Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business (Mindy Kim #1)

by Lyla Lee (Author) Dung Ho (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Mindy Kim

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!

Mindy Kim just wants three things: 1. A puppy! 2. To fit in at her new school 3. For her dad to be happy again But, getting all three of the things on her list is a lot trickier than she thought it would be. On her first day of school, Mindy's school snack of dried seaweed isn't exactly popular at the lunch table. Luckily, her new friend, Sally, makes the snacks seem totally delicious to Mindy's new classmates, so they decide to start the Yummy Seaweed Business to try and raise money for that puppy! When another student decides to try and sabotage their business, Mindy loses more than she bargained for--and wonders if she'll ever fit in. Will Mindy be able to overcome her uncertainty and find the courage to be herself?

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School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--Seven-and-a-half-year-old Mindy Kim and her dad have moved from California to Florida in the wake of her mother's death. Mindy is not excited about starting at a new school. All her friends are back in California, but Mindy is determined to form a new social circle. When she shares her yummy seaweed snacks, she discovers lots of kids suddenly want to talk to her. Her excitement only builds as she and her newest friend develop plans for a snack business. But when things do not go as planned and Mindy lands in the principal's office, will she be able to find any new friends? Reminiscent of Barbara Park's "Junie B. Jones" series but with more emotional depth and life lessons effortlessly woven throughout, this first installment of a new series deals with grief, loss, and how to right a wrong. The slightly smaller type and higher-level vocabulary will appeal to young readers seeking a little more of a challenge than the typical early chapter book. The discussion of Mindy's experiences as a young Asian American student, including bringing 'different' food to lunch and how she looks different from her classmates, is a welcome and necessary perspective. VERDICT A solid choice for incorporating advanced vocabulary into early chapter book collections.--Emily Beasley, Omaha Public Schools

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Lyla Lee
Lyla Lee is the bestselling author of young adult novels like I'll Be the One and Flip the Script. She also writes the Mindy Kim series for younger readers and the Gigi Shin books for the middle school crowd. Her books have been translated into multiple languages around the world. Born in South Korea, she's since then lived in various cities throughout the United States. Inspired by her English teacher, she started writing her own stories in fourth grade and finished her first novel at the age of fourteen. After working various jobs in Hollywood and studying Psychology and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. Visit Lyla at LylaLeeBooks.com or on social media (Instagram, X (previously known as Twitter), and TikTok @LiteraryLyla).

Dung Ho (pronounced Dzung) is the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture book Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, Eyes that Speak to the Stars, Me and Ms. Too, The Mindy Kim books, and many others. Born and raised in Hue, Vietnam, she worked in the design and advertising industries before discovering a great passion for illustration and picture books and becoming a freelance illustrator. She lives and works in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Aladdin Paperbacks
Publication date
January 20, 2020
Mindy Kim
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002190 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pets
JUV002070 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
JUV011020 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Asian American
JUV045000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Chapter Books
JUV006000 - Juvenile Fiction | Business, Careers, Occupations
Library of Congress categories
Moving, Household
Single-parent families
Korean Americans
Snack foods
Cooking (Marine algae)

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