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** A 2020 Kirkus Best Book of the Year

** A 2022 Panda Book Awards Nominee

** A 2023 Garden State Teen Book Award Nominee

Eleven-year-old Thom Ngho is keeping a secret: she’s strong. Like suuuuper strong. Freakishly strong. And it’s making it impossible for her to fit in at her new middle school.


In a desperate bid to get rid of her super strength, Thom makes a deal with the Monkey King, a powerful deity and legendary trickster she accidentally released from his 500-year prison sentence. Thom agrees to help the Monkey King get back his magical staff if he'll take away her strength.


Soon Thom is swept up in an ancient and fantastical world in where demons, dragons, and Jade princesses actually exist. But she quickly discovers that magic can’t cure everything, and dealing with the trickster god might be more trouble than it’s worth.



Reading Guide

I've created  a free reading guide for Girl Giant and the Monkey King! These were made specifically for the Huntington Beach Public Library Wise Owls Tween Book Club but you are free to download and use them in whatever setting you like.

Digital Version (can also be printed on 8" x 11" paper)

Printed Booklet Version (designed to be printed on 11" by 14" (legal) paper and folded in half)

Some fun activities we did during the book club included a red lantern and a paper dragon craft. Red Ted Art has printables and step-by-step instructions for both!

Monkey King Reading Guide

Advance Reviews

Spinning a fantastic tale of adventure, humor, and mischief, Hoang also incorporates portrayals of racism, belonging, identity, and intergenerational differences that ring true, crafting a fantasy for the modern age with enough complications to hint at more to come.

A tale that deals with important issues of fitting in and cultural understanding, while soaring into the realms of myth and magical adventure.

In this heartwarming #OwnVoices debut, Hoang captures the confusion and frustration of a girl caught between multiple worlds, uncomfortable with her own identity.

A girl with superhuman strength must have one heckuva origin story... With Quang and Lien’s appealing illustrations, this should be an easy sell to the Rick Riordan set.

Debut author Hoang's fast-paced fantasy is sure to resonate with middle-grade readers as Thom navigates the difficulties of making friends, facing bullying, and handling the insecurities that sometimes come along with being from a culture that's unfamiliar to others.

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