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|Project Mulberry : a novel|
Author: Park, Linda Sue
While working on a project for an after-school club, Julia, a Korean American girl, and her friend Patrick learn about silkworms, tolerance, prejudice, friendship, patience, and more.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 87375
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 36719
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 7 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/05)
School Library Journal (+) (05/05)
Booklist (+) (02/15/05)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/05)
The Hornbook (-) (07/05)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2005 Gr 4-7-When Julia Song moves with her family to Plainfield, IL, where they are the only Korean family in town, she becomes good friends with her neighbor Patrick. They have joined the Wiggle (Work-Grow-Give-Live) Club, and they need a project for the state fair. Animal husbandry is their category of choice, but what can they raise in their suburban neighborhood? When Julia's mother suggests silkworms, Patrick is enthusiastic, but Julia is not. Raising silkworms is so Korean, and she wants a real American project. Still, she agrees to the idea. When she realizes that to get the silk, the worms must die, her anguish clearly indicates how much her attitude has changed. At the end of almost every chapter, Park and her young protagonist discuss the story inside the story: where the author's ideas came from, how the characters take on a life of their own, how questions raised in the book continue to percolate inside some readers' minds when it is finished. This lively interaction provides an interesting parallel to the silkworm project as it moves from idea to reality. Julia, a feisty seventh grader, concludes that it is important to know what you don't know, an insight that she has as she grapples with her mother's attitude toward blacks. Park appropriately leaves Julia wondering what's behind her mother's prejudices in certain situations. As the novel progresses, Patrick and Julia negotiate the ups and downs of their friendship, and Julia begins to show a gradual change in attitude toward her younger brother. This skillfully written tale will have wide appeal.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2005 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2005 Best friends Julia and Patrick want to come up with a prizeworthy animal husbandry project for the state fair. Since their townhouses only allow pets that live in cages, Julia’s mom suggests raising silkworms as she did as a girl in Korea, and Patrick is off and running with the idea before Julia can articulate her reluctance for the project, which she feels is too Korean. She tries some minor sabotage, but Patrick is so excited that she doesn’t have the heart to do much more than hope the project will fail. When things come together, however, she too becomes enthusiastic—until she realizes that in order to get the silk, they have to kill the worms they’ve carefully raised. Park has a sensitive ear for the nuances of self-doubt and burgeoning self-awareness that permeate junior-high experience, with Julia beginning to notice uncomfortable things about her parents, her friends, and herself that force her into moral decisions based on compromise and patience; for instance, she realizes that her mother harbors racial prejudices that are not in keeping with Julia’s image of her. She further has to come to terms with her own selfishness and discomfort with her heritage as she works out what is more important—protecting her own prejudices or pleasing her friend. In between each chapter, Park produces little dialogues between her as a writer and Julia as a character, showing the give and take of the writing process and further exposing Julia’s dissatisfaction with her seventh-grade self. Intended to reveal the conflictual relationship writers sometimes experience with their creations, these interstitial dialogues are a bit on the cutesy side, but the story they interrupt is compelling reading as a narrative of friendship as well as of a fascinating science project. - Copyright 2005 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 02/15/2005 *Starred Review* There are big issues in Park's latest novel--conservation, prejudice, patriotism, biology, and more. But the Newbery-winning writer never allows them to swamp the story; in fact, it's the compelling characters and their passionate differences and commitments that drive the plot. Julia Song doesn't want to do a silkworm project for the state fair. It's too Korean; she wants something American. But she becomes interested in caring for the eggs, the caterpillars, and the moths and then in sewing the silk thread. Kind, elderly Mr. Dixon donates the mulberry leaves the silkworms eat, but why is Mom against Julia spending time with him? Is it because he is black? The first-person narrative alternates with lively interchanges between Julia (Me) and the author (Ms. Park) about writing the story. The author's intrusion may distract some readers, but most children will be hooked by the funny, insightful conversations. There's no easy resolution, but the unforgettable family and friendship story, the quiet, almost unspoken racism, and the excitement of the science make this a great cross-curriculum title. - Copyright 2005 Booklist.