about the author
i.b. casey cui was born in a badass beach town in Southern California, and her ancestors hail from Madrid, Bilbao, Xiamen, and the western coast of the island of Luzon in the Philippines.
She earned her BA at UC Berkeley, where she studied human society and its social problems while taking cool courses like Tagalog and Pedagogy of Movement. At Mills College, she engaged in fiction and nonfiction writing workshops and was teased about kinda-sorta minoring in journalism with the undergrads, as well as serving as the tennis team's practice partner. She graduated with an MFA in English literature and creative writing.
For me as a 2nd generation Korean American woman, this story was eye-opening. It’s apparent right from the start that this Filipino American family is fiery, so different from my nonconfrontational family. You can feel the explosive laughter, anger, and love jump right off the pages. The story is told through the eyes of 8-year-old Isa. She is strong, intelligent, and courageous. Her innocent viewpoint on often difficult and heavy topics keeps this book from being too overwhelming.
A great read and up-close-and-personal glimpse into Filipino American family life—a bridge to understanding people of color. I love that the chapters are short, making it easy to pick up and read a little at a time and squeeze into a busy schedule, though it can be hard to put down! The rich and vivid scenes the author paints come alive like a movie you want to watch again and again. I’ll definitely be “watching” it again soon!