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The Best Korean Americans Kids Books

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Let's Go to Taekwondo!: A Story about Persistence, Bravery, and Breaking Boards
Written & illustrated by Aram Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Yoomi wants a yellow belt. But she’s afraid to break the board. Grandma to the rescue!

Yoomi and her friends are ready to take on the test for their yellow belts in taekwondo. But Yoomi is afraid to break a board. Meanwhile, Grandma is struggling to learn something new, too.

But Yoomi and Grandma encourage and inspire each other. Yoomi discovers how, with persistence, focus, deep breathing, and above all, a loving Grandma, even the toughest challenges can be overcome.

This companion to No Kimchi for Me emphasizes self-confidence, determination, and the value of family. Backmatter about taekwondo, including some Korean vocabulary, is included.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

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$17.99
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$15.29
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Mindy Kim, Class President
Written by Lyla Lee & illustrated by Dung Ho
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in the adorable chapter book series following Mindy Kim, a young Asian American Girl--in this fourth novel, Mindy runs for class president!
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$5.99
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$5.09
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$5.99
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Prices as of Apr 13
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Mindy Kim and the Birthday Puppy
Written by Lyla Lee & illustrated by Dung Ho
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Fresh off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this third novel in an adorable chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who wants a puppy for her birthday!
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$5.99
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Name Jar
Written & illustrated by Yangsook Choi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? <p/>Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it–<i>Yoon-Hey</i>.

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Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade
Written by Lyla Lee & illustrated by Dung Ho
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this second novel in an adorable new chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who is getting ready to celebrate Lunar New Year!
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  • Pippa Park Raises Her Game - "Pippa is a magnetic heroine, funny and good-hearted."--Booklist Readers will cheer on Pippa Park in this wonderful middle school book about friendships, bullying, crushes, and family. In this relatable story, Pippa reinvents herself and discovers who she really is on and off the basketball court. Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. It seems like everyone, from her family to the other kids at school, has a plan for how her life should look. When Pippa gets a mysterious basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself. At school, Pippa juggles old and new friends, a crush, and the pressure to get As and score points while keeping her past and family's laundromat a secret from her elite new classmates. But when Pippa begins to receive a string of hateful, anonymous messages via social media, her carefully built persona is threatened. As things spiral out of control, Pippa wonders if she can keep her old and new lives separate, or if she should even try. GREAT FOR DISTANCE LEARNING!
    A Contemporary Reimagining of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    Now an AR Quiz!
    Bonus Content in the Book includes:
    Discussion Questions, Author Q&A, and Korean Language Glossary with Pronunciation Guide Download complimentary Tween Book Club printable online activities at pippapark.com: word games, make-your-own-book playlist, discussion questions, and the Common Core Language Arts Guide for educators!

  • My Name Is Yoon - Getting to feel at home in a new country Yoon’s name means Shining Wisdom, and when she writes it in Korean, it looks happy, like dancing figures. But her father tells her that she must learn to write it in English. In English, all the lines and circles stand alone, which is just how Yoon feels in the United States. Yoon isn’t sure that she wants to be YOON. At her new school, she tries out different names – maybe CAT or BIRD. Maybe CUPCAKE! Helen Recorvits’s spare and inspiring story about a little girl finding her place in a new country is given luminous pictures filled with surprising vistas and dreamscapes by Gabi Swiatkowska. My Name Is Yoon is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

  • Stand Up, Yumi Chung! - One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian.

  • Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business - Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this first novel in an adorable new chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who is starting a snack business!

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Let's Go to Taekwondo!
Written by Aram Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Yoomi wants a yellow belt. But she’s afraid to break the board. Grandma to the rescue!

Yoomi and her friends are ready to take on the test for their yellow belts in taekwondo. But Yoomi is afraid to break a board. Meanwhile, Grandma is struggling to learn something new, too.

But Yoomi and Grandma encourage and inspire each other. Yoomi discovers how, with persistence, focus, deep breathing, and above all, a loving Grandma, even the toughest challenges can be overcome.

This companion to No Kimchi for Me emphasizes self-confidence, determination, and the value of family. Backmatter about taekwondo, including some Korean vocabulary, is included.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Prices as of Jun 8
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Juna's Jar
Written by Jane Bahk & illustrated by Felicia Hoshino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Juna and her best friend, Hector, love to go on adventures in the park, collecting things to put in Juna’s empty kimchi jars. But then one day Hector unexpectedly moves away, and Juna is left wondering who will play with her. With the help of her special jar, Juna searches for her friend the world over. What Juna finds is that adventure—and new friends—can be found in the most unexpected places.

Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, Juna’s Jar is a heartwarming and whimsical celebration of friendship and the power of imagination.

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$17.95
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Dear Juno
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Juno’s grandmother writes in Korean and Juno writes in drawings, but that doesn’t mean they can’t exchange letters. From the photo his grandmother sends him, Juno can tell that she has a new cat. From the picture he makes for her, Juno’s grandmother can tell that he wants her to come for a visit. So she sends Juno a miniature plane, to let him know she’s on the way. This tender tale won the author an Ezra Jack Keats award, and is a perfect introduction to the concept of foreign cultures and far-off lands.

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I'm Ok
Written by Patti Kim
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
An Asian/Pacific American Literature Award Honor Book
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$16.99
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$8.99
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Project Mulberry
Written by Linda Sue Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

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. <p/> 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. <p/> 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. <p/> 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.

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