Wendy Shang has worked with children and books throughout her life. She has been a juvenile justice attorney, a court-appointed special advocate, a tutor in elementary schools and a juvenile facility. She is the recipient of a Work-In-Progress grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, written for middle-grade readers is her first children’s novel.
In the book, Lucy Wu, aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life. She's ready to rule the school as a sixth grader and take over the bedroom she has always shared with her sister. In an instant, though, her plans are shattered when she finds out that Yi Po, her beloved grandmother's sister, is coming to visit for several months -- and is staying in Lucy's room.
Wu writes: “The Great Wall of Lucy Wu was inspired by a relative in China who was conducting genealogy research. When my mother sent him copies of family photos, he responded with awe and gratitude. He thought those images had been lost forever in the course of China’s difficult history . . . the idea of a lost photograph sent me searching for a way to connect a modern-day character to a very different time and place.”
Los Angeles Times review: "Written in the first person from Lucy's point of view, The Great Wall has a delightfully pessimistic tone that leavens dread with humor. In Lucy Wu, author Wendy Wan-Long Shang has accomplished something quite difficult: She's made a girl who constantly feels sorry for herself extremely funny and relatable as Lucy attempts to strike a balance between parental expectation and self-fulfillment, her Chinese heritage and the American lifestyle."