Project Mulberry

Project Mulberry

Nobody likes the smell of kim chee in Julia Song's new town except for Patrick. It's so hard to be different from everyone else especially when you're in middle school. So, imagine the uncomfortable feelings of Julia, the only Korean-American in the entire community. The last thing she wants to do is draw attention to her differences but her new good friend, Patrick, has come up with a great idea. They're going to raise silkworms to win a prize at the Fair. Reluctant Julia finally agrees and gradually is drawn into the wonder of the cycle of the silkworms. One obstacle to the project is the absolute necessity of having mulberry leaves for the worms to eat. The man who volunteers his mulberry tree is African American and there seems to be a barrier between Julia's family and this man. Under the surface there are some awkward feelings which would make a great discussion about accepting people for who they are. Meaningful themes weave through the sometimes poignant, always resonating story about change and acceptance and nature and prejudice. Would make a good classroom read aloud. Ages 9-12 240 pages (Set in the U.S. with a Korean American family.)

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