Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation

Penguin/Razorbill. Jun. 2022. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593350393.
Gr 6-8–An action-packed sci-fi blockbuster with an unforgettable Chinese American heroine. In the not-too-distant future, nations are just figureheads, and corporations run the world. Hana Hsu is competing in an elite educational program. If she’s successful, she will be on the fast track for select internships and be among the earliest of her age group to be enmeshed: neurally connected to the internet. When Hana makes a friend from a different walk of life, everything she knows about school, her family, and the way the world works comes into question. Action and twists abound in this thrilling story. Hana’s feeling of burgeoning distance from her family will resonate with many middle grade readers. This plot-driven work even has meaty topics that can be explored in the classroom. Students’ gaming avatars don’t always match their gender at birth. Another recurring idea is that of separation between the virtual world and real world, including ethical considerations of privacy and digital literacy. These complex ideas are made comprehensible for young readers through this exciting story.
VERDICT Recommended. A high octane, sci-fi adventure with big ideas—middle grade readers won’t be able to put it down.

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