The Leavers

By Lisa Ko,

Book cover of The Leavers

Book description

One morning, Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Leavers as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

From the first page, The Leavers transported me to a hidden realm of New York City, where an undocumented nail salon worker struggles to provide for her son.

When this mother disappears, gritty realism combines with mystery and urgency, as well as a deepening sense of sympathy for every character’s fight to move forward and survive in a broken system.

Ko’s prose is electrifying.

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