Cover Image: Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

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Member Reviews

It's an unusual choice on Lee's part to write a recent parent death into an elementary age novel. Usually these early chapter books don't address grief at all, much less such significant loss. I don't know that it really worked, though. Becuase Mindy is pretty frank about her loss. Awkward, not especially grief stricken. She's more upset about moving and finding new friends than losing her mother. And the plot doesn't especially address her grief. Since the central plot is actually about a girl trying to make friends, I don't know that we need a death to address that.
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My wife is Korean and was very excited to see that there was a book that featured a Korean girl. It's a cute story that does a good job setting up the series. I will be recommending this for our school library.
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I loved this book. It’s super adorable and I found various aspects of it very relatable. One thing I shared with Mindy was being the new kid who moved from one state to another (I moved twice when I was a kid) and the struggles of navigating and adapting in a new social environment. Another was being the lone or minority Asian kid. Unlike Mindy, I was fortunate not to have the “ew, what’s that” lunch experience (I bought lunch from school for most of my school years), but thankfully the microaggression gets subverted and things makes a turn for the better in the story.

The second aspect was Mindy’s family situation. Her mother recently passed away from illness, and she and her dad have to adjust to the loss and the change. I lost my mom to leukemia in 2016, so I empathized with Mindy and her family’s grief. Although her mom is no longer around, Mindy still has her dad, and I loved how close and loving their relationship is. They communicate openly with each other and support each other through their rough patches, and it reminded me of my own bond with my dad.

Another theme in the book is friendship. Mindy manages to make a friend named Sally, and things look bright until a messy incident comes between them. When I was a kid, I had a friendship that went sour and never recovered, and sometimes I still find myself regretting it, so I think it’s important to teach kids conflict resolution, which the story does. It emphasizes the importance of making amends and the power of a sincere apology, which was nice.

The story wraps up with a happy and somewhat open ending that leaves room for more to come. I can’t wait to read the next books in the series.
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My daughter and I read this story, and she adored it. Mindy Kim is a great option for those looking for early chapter books. The story had a fun plot, and both of us were entertained from beginning to end.
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While own voices books on the middle grade level are becoming more common, to find them in chapter books appropriate for primary grade readers is not as common. This book is just that!

Mindy Kim is the new girl and while this book deals with the usual "new kid in school" issues, it also tackles grief after loss and having to explain your culture and cuisine to those who are unfamiliar. These can be universal for many readers. Also relatable in a kid's desire to be an entrepreneur to save money for something they want and think will solve their problems.

A great read and readers will definitely be clamoring for more.
Published date: Feb. 1, 2o20
Publisher: Aladdin Books

The publisher generously provided me with a copy of the book upon request on NetGalley. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
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It’s a very special character when a reader can fall in love in a chapter book, but Mindy Kim is such a character. MINDY KIM AND THE YUMMY SEAWEED BUSINESS will leave readers clamoring for more Mindy stories!  Clever, sincere, earnest, and adorable, Mindy finds the courage to face a new school, make new friends, and take care of her mourning father.  While she misses her mom, this story is about Mindy’s present and the challenges that she faces when an attempt to make friends backfires. 
Perfect for readers that are ready to read chapter books on their own (first-third grades), and with lots of references to the Korean culture that Mindy is proud of, this new series will be a wonderful addition to primary libraries!  I look forward to sharing this book with students!
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Mindy and her father move from California to Florida for his work, and it's a bit of an adjustment. Mindy hopes that now that they have a house, she can finally get a dog, but her father doesn't think she is quite old enough. Mindy is very apprehensive about starting second grade at a new school, but she manages to make friends with Sally early on. The other children think that Mindy's lunch of Korean food, including seaweed snacks, is rather odd, but when they try the snacks, most of the students think they are yummy. Sally points out that Mindy could trade for other students' snacks, and this works well, but there are too many snacks to eat at lunch. Sally then suggests that Mindy sell the snacks, and Mindy thinks that this is a way to earn some money that she can put towards a dog. She thinks that a dog will help her father be less sad about the death of her mother before the move. Right away, the teacher finds out about the business venture and shuts it down, but is understanding that Mindy was just trying to make friends, and didn't know the rules. Mindy starts to feel more comfortable in her new school, and hopes that someday soon she can get a puppy!

Strengths: My gold standard for early reader chapter books is Carolyn Hayward's B is for Betsy, the first chapter book I ever read. This had a similar vibe, and I would have loved it is first grade. Reading about other children's lives always fascinated me, and books like Kashmira Sheth's Nina Soni or Debbi Michiko Florence's Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen would have utterly fascinated me. This had great illustrations, lovely, nice sized font, and a story that most children can relate to. Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade comes out January 14th as well.

Weaknesses: Her father drove her to a store an hour from home to buy snacks? That was the only thing I didn't believe!

What I really think: This is too young for my students, but I would love to see similar realistic middle grade novels with cultural connections!
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7 and 1/2 year old puppy-loving Mindy Kim is the new kid in her Florida school, after moving from California. Being new isn't the only thing different about her from her classmates: she only has her dad after her mom died, and she's the only Asian kid in her new school. Her dad is sad and working all the time, and Mindy's first day at school doesn't go well when her lunch is mocked by her classmates. However, after a new friend helps spread the popularity of Mindy's seaweed snacks, a snack-trading business is born and Mindy finds popularity. Then she decides to take it a step further in order to be able to buy herself a dog--then she and Appa will both be happy again!

This... does not go according to plan.

A delightful early chapter, perfect for fans of Jasmine Toguchi and Lola Levine, has a precious protagonist, fantastic illustrations, and important lessons about friendship and being proud of your differences.
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Mindy Kim is the new girl in town and she is NOT looking forward to starting school. She is facing a lot of challenges in her life and making new friends at a new school seems overwhelming. As she works through her first few days and tries to cheer up her Dad, she discovers, she has a lot to offer. She finds friends and maybe a little trouble along the way. 
I love this new #diverselit from #SSEDLib and hope to see more diverse authors and literature from them!
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This delightful chapter book features an engaging and unique character whose story is sweet, funny, and packs an emotional punch. Young readers will enjoy and relate to both Mindy’s reservations about starting a new school and about her goal to get a puppy. Highly recommend.
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omg this was so cute??? and it made me cry a little??? I'm so happy kids will have this chapter book series next year!!
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