Bound To Stay Bound

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 Stand up, Yumi Chung!
 Author: Kim, Jessica

 Publisher:  Kokila (2020)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 306 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 517941 ISBN: 9780525554974
 Ages: 9-12 Grades: 4-7

 Comedians -- Fiction
 Korean Americans -- Fiction

Price: $21.38

When eleven-year-old Yumi Chung stumbles into a kids' comedy camp she is mistaken for another student, so she decides to play the part.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 508412

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/15/19)
   School Library Journal (01/01/20)
   Booklist (+) (12/15/19)
 The Hornbook (00/05/20)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 12/15/2019 *Starred Review* Yumi, 11, has plenty on her plate. She helps out at her parents' restaurant in L.A.'s Koreatown, she's taking prep classes to win a scholarship her private school offers, and almost every moment involves living up to her parents' high expectations. Yumi's passion, however, is comedy, and when she accidentally finds herself in a kids' comedy class—taught by her YouTube idol, no less—she decides to take full advantage. This, of course, leads to a web of lies from which Yumi tries to untangle herself with varying degrees of effort. Author Kim is juggling a lot here, but she does so with aplomb. Along with Yumi's comedy joys and woes (one of her jokes is that she's a zoo animal now because she's a lion cheetah), she's dealing with the family restaurant's slow demise, her older sister's anxieties, and her desire to leave prep school for a new public school centered on the arts. Kim has taught school, and it shows, both with the spot-on dialogue and the up-to-date social media references. She also offers readers solid suggestions on building self-esteem. This will certainly remind readers of Kelly Yang's Front Desk (2018), but instead of a deus ex machina solving the family's problem, Yumi does it herself. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 Gr 3–6—Yumi Chung hates her prestigious prep school in L.A., but her Korean-immigrant parents think attendance there will increase her chances of admission to an Ivy League college and a better life. Yumi has no friends at Winston Preparatory Academy and feels she can never measure up to her parents' expectations or the legacy of her perfect older sister, Yuri, who is in medical school. Her passion is comedy and her dream is to be a stand-up comic. Instead of letting her enjoy the summer between sixth and seventh grades, Yumi's mother signs her up for a test prep course at a demanding hagwon so that she might win a scholarship to cover next year's tuition. When Yumi wanders into a nearby comedy club to check out its summer comedy camp headed by her favorite YouTube comedian, the director assumes that she is a tardy camper named Kay Nakamura. Yumi doesn't think staying will hurt anyone; but then she falls in love with the camp and makes some real friends. She decides to continue attending, impersonating Kay. The stress of juggling test prep, comedy camp, and helping out at her parents' struggling restaurant takes its toll in ways that are both heartbreaking and hilarious. Yumi's not the only one with secrets, though. Middle grade readers will find Yumi's first-person narrative utterly appealing. VERDICT Readers will root for Yumi even as they cringe at her choices in this refreshing novel. Highly recommended—every school has at least one Yumi!—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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