Linda Sue Park
(Clarion Books, April 18, 2005)
Julia Song and her friend Patrick would love to win a blue ribbon, maybe even two, at the state fair. They’ve always done projects together, and they work well as a team. This time, though, they’re having trouble coming up with just the right project. Then Julia’s mother offers a suggestion: They can raise silkworms, as she did when she was a girl in Korea. Patrick thinks it’s a great idea. Of course there are obstacles—for example, where will they get mulberry leaves, the only thing silkworms eat?—but nothing they can’t handle. Julia isn’t so sure. The club where kids do their projects is all about traditional American stuff, and raising silkworms just doesn’t fit in. Moreover, the author, Ms. Park, seems determined to make Julia’s life as complicated as possible, no matter how hard Julia tries to talk her out of it. In this contemporary novel, Linda Sue Park delivers a funny, lively story that illuminates both the process of writing a novel and the meaning of growing up American.