As China opens itself to the world and undertakes historic reforms, a little girl in the southern city of Guangzhou immerses herself in a world of fantasy and foreign influences while grappling with the mundane vagaries of Communist rule. She immigrates to Oakland, California, expecting her life to be far better in all ways than life in China. Instead, she discovers crumbling schools, unsafe streets and racist people. In the land of the free, she comes of age amid the dysfunction of a city's brokenness and learns to hate in the shadows of urban decay. This is the incredible story of her journey from China to an American ghetto and how she prevailed.