Finally Seen by Kelly Yang - A #ReadFreely Book

Finally Seen by Kelly Yang book cover

Finally Seen

by Kelly Yang

A #ReadFreely Book


Why Finally Seen?

There are many reasons to read this book, but here is why we chose it for #ReadFreely this year: 

  • Finally Seen is a powerful immigration story
  • This book is repeatedly challenged in schools
  • Kelly Yang is a strong voice for the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community


Finally Seen is a heartwarming and well represented story of a young girl immigrating from China to live with her family in America. From there she has to navigate learning English, developing her identity as a big sister, helping her family raise rent money after the pandemic and apply for a green card. All the while, she just wants to feel seen in this new environment. How does she do that? Through a book that is threatened to be challenged by her school system for telling the very story she's living. Don't underestimate it. This story packs a lot into one book and it does it well! Everyone should have it on their shelves. - Jacey Anderson - Bookseller


Join the Finally Seen #ReadFreely book club or volunteer for the #ReadFreely project today!

About the Book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk comes a gripping middle grade novel about a young girl who leaves China to live with her parents and sister, after five years apart, and learns about family, friendship, and the power of being finally seen.

My sister got to grow up with my parents. Me? I grew up with postcards from my parents.

When ten-year-old Lina Gao steps off the plane in Los Angeles, it’s her first time in America and the first time seeing her parents and her little sister in five years! She’s been waiting for this moment every day while she lived with her grandmother in Beijing, getting teased by kids at school who called her “left behind girl.” Finally, her parents are ready for her to join their fabulous life in America! Except, it’s not exactly like in the postcards:

1. School’s a lot harder than she thought. When she mispronounces some words in English on the first day, she decides she simply won’t talk. Ever again.

2. Her chatty little sister has no problem with English. And seems to do everything better than Lina, including knowing exactly the way to her parents’ hearts.

3. They live in an apartment, not a house like in Mom’s letters, and they owe a lot of back rent from the pandemic. And Mom’s plan to pay it back sounds more like a hobby than a moneymaker.

As she reckons with her hurt, Lina tries to keep a lid on her feelings, both at home and at school. When her teacher starts facing challenges for her latest book selection, a book that deeply resonates with Lina, it will take all of Lina’s courage and resilience to get over her fear in order to choose a future where she’s finally seen.


About the Author:

Kelly Yang is the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk (winner of the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature), ParachutesThree Keys, Room to DreamNew From Here, and Finally SeenFront Desk also won the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal, was the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and has earned numerous other honors including being named a best book of the year by Amazon, The Washington PostKirkus ReviewsSchool Library JournalPublishers Weekly, and NPR.

Learn more at 


Join the Finally Seen #ReadFreely book club or volunteer for the #ReadFreely project today!