Krista Kim-Bap

176p. Orca. Apr. 2018. pap. $11.95. ISBN 9781772600636.
Gr 4–6—Krista is tired of being the Korean Canadian girl that everyone thinks is Chinese. And now, with Heritage Month approaching, she again must be the reluctant "Korean Ambassador" to her middle school classmates. When she unexpectedly receives an invitation to a red-carpet party from the popular girl, Krista is launched into the inner circle of a clique comprised of four white girls—but Krista must put aside her friendship with others in order to fit in. While exploring this new social group and what it means to be a girl, Krista also learns more her Korean heritage by spending time with her grandmother, making kim-bap, and taking a trip to a Korean beauty salon. Exploring questions of friendship, beauty, culture, and race, this title hits on many topics that will ring true with readers just entering the middle school years. Ahn writes Krista's voice with the right touch of innocence; realism and supporting characters are also well developed.
VERDICT A tween coming-of-age tale that will resonate with a wide range of readers. Hand to fans of Hena Khan's Amina's Voice, as it hits on similar themes of self-acceptance.

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