"Bunheads can't do anything right," Mr. Tsow told Robin.
Robin has just won a dream role in a ballet recital. After accidentally breaking the front window of a pet fish store, Robin commits to working off the cost of the window after ballet class-even though that means enduring insults from a grouchy old man who calls her a "half-person" because she is only half Chinese. Robin works extra hard to prove Mr. Tsow wrong and marvels over the uncharacteristically tender way he takes care of the fish, especially the beautiful angelfish. He is just like the Beast in the ballet Robin is rehearsing.
Robin is curious about what turned him into such a beast, and she and her feisty grandmother search for clues about his past. Their digging leads to a shocking story about the Cultural Revolution, and Robin learns how much Mr. Tsow has overcome just to be here, much less have a soft spot-even for fish