This historical fiction is set in San Francisco, in 1954, when Chinese Americans and immigrants had to live under increased paranoia, racism, and suspicion for having Communist ideas. Lily is interested in discovering what’s outside her Chinatown home. Her parents warned her not to leave their immediate neighborhood, but Lily ventures forth to various places, such as the Telegraph Club, a lesbian bar. This is where she slowly discovers herself and a relationship with her first white friend, Kathleen. All of this means that Lily may end up in dangerous situations and more than she bargained for.
The lives of two very different teens intersect on an Oakland, California bus in November, 2013 in this absorbing narrative non-fictional portrait that recounts their lives leading up to and following that fateful day, touching upon race, class, gender identity and the juvenile justice system. Told in short, engrossing chapters and incorporating original poetry that underscores identity issues, both racial and gender, as complex and fluid.