Clara didn’t even want to go shopping in the first place. But when the 12-year-old finds a mysterious note in a department store handbag, she feels compelled to act. The note, written by Yuming, a desperate girl in a Chinese sweatshop, begs for someone to rescue her from her captivity inside the “pink factory.”
Clara is dealing with the recent death of her adopted Chinese sister, Lola, and Clara believes she was meant to find the note: She couldn’t save Lola from cancer, but maybe she can save Yuming. After all, isn’t that what Lola would want her to do? Clara tells her parents about the note, but is convinced she is Yuming’s only hope. So after convincing her parents to take a trip to China—under the ruse of honoring Lola’s heritage—Clara attempts to find Yuming, who has planned an escape of her own.
Ami Polonsky’s Threads is a powerful story, told through Clara and Yuming’s alternating perspectives. Both girls have soul-wrenching missions, both are willing to risk everything to accomplish them, and both ultimately need each other more than they think they do. Their intersecting stories speak of loss, but also of hope and the realization that we are more alike than different. All we want is respect, connections and a chance to be heard—which both Clara and Yuming come to realize.