Review / The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei

20220527ma_0713Book: The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei (2022)
Author: Christina Matula
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Opening lines from the book …
Somewhere out in the world there must be kids who don’t mind eating lunch alone. But not here, not me. I wrap my fingers tightly around my glass container, grip my book with the other hand, and step into the cafeteria of Maple Grove Elementary. The summer-school session is buzzing with freshly finish Grade 6 kids. I’m doing a mixed STEM/field hockey camp with girls from my school team.


1) I love the settings of this book! First, we start in Canada, where Holly-Mei is having friend trouble. But then comes the news that they’re moving…

2) To Hong Kong! Great, now Holly-Mei can ditch those old friendships and find new friends in a new place, right? Holly-Mei is ready to go. Once they move, it was a lot of fun to get to know Hong Kong as she and her sister discover it themselves.

3) I loved Ah-ma, Holly-Mei’s grandmother. She stays in Canada but still remains a wonderful influence on Holly-Mei through video chats and phone calls.

4) It was fun to get to know Holly-Mei’s cousins (Rhys and Rosie, who already live in Hong Kong) and how she does make new friends. And then there’s the special gala school presentation. On Holly-Mei’s team is…

5) The “bully” of the class! Yikes. What I liked about Gemma is that she’s not your typical “flat” bully. She has nuance. Yes, she does something quite mean to Holly-Mei, but then we get to see them struggle to work together on their project.

6) And of course, on the topic of friendship, Holly-Mei does reach out to her friend from back home in Canada. But how that turns out … well, you’ll have to read the book.


I really enjoyed this book by a fellow Canadian. I liked reading about Hong Kong. I was definitely rooting for Holly-Mei and her new friends.



Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

6 thoughts on “Review / The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei

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