Jean Fritz

Book cover image

Narrated By: Jean Fritz

Duration: 4 hours and 29 minutes

What to expect

This heartwarming fictionalized autobiography tells the story of what it is like for a little girl to be growing up in an unfamiliar place. While other girls her age were enjoying childhood in America, Jean Fritz was in China in the midst of political unrest. During this time, foreigners were becoming more and more unpopular, and evacuation at a moment’s notice was imminent. Although Jean appreciated the beauty of China—the mountains, the countryside, the sea—she knew she belonged in America and longed to make her home there.


Children’s / Teenage fiction: Biographical fiction, Children’s / Teenage fiction: General fiction, Children’s / Teenage fiction: Historical fiction, Children’s / Teenage fiction: Historical fiction

Listen to a sample

“Every now and then a book comes along that makes me want to send a valentine to its author. Homesick is such a book…Pungent and delicious.”

Washington Post

“An insightful memory’s-eye-view of her childhood…Young Jean is a strong character, and many of her reactions to people and events are timeless and universal.”

School Library Journal (starred review)

“Fritz draws the readers into scenes from her youth in the turbulent China of the mid-twenties…A remarkable blend of truth and storytelling.”

Booklist (starred review)

“Rich in the telling observations of sights, sounds, and people.”

Publishers Weekly

“As an intelligent but naive young girl, Jean fascinates readers as she skillfully describes her experiences as a foreigner living in China during their civil war of the early 1900s…Her story is sweet, sensitive, and compelling. Readers will agree that this book deserved the Newbery award recognition that it received.”

Children's Literature

“Told with an abundance of humor—sometimes wry, sometimes mischievous and irreverent—the story is vibrant with atmosphere, personalities, and a palpable sense of place.”