Finally Heard

A Heartpounding Novel about Social Media and the Impact on Kids

What You Say Matters, Even Online

When ten-year-old Lina Gao sees her mom’s video on social media take off, she’s captivated by the potential to be seen and heard! Maybe online she can finally find the confidence she craves. Whereas in real life she’s growing so fast, she feels like microwave popcorn, bursting out of her skin!

With the help of her two best friends, Carla and Finn, and her little sister, Millie, Lina sets off to go viral. Except there’s a lot more to social media than Lina ever imagined, like:

1. Seeing inside her classmates’ lives! Is she really the only person on the planet who doesn’t have a walk-in closet?
2. Group chats! Disappearing videos! What is everyone talking about in the secret chats? And how can she join?
3. A bazillion stories about what to eat, wear, and put on her face. Could they all be telling the truth? Everyone sounds so sure of what they’re saying!

As Lina descends deeper and deeper into social media, it will take all her strength to break free from the likes and find the courage to be her authentic self in this fast-paced world.

FINALLY HEARD shows kids the dangers of social media and how social media affects their developing brains!

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Reviews

* In this involving, realistic chapter book, a likable character overcomes a series of obstacles while forging strong connections with her parents, her sister, and two friends. Yang...writes with a beguiling combination of clarity, simplicity, and immediacy in a new story exploring the practical and emotional challenges of immigration as experienced by children.

– Booklist, starred review

"Yang covers a lot of ground, from immigrant experiences and socio-economic inequities to climate change and middle school angst. The plotline that really stands out, however, is when Lina discovers that books can comfort the struggling, link people together, and create changes both internal and external. This theme propels the action through the book’s satisfying climax when she must decide whether to use her voice to stop a book that she loves from being banned in her classroom.

Timely and pointed."

– Kirkus Reviews

"As Lina attempts to adapt, facing bullying at school, she finds solace in the form of an encouraging teacher, new friends, and the school library. And gradually, when a class book selection that resonates deeply with Lina is challenged, her growing confidence develops into a tool she can use to speak out. In a thematically wide-ranging, character-driven novel, Yang (Front Desk) highlights the importance of representation alongside one child’s experience of navigating a complex reality."
– Publishers Weekly

"Yang does a skillful job in portraying Lina’s multitude of emotions. There’s the sadness of leaving her grandmother behind in a Chinese nursing home and the isolation and loneliness stemming from her imperfect English. Issues of racism and class come up when Lina is teased at school, an Asian American graphic novel is targeted for censorship, and her parents struggle to be paid fairly and to get updates on their green card applications."

– Horn Book Magazine

Copyright Kelly Yang 2019
PARACUTES Art © Chung-Yun Yoo.