Skip to main content
by Lat

illustrated by Lat


School Library Journal:

Gr 5 Up— The follow-up to the critically successful Kampung Boy (Roaring Brook, 2006), this volume spans an equal number of years but with a less-successful focus. When Mat is 10, his family moves from the kampung to the town of Ipoh, and he has to adjust to the new environment. He meets Frankie, a Chinese boy his age, and is introduced to American rock-and-roll and mild rebellion. Readers then transition to 1968 where Mat is a well-acculturated teen, balancing being cool and getting decent grades, and is attracted to the prettiest girl in town. This volume strays from anecdote to wistful remembrance without any real sense of direction. While the large, silent depictions of the town, burgeoning with nascent industry and Westernization, are atmospheric and quite informative to one who has the visual literacy to decode them as historical depictions, the narration provides readers with almost no helpful context for interpretation. It finds itself content to flit between amusing moments without any real development, save for nods to the fact that Mat is a talented artist—which, it is implied, eventually allowed the author to bring readers this volume. Sweet but meandering, the visual details and charming cartooning fail to provide sufficient cogent substance to make this a successful sequel.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH –Benjamin Russell (Reviewed September 1, 2007) (School Library Journal, vol 53, issue 9, p224)


  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults: 2008


5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Autobiography, Graphic Novel, Non-fiction