|What 'What Things Mean' Means||2017.01.02 00:04:40|
|Nickname : 1. General||Recommend : 0||View : 307|
"What What Things Means Means"
What the Scholastic Asian Book Awarding novel implies to the readership
“What does it mean to be different? 14-year-old Olive is struggling to find out. Everything about
her is so different from the rest of her family. She is big-haired, brown skinned, and clumsy in a family
of cream-colored beauties who are all popular and Good At Sports. She closely resembles a father she
has never known, and about whom her mother never speaks, and no one wants to tell her why. She
turns to books and other things in her quest to find answers, and as a way to cope with her loneliness.
When she learns the truth about her father, she must decide whether or not she will let the differences
in her life define her forever.”
Sophia N. Lee wanted to be many things growing up: doctor, teacher, ballerina, ninja, crime-
fighting international spy, wizard, time traveler, journalist, and lawyer. She likes to think she can be all
these things through writing. She loves words and the meanings behind them. Her favorite word is
'chance'. What Things Mean is her first published work – a unique coming-of-age story unfolding
through dictionary-style chapters.
“My manuscript was actually the final project for a writing class that I was taking at the
University of the Philippines Diliman Creative Writing MA program. The class was an elective called
Writing for Young Adults under Professor Heidi Eusebio-Abad. It required us to begin and complete a
young adult novel within one semester, and during that time, we were able to get feedback and
improve upon our works-in-progress through writing workshops,” Lee said.
What Things Mean takes a closer look at the things that define a life, and the many ways in
which we find meaning. Each chapter starts off with a word like ‘jars’, ‘pickles’, ‘cut’, etc, followed by
its meaning and how the word is used in various ways. This is then followed by a story, which is
inspired by the word. The story is simple and relatively short (133 pages) but author Sophia N. Lee
manages to capture Olive’s feeling of loneliness, and her urge to find herself and the truth behind the
mystery that has clouded her mind throughout much of her life – her parentage.
Fresh and gripping and simple and unadulterated, this is a young adult novel perfect for those
who want to make peace with the fulfilment-finder within themselves. Not subjective at all – after
all, it is a Scholastic Book Award winner.