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Tell It Slant, Third Edition, 3rd Edition by Suzanne Paola, Brenda Miller

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8

The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee

Paisley Rekdal

Age sixteen, my mother loads up red tubs of noodles, teacups chipped and white-gray as teeth, rice clumps that glue themselves to the plastic tub sides or dissolve and turn papery in the weak tea sloshing around the bottom. She’s at Diamond Chan’s restaurant, where most of her cousins work after school and during summer vacations, some of her friends, too. There’s Suzy at the cash register, totaling up bills and giving back change, a little dish of toothpicks beside her and a basket of mints that taste like powdered cream. A couple of my mother’s cousins are washing dishes behind the swinging kitchen door, and some woman called Auntie #2 (at her age, everyone is Auntie and each must take a number) ...

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