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All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Ascender, Volume 1: The Haunted Galaxy by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Dear Martin by Nic Stone Death by Tea by Alex Erickson
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee
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The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur by Amy Newbold
Go to Sleep (I Miss You) by Lucy Knisley
Gone with the Whisker by Laurie Cass
The Haunting of Vancouver Island by Shanon Sinn
The Haunting on Heliotrope Lane by Carolyn Keene
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Robin Mayhall
Heartwood Hotel: Home Again by Kallie George
The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire Part Three by Michael Dante DiMartino
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
Lyle and the Birthday Party by Bernard Waber
Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
Nate Expectations by Tim Federle
No Mallets Intended by Victoria Hamilton
Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn and Nicole Goux
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
This is Rome by Miroslav Sasek
The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower
We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian
When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

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Stand Up, Yumi Chung!: 04/18/20

Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim is a contemporary middle grade novel set in the Korea Town district of Los Angeles. Yumi's family runs a Korean BBQ and as the younger daughter, she's struggling to be her own authentic self when everything she does is compared against her older sister's outstanding accomplishments.

Our first glimpse of Yumi is in the hair salon. She wants a pixie cut. Her mother and the hairdresser override her and stick her with yet another perm. She uses her time under the perm machine to think up new jokes for her comedy routine. Her passion in life is stand-up and sketch comedy. But she knows she's expected to be a doctor or a lawyer.

Money is tight at home. Recent building projects on the outskirts of the neighborhood have left the older core with dwindling customers. Plus Yumi's parents have spent tons of money on medical school tuition the older sister, cram school and private school tuition for Yumi.

Yumi, though, has found a temporary escape in the form of a summer comedy camp. There's just one problem, the teacher thinks she's a Japanese American kid named Kay Nakamura. When she fails to correct the teacher on the first day, she runs with it.

The remainder of the novel is Yumi trying to find the right balance between following her passion and being a daughter her parents are proud of. In the middle of all of that she learns just how bad things really are for her parents, and how genuinely unhappy her sister is. The confrontation between Yumi and her sister reminds me of a similar scene in the anime/manga Silver Spoon.

Yumi thankfully has a tenacity similar to Mia Tang in Front Desk (2018). She's a delightful and relatable main character. I would love to see the further adventures of Yumi and her family. Regardless, I will definitely read future novels by Jessica Kim.

Five stars

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