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Monday, May 28, 2018

Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park

Project MulberryProject Mulberry is a novel about two 7th grade friends, Julia (who is Korean-American) and Patrick, (who is white) who are involved in a project raising silkworms.  It's not a school assignment, but rather a project for the Work-Grow-Give-Live (WGGL) Club, also known as the Wiggle Club.  The Wiggle Club is an organization that focuses on farming and life in rural communities.  Once they choose their silkworm project, Julia and Patrick have to figure out all the details of how to make it work.  Secretly, Julia isn't thrilled about it, because she things raising silkworms is "too Korean," and wishes it was more American.  Eventually the project gets underway, with lots of twists and turns throughout the story.

On the surface, it's a simple story of friendship and teamwork, but there are many other things going on in this book, including issues about racism, lessons about ecology, and acceptance of one's own culture.

There is also a very unusual addition to the story, where, at the end of most chapters, Julia has a "conversation" with the author of the book, Linda Sue Park.  At first I wasn't sure if I liked that interruption of the story, but I ended up enjoying it because it gave great insights into the writing process. 

I learned a lot about raising silkworms, something I didn't think would interest me, but in the end it really did!  They are fascinating little creatures!  (I think I'll check out a book on silkworms from the library.)

Although Julia and Patrick are in 7th grade, I would recommend this book for kids in 3rd and 4th grade. 

I hope you enjoy reading Project Mulberry.  Maybe it will inspire you to learn something new too!

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