Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood
June 11, 2017
Azalea feels her summer is ruined when she is sent to Paris Junction, Arkansas, to help take care of her Grandma Clark. Getting along with Grandma Clark is enough trouble, but then her Grandma insists on having extra help in the garden. Azalea will never make friends with grumpy Willis DeLoach or stuck up Melinda Bowman even if they have to work together.
Surprisingly, Azalea does hit it off with Billy Wong, a Chinese American boy also new to the town. Together, Billy and Azalea explore Paris Junction and try to avoid the bully Willis. But the real trouble comes from the town prejudice that threatens Billy’s family and their store. The summer in Paris Junction is full of surprises for Azalea as she learns about friendship, loyalty, and family. Azalea’s coming of age is an interesting one that will connect with tween readers. Her experiences also cover an interesting period in the South as people of all types experienced and fought against prejudice.