From debut author Van Hoang comes Girl Giant and the Monkey King, a tale packed with magic, adventure, and middle-school woes—perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Roshani Chokshi.
Eleven-year-old Thom Ngho is keeping a secret: she’s strong. Like suuuuper strong. Freakishly strong. And it’s making it impossible for her to fit in at her new middle school.
In a desperate bid to get rid of her super strength, Thom makes a deal with the Monkey King, a powerful deity and legendary trickster she accidentally released from his 500-year prison sentence. Thom agrees to help the Monkey King get back his magical staff if he'll take away her strength.
Soon Thom is swept up in an ancient and fantastical world in where demons, dragons, and Jade princesses actually exist. But she quickly discovers that magic can’t cure everything, and dealing with the trickster god might be more trouble than it’s worth.
Kirkus Best Book of 2020
Ever since moving from California to Georgia with her mother, 11-year-old Thom Ngho has felt out of place. She's painfully aware of her Vietnamese ethnicity at her nearly all-white school, and she's also hiding barely controlled superhuman strength. When she accidentally frees the legendary Monkey King from his prison, the trickster god takes Thom into his confidence, encouraging her to embrace her power through training. Instead, Thom makes a deal: she'll help the Monkey King retrieve his magical cudgel if he'll take her strength in return. The task requires her to sneak into the heavens without getting stuck there for eternity, and to face off against a host of celestial beings, including a dragon who claims the Monkey King is up to no good. In this heartwarming #OwnVoices debut, Hoang captures the confusion and frustration of a girl caught between multiple worlds, uncomfortable with her own identity. As Thom copes with bullies at school and an overbearing mother at home, she tries to distance herself from her family's cultural identity until it becomes impossible to ignore. This \nentertaining blend of the mundane and fantastical is packed with emotion and sure to strike a chord with readers Thom's desire for acceptance and normality is universally relatable, and her resilience makes her an ideal, if reluctant, hero. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12. \n