

So when Ma finally gets up, it looks like everything might go back to normal. Anna starts working at the restaurant, meets a cute boy, and starts to feel like a regular teenager. But Ma’s illness won’t let her rest for long, and Anna begins to realise that while there may not be a magic cure to make her better, love, support, and understanding can go a long way.

Wai Chim depicts Ma’s bipolar disorder, and Anna's own emotional wellbeing, with nuance and sensitivity. Whilst a large part of the story is about Anna and her family's developing understanding of their mother's illness, it also looks at Anna’s own personal journey as a teenage girl navigating difficult topics - such as racism, mental health stigma, and a new relationship - for the first time. A beautiful book, well-suited to older readers.

More books like this

All the Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places will pull you in and won’t let you go again, even long after you turned the final page – a must-read

Read more about All the Bright Places

Nest

Author: Esther Ehrlich

This heartbreaking debut novel is beautifully written. The characters are sympathetically drawn and the complex issues of physical and mental illness, grief and guilt are explored with sensitivity. Highly recommended.

Read more about Nest

Share this book with your friends

Use our Bookfinder to discover the perfect children's books for every age...