First published a year ago today, The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong (2013), by L. Tam Holland, is one of an increasing number of books for young adults that includes mixed-heritage characters. What makes this novel different from the rest is its depth.
Vee’s history teacher assigns an essay on his family history. Vee is in trouble. His mom was raised in Texas, but his dad was born in China, and Vee’s parents won’t talk about his dad’s family background. So the high school slacker makes it all up and turns in the assignment.
Things get messy in Vee’s life real fast. He decides to push the envelope, and forges a letter from his grandparents in China, asking for a visit from father and son. What Vee discovers on their trip to Asia is a surprise. This debut novel takes the reader on a journey of discovery that reveals how ancestry, while important, may be limiting when assigned too much importance.