As a baby, Kara was abandoned by her Chinese mother she doesn’t remember. Now she lives with her Mama, an elderly American woman living in China. The two of them rarely ever leave the apartment and Kara wonders why they can’t leave China and live with Daddy in Montana. Mama tells Kara to wait and be grateful for what she has, but there are so many secrets that Kara wishes she understood. When trouble enters her world, Kara has to learn about strength and courage. She also learns that love and family can be found in places where you least expect it.
Red Butterfly is told in verse from the perspective of eleven-year-old Kara. Her experience as a Chinese orphan raised by American parents without legal adoption gives insight into a unique culture and situation. Kara’s life may be different, but readers will connect to her experience of growing up and finding her place in the world.