What Book Makes YOU Feel Finally Seen?

Read Book Joy From Kids All Over America!

We asked kids "What book makes YOU feel FINALLY SEEN?" and here were their responses...

Finally Seen

By Emily, age 10

In the book, “Finally Seen” by Kelly Yang, I can really relate to Lina Gao. This book makes
me feel Finally Seen, because I feel just like Lina, in a different way. For example, Lina has
trouble with learning English. She’s scared to talk in class, afraid of making an incorrect
pronunciation or grammar mistake. I feel the same in Chinese class. I feel like I’m not good
enough at Chinese, like Lina. But we both try our best and end up doing really good!! Lina
speaks up in front of a huge crowd, I instead speak up as much as I can in front of my Chinese
class, (to learn as much as possible). But unlike Lina, I am not as scared of making a mistake.
But I still think “Will my classmates tease me?” “Will my teacher call me out?” “Will they think I’m
stupid?” These thoughts relate me to Lina. Both of us are scared of doing something incorrect,
while learning a new language. But, thankfully both of us in the end get over our fear and speak

Another example I feel like Lina is because we both feel very nervous starting a new school,
(understandably) but immediately make a new trusting friend. Lina’s immediate new friend is
Finn. Mine are Hannah, Alice, and Mikayla. Finn is very supportive and helpful to Lina. He tries
to help her fit in in any way. I feel the same way for Hannah, Alice, and Mikayla. They support
my ideas and activities, as I support theirs. They have been my good, good, friends for 5 long
years. Even though Finn sometimes doesn’t understand Lina, he tries to understand and help
her out. This is just like my friends. Sometimes they don’t understand my ideas, humor, and
lovable wacky-ness, but they make me feel just right at home and happy.

Another reason I feel Finally Seen is because both me and Lina meet an kind, supportive,
welcoming, and helpful teacher. That helps us out when we first start attending our new schools!
Lina’s kind, teacher was named Mrs. Carter. My helpful, kind, supportive, and welcoming
teacher was named Ms. Skolnik. Both our teachers understood us, and helped us when we
were having a problem in class. For example Lina’s teacher Mrs. Carter got her a private
English/ESL teacher, named Mrs. Ortiz, when she felt Lina needed help. Mrs. Ortiz helped Lina
learn English, one word at a time. I’m similar like this because when I had a problem, my
teacher would always make time for me, to teach me. And every year at my school Anderson so
far, my teachers, Ms. Skolnik, Ms. G, Ms. Lerman, Ms. Levine, and Ms. Kang, have helped me if
I was ever confused, or needed help. Many thanks to my wonderful teachers and Lina’s
wonderful teachers.

Lastly, me and Lina are similar because books are our sliding door, or window, to us and we
feel strongly about writing stories and reading books. Lina hates mistreatment towards books
because she really connects to the books. One book “Flea Shop” is really meaningful to Lina.
She feels just like the girl in the book, Cat. And even without knowing that much English she can
still understand the book because it’s a Graphic Novel! Which means it’s full of pictures to help
her understand English. After reading the Graphic Novel, Lina decided to write her own, to
share her life with her grandmother, Lao Lao. I like to write stories for fun and to share with my
family and friends. I write Fiction stories rather than Nonfiction, but even then, both me and Lina
like writing stories. As for reading, I could read for hours like Lina couldn’t stop reading “Flea
Shop”! It makes me really happy to read, especially if it relates to me. Lina feels the same! She
loves “Flea Shop” because like Cat, she is teased but pushes through it. This is why “Finally
Seen” makes me feel Finally Seen.

Over the Moon

By Ayaana, Age 11

Over the Moon is a novel that shows courage and kindness. This book is about a girl named Mallie and how she wants to be a hero to her brother and her parents. Mallie has to be a maid at the Tumbrel’s house to earn feathersworth for her family. One day, the guardians came to take Mallie’s brother, Denver away. Denver would have to go back into those dark, dangerous mines. Mallie loved Denver though, and didn’t want him to get taken away. Luckily, Mallie found a flier that would save her brother, and would earn her family some money. The only problem was that Mallie was a girl. That didn’t stop her, even though girls weren’t really allowed to do these dangerous jobs. Fortunately, Mallie is also with her best friend, Adam, who will always be on her side. She also meets a star bird that Mallie names Leo, who is her true hero and ally. Mallie soon comes upon Honor Trumbel, who tries to hurt her and Adam. But nothing will ever stop Mallie, Not even Honor Tumbrel. Mallie is a brave person, and everyone believes that she will be able to save her little brother.

Connecting with Alec

By Vihaan, Age 8

The book that made me feel finally seen is Loser’s Club because some people call me a loser for my ideas. Also, I have gotten into fights and sometimes I get bullied. I can connect to Alec, when people call him a loser because of his book club and when he gets bullied by his friend Kent. Another connection is when people come to support me and when people came to Alec’s club to support him.

Prairie Lotus

By Rachel, Age 10

I connect with the book, Prairie Lotus. Prairie Lotus is about a girl Hanna who is determined to become a dressmaker for her father’s dress shop no matter what it takes. Hanna is successful and works hard in school, and at least wants to make one new friend. Hanna immigrated from Los Angeles to Dakota Territory after her mother passed away. Her father wanted a fresh start, and so they went to Dakota
Territory. Hanna was half Chinese and half white. People thought she was very different, but Hanna didn’t really do anything back to them. I relate to Prairie Lotus because I also have trouble making friends and I am determined to do what my goals and dreams are. I try to be the best I can in school. Sometimes, people think I’m really weird, or sometimes people think that I’m embarrassing, but to me, it doesn’t really matter.

Room to Dream

By James, Age 10

Because of many stories, I have felt finally seen, but Room to Dream takes the cake. This is a great story that I can relate to, because it is about Mia going to China to visit her parents, and she has to come through a lot of differences and obstacles so that she can get used to living in China. And although she struggles a lot, she also spends a lot of quality time with her cousins, including her favorite, Shen. She also thinks about her life in America and how it is different from life in China. Mia also notices that many small businesses are being replaced by larger buildings and businesses. Similarly, I have finally felt seen, because there are more books relating to my culture, like Room to Dream, and the book talks about some of her experiences in China as well. For example, Mia doesn’t know where the bathrooms are, and is confused at first, just like me. I also like writing, just like Mia. And just like Mia, I love going after my dreams, even if it’s not easy. That is why the book Room to Dream makes me feel finally seen.

Nina Soni, Former Best Friend

By Tanisha, Age 10

In all the books I read, there’s usually an American main character. With the book Nina Soni, Former Best Friend it’s actually about an Indian girl, who pretty much lives the same life as me. She’s got Indian parents, a pretty hard time with friends and feels like a clumsy mess from time-to-time. I chose this book because I feel like I’m a clumsy mess from time-to-time and a friend of mine is starting to spend time with a different person and I feel a little left out. This relates to the story because Nina’s best friend Jay is spending more time with his cousin then her and she feels left out too. She is an Indian American like me and enjoys science. I have a lot of interests like her and I think we would make great friends. I truly feel like the whole series is something I can relate to and there should be more than just American main characters. Anybody can be a main character, and you’re the main character of your story.


By Abby, Age 11

If there was one book that I had to choose that I related to, it would definitely be, Guts by Raina Telgemeier. I would choose that book because I felt the same way as Raina when I got sick. I used to cry every time I threw up for no reason. I also cried or got very scared when I saw throw up or saw someone throw up. I felt, “Finally Seen.” If I could put how I felt finally seen into a book, but for now, I can only use 200 words. I would also get really pale. Every time I read Guts, I tell someone about how much I relate to it but they don’t really understand. When I told my mom, she just said, “Oh I get it, I don’t like to throw up either, no one does.” But the truth is, I always felt alone about what happened to me until I read Raina’s book. When I first read her book, I thought to myself, “I’m not alone!” After I read her book, it has actually helped me with my stress of throwing up. I felt, “Finally Seen.” That is why I related to Raina Telgemeier’s book, Guts.

Last Gate of the Emperor

By Edom, Age 11

The book that I think I relate to the most is Last Gate of the Emperor. I think I relate to this book the most, because the main character of this book, Yared Heywat is a lot like me. First, he is Ethiopian, just like me. He has the same personality as me, like silly, energetic, and funny. He also likes the same food as me, like Shiro, an Ethiopian dish, and more. He is a witty know-it-all, and smart. I also really like Last Gate, because it has such a cool storyline of Ethiopia, I think it’s just astonishing. Also, he works with a girl named Ibis, which is like his sister, and he thinks she is annoying. I also have 2 siblings, and I think they are quite annoying. Also, I really love animals, while Yared also loves animals. And I think the thing that is most relatable is, he only has 1 family member, Uncle Moti, that lives with him, while my parents are divorced, and I mostly live with my mom. So I think the Last Gate of the Emperor is the book that makes me feel seen.

Wondrous Society

By Irene, Age 11

My name is Irene, age 11, and I feel like I am connected to the series, Wondrous Society by Jessica Townsend. Even though it is a fiction book, I feel connected to the main character, Morrigan Crow. Morrigan is a girl with strange powers and her parents, father and step-mother, never saw her as a normal person. They were all too busy worrying about her twin brothers that weren’t even born yet. But, when she “died”, she was brought to a place where people respect her, though it took some work. Although I don’t have step-parents, siblings, and didn’t “die”, I can relate to Morrigan’s feelings about not being cared about at home. The special place I was brought to was school. I was finally seen at school for the first time, and I feel like I can be whatever I want, and that is my special power. I am lucky enough to be seen along with everybody in my class, in my grade, in my school. Everyone is kind and welcoming, and I like to think that my parents will be like my friends and my teachers one day. This was the book that made me feel seen.

Front Desk

By Gabrielle, Age 10

Hi Kelly Yang, the book that finally made me feel seen was your Front Desk Series. The reason why they made me feel this way is that Mia has to deal with a lot of racism and sexism. Sometimes random people tell me I can’t do certain sports because I am a girl. Mia is the girl that still keeps holding on to following her dreams. She gets stereotyped because she is Chinese and is supposed to do all these fantastic things. Still, it’s tough to do all those great things, whether it’s with relatives or parents. I feel pressured because I want to make them proud. I love how Mia fights for things that aren’t fair like when she stopped racist bullies from being mean to Jason. Mia made me feel like everyone is amazing and can follow their dreams to be whoever they want to be. She went from coming to America with only 200 dollars to working at a motel and that was a huge blessing. Your book showed me that in tough times you can rise back up again.

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