Set in the late 1800s, here is the story of Ning, a Chinese American girl who struggles to find her place in the world when she is forced to leave her home in Shanghai to go live in America with a father she barely knows. This middle-grade historical novel is based on the family history of award-winning author Michaela MacColl.

Twelve-year-old Ning doesn't know where she belongs. The daughter of a Chinese woman and American man, Ning doesn't fit in in 1870s Shanghai, where her American features and unbound feet make her stand out. When she receives news that her father will be visiting from America, Ning excitedly hopes that her parents will become a family. Instead, she learns that her father is taking her back with him to America. Ning wonders if being American will finally give her a sense of belonging, but when she arrives, she discovers that living in America isn't perfect either. In this coming-of-age novel based on the life of author Michaela MacColl's great-great-great-grandmother, a young girl learns to accept both sides of her heritage and find a new identity for herself.

Book Details

Format: Hardcover
Price: 23.99 CAD / 17.99 USD
Published: 2021-04-06
ISBN: 9781629797823
Page Count: 360
Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4

Honorable Mention, 2021 Grateful American Book Prize
NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book
Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year
Finalist, 2022 Connecticut Book Awards

★ “MacColl tells the heartbreaking story of a young girl immigrating to a new land and adjusting to different customs. Loosely based on the life of the author’s great-great-grandmother, MacColl’s novel will bring tears to readers’ eyes as they travel in Ning’s shoes, seeing the perspective of someone who faces biases and racism on a daily basis. A movingly empathetic tale for readers about prejudice, and the pressure to fit in with scrutinizing societies.” — School Library Journal

"Based on the author's family history, Ning's (or Neenah, as she is called in the U.S.) search for acceptance is both heartbreaking and, ultimately, triumphant. MacColl does not shy away from detailing the anti-Chinese sentiment and prejudices that Neenah encounters in upstate New York, and readers will empathize with the decision she must make: does she need to give up her Chinese side completely in order to be accepted? A moving and timely immigrant story." —Booklist

"In this story based on the author’s family history, a girl struggles to figure out where she belongs.  An intriguing tale." —Kirkus Reviews

"Author Michaela Maccoll tells the tale of her great-great-grandmother Neenah's harrowing journey as an immigrant in the 1870s. This text could be used in history lessons to support discussions about immigrant experiences in the late 1800s." —School Library Connection

“The View from Pagoda Hill is incredible and beautifully crafted. The characters, both in Shanghai and America, are wonderfully drawn; they come alive. You have to love Neenah because Michaela MacColl has given her such a personality. It is a lovely book that brought tears to my eyes.” —Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery Honor award-winning author