Fall 2020

Like Spilled Water

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 - Grade 12   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

Nineteen-year-old Na has always lived in the shadow of her younger brother, Bao-bao, her parents’ cherished son. Years ago, Na’s parents left her in the countryside and went to work in the city, bringing Bao-bao along and committing everything to his education.

But when Bao-bao dies suddenly, Na realizes how little she knew him. Did he really kill himself because of a low score on China’s all-important college entrance exam? Na learns that Bao-bao had many secrets and that his death may not be what it seems. Na’s parents expect her to quit her vocational school and go to work, forcing Na to confront traditional expectations for and pressures on young women.

Format Your Price
On pre-order until 09/01/2020
On pre-order until 09/01/2020
Interest Level Grade 8 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 6
Genre Fiction, Young Adult
Subject Diversity, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2020
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 216
Publication Date 2020-09-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS YAF046030, YAF018070, YAF058050
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, and Reviewed


Jennifer Moffett

“[A]n immersive, riveting book…Liu weaves an inspiring story through compelling characters.”—Jennifer Moffett, author of Those Who Prey

Amber Smith

“Full of suspense and honesty, Like Spilled Water is an illuminating and heartrending examination of cultural norms, gender roles, and the complexity of family relationships in China today.” —Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go

Amelia Brunskill

“Family obligations, personal desires, and secret lives collide in this tense yet graceful novel about a girl seeking the truth behind her brother’s unexpected death.”—Amelia Brunskill, author of The Window

Author: Jennie Liu

Jennie Liu is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She has been fascinated by the attitudes, social policies, and changes in China each time she visits. She lives in North Carolina with her family.