Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Krista Kim-Bap

35801649Ahn, Angela. Krista Kim-Bap
April 18th 2018 by Second Story Press
E ACR from Edelweiss Plus

Krista and her friend Jason have to work on a project for school about their country of origin and what makes their culture particularly interesting. Krista thinks it is the food of Korea, and Jason certainly agrees. He loves kimchee and just about everything except a particular kind of soup. Krista's mom cooks a variety of foods, and often buys the Korean delicacies, so Krista asks her grandmother for help with her project. Even though she has a rocky relationship with her grandmother, the two start cooking together and enjoy working with each other. Krista also has to dress up, and her sister helps her restyle a traditional hanbok so that Krista can also wear it to a fancy birthday party. Liking the attention she gets when she makes more effort than wearing her regular jeans and t shirts, Krista takes her sister's hand-me-downs and starts to get the attention of some of the popular girls in her class. Jason is a little irritated, but the two realize that it is possible to develop other interests and still stay friends.
Strengths: This was a good combination of family drama/culture problems and ordinary middle school ones like not knowing what to wear and which friends to hang out with. I especially liked Krista's relationships with her family members-- they were perfectly drawn to show that difficult moment where 12 year olds want to be with their families but also want to be autonomous. The grandmother was interesting because the two didn't have a close relationship but grow closer through a shared interest. The topic of double eye folds is handled by the mother in a very nice way.
Weaknesses: There was a bit too much emphasis on what Krista wore, but that might be because neither of my daughters really cared about clothing even in high school!
What I really think: A great purchase for elementary and middle school libraries, but it is only available in paperback. I'll have to see if there is a prebind, because paperbacks don't last at all.

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