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Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

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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 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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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 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?

30 review for Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    Okay y'all but this was SOOOOO CUTEEEEEE. I teared up a bit from how sweet and cute this was. - Follows Mindy Kim, a seven year old Korean-American girl who moves from California to Florida - and finds herself the only Asian in her school. When she discovers that people want her seaweed snacks, she starts a seaweed trading ring and learns what it means to make new friends. - This book was so wholesome! This book is aimed at younger audiences (probably 8 - 10 years old?) and the narrative was so Okay y'all but this was SOOOOO CUTEEEEEE. I teared up a bit from how sweet and cute this was. - Follows Mindy Kim, a seven year old Korean-American girl who moves from California to Florida - and finds herself the only Asian in her school. When she discovers that people want her seaweed snacks, she starts a seaweed trading ring and learns what it means to make new friends. - This book was so wholesome! This book is aimed at younger audiences (probably 8 - 10 years old?) and the narrative was so sweet and lovely. - I didn't expect there to be some really touching moments too. Mindy's mum recently passed away, and this story offers a window of how parents experience grief through the eyes of a young child. (I love Mindy's appa!) - This story is accompanied BEAUTIFUL illustrations that were such a pleasure to look at. I adored them! - I loved that this story is about taking responsibility for how our actions affect others, and that it also represents how alienating and lonely it is to be different to everyone in a school and for your difference to be misunderstood, rather than celebrated. The ending is hopeful though! Trigger/content warning: (view spoiler)[death of parent (mentioned) (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    This was absolutely adorable! Mindy Kim is the new girl in school, and in a desperate attempt to fit in after being made fun of for her Korean snacks, she starts trading and selling dried seaweed to her classmates to convince them to befriend her. It's a pretty typical and lighthearted take on the classic "nervous new kid" theme, but it's got this great breath of fresh air thanks to the own-voice Korean-American rep as well as Mindy's status as a child whose mother has recently passed away. Whil This was absolutely adorable! Mindy Kim is the new girl in school, and in a desperate attempt to fit in after being made fun of for her Korean snacks, she starts trading and selling dried seaweed to her classmates to convince them to befriend her. It's a pretty typical and lighthearted take on the classic "nervous new kid" theme, but it's got this great breath of fresh air thanks to the own-voice Korean-American rep as well as Mindy's status as a child whose mother has recently passed away. While both Asian-American children and children of single parents will be able to relate to Mindy, I think any child is going to have fun with this story and the cute illustrations. I know I'll definitely be recommending it to kids and continuing the series next year! Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    This is a sweet story for kids who have just gotten the hang of full chapter books. There are pictures, perhaps one per chapter, but it's primarily text. Mindy Kim's mother died, her father's company moved them from CA to FL, and now she's starting school someplace far beyond her comfort zone. None of these are uncommon themes in juvenile fiction. Mindy's story adds a bit of a twist, though: Making friends through food, specifically food not known to the kids in her class. I appreciated Mindy's ex This is a sweet story for kids who have just gotten the hang of full chapter books. There are pictures, perhaps one per chapter, but it's primarily text. Mindy Kim's mother died, her father's company moved them from CA to FL, and now she's starting school someplace far beyond her comfort zone. None of these are uncommon themes in juvenile fiction. Mindy's story adds a bit of a twist, though: Making friends through food, specifically food not known to the kids in her class. I appreciated Mindy's experiences with her classmates, from their reactions to the new girl who doesn't look like they to their thoughts on the contents of the new girl's lunchbox. Mindy meets a potential new friend, Sally, thanks to dried seaweed and Sally's mother encouraging her child to always try new foods in order to form an informed opinion. I think this will be a fun read for most kids, especially kids who love seaweed snacks! For adults who read a lot books at this reading level, it's nice to see a fresh twist on a standard scenario. I was a little let down to find Mindy portrayed in such a simplistic fashion but this is a first book and I look forward to reading the next two in the series to watch how both the character and the author grow.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    2020: once again Lyla Lee makes me tear up as her characters each deal with grief of the passing of their loved ones in different ways. I love how fish out of water Mindy is in her new school and how she is looked at differently. 2021 reread and I freaking loved it!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Mindy Kim and her father have just moved to Florida from California after the loss of Mindy's mom. Mindy is starting a new school, and she is having trouble adjusting to the dearth of diverse cultures in her new environment. It is through seaweed that Mindy first estranges herself and then forms connections and then becomes estranged again, and, finally, bonds with others again. It's a wonderful story of the difficulties of childhood connections and learning to get along with those who are diffe Mindy Kim and her father have just moved to Florida from California after the loss of Mindy's mom. Mindy is starting a new school, and she is having trouble adjusting to the dearth of diverse cultures in her new environment. It is through seaweed that Mindy first estranges herself and then forms connections and then becomes estranged again, and, finally, bonds with others again. It's a wonderful story of the difficulties of childhood connections and learning to get along with those who are different and the struggles of loss and moving, with fresh and vulnerable yet strong characters.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    I don't read chapter books a lot, but I couldn't resist this series as it looks so incredibly cute. The first installment was already adorable. I don't read chapter books a lot, but I couldn't resist this series as it looks so incredibly cute. The first installment was already adorable.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dayla

    Okay, this book was ADORABLE. I haven’t read a 6-8 book in a long time and I’m thankful to my friend on Instagram who recommended these books! Mindy has to deal with not only her grief about losing her mom and her dad’s busy schedule (as well as his own grief), but she’s also at a new school in a new State where she is the only Asian student. I’ve mentioned this in some of my most recent reviews, but I love that these important topics are being discussed in children’s books. We see moments of ra Okay, this book was ADORABLE. I haven’t read a 6-8 book in a long time and I’m thankful to my friend on Instagram who recommended these books! Mindy has to deal with not only her grief about losing her mom and her dad’s busy schedule (as well as his own grief), but she’s also at a new school in a new State where she is the only Asian student. I’ve mentioned this in some of my most recent reviews, but I love that these important topics are being discussed in children’s books. We see moments of racism in this book where Mindy is left upset, even if she doesn’t fully understand just why certain comments and actions are so hurtful. And even if she doesn’t dwell on it, a parent reading this with their little one would notice and hopefully learn if they see their own behaviours mirrored in the actions of some of these adults. But we also see moments of kindness and love as a young girl tries her best to find ways to make her dad happy. Despite the heavier undertones in this book, there was an overall feel of sweetness and childhood innocence. The ability to apologize when you know you’re in the wrong, the innocence of emotions getting away from you, and the sweetness of a daughter loving her father. This was a great read and I highly recommend it for everyone, but especially the little ones in your life who will be entering situations where books like these and their lessons are really important. Happy reading!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kannan

    While own voices books on the middle grade level are becoming more common, to find them in chapter books appropriate for primary grade readers is not as common. This book is just that! Mindy Kim is the new girl and while this book deals with the usual "new kid in school" issues, it also tackles grief after loss and having to explain your culture and cuisine to those who are unfamiliar. These can be universal for many readers. Also relatable in a kid's desire to be an entrepreneur to save money fo While own voices books on the middle grade level are becoming more common, to find them in chapter books appropriate for primary grade readers is not as common. This book is just that! Mindy Kim is the new girl and while this book deals with the usual "new kid in school" issues, it also tackles grief after loss and having to explain your culture and cuisine to those who are unfamiliar. These can be universal for many readers. Also relatable in a kid's desire to be an entrepreneur to save money for something they want and think will solve their problems. A great read and readers will definitely be clamoring for more. Published date: Feb. 1, 2o20 Publisher: Aladdin Books The publisher generously provided me with a copy of the book upon request on NetGalley. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    Loved this so much! I wish this book series was out when I was a kid. This book tackles some pretty difficult and heavy topics in such a great way for younger audiences. Plus the illustrations were adorable! Can't wait to read the next installments. Loved this so much! I wish this book series was out when I was a kid. This book tackles some pretty difficult and heavy topics in such a great way for younger audiences. Plus the illustrations were adorable! Can't wait to read the next installments.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kazia

    I love Mindy so much!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caro

    this was: adorable!!!!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    A lot of things are new for the star of this new chapter book series. Mindy Kim has recently moved to a new state (from California to Florida), into a new house (not a small apartment), and will be starting her school year at a new school. Even changes to her family are relatively new. Her mother “died a few months ago because she was really sick for a long time.” And since they’ve moved, father is working long hours and grieving. ‘You don’t have to be embarrassed, Dad. You can cry. Everyone gets A lot of things are new for the star of this new chapter book series. Mindy Kim has recently moved to a new state (from California to Florida), into a new house (not a small apartment), and will be starting her school year at a new school. Even changes to her family are relatively new. Her mother “died a few months ago because she was really sick for a long time.” And since they’ve moved, father is working long hours and grieving. ‘You don’t have to be embarrassed, Dad. You can cry. Everyone gets sad sometimes.’ Mom used to always tell me that when I cried. I didn’t expect her mother’s absence to be the smallest most manageable part of Mindy’s story—at least in this first book. I’m not sure she’s ready to talk about it yet. What’s on Mindy’s mind is adjusting to her new school and convincing her father they need a dog. It’s more than enough to have on one’s mind. Thinking about New School stories: Mindy’s new school is friendlier in some ways than most, and harder in others. The difficulties are due to the fact that she isn’t a white chapter book protagonist. “My old school had kids of many different colors. But here, no one looked like me.” The author weaves observations and experiences into the narrative as naturally as they are lived; which will provide valuable insight and perspective—and solidarity to many. Lyla Lee’s series will be a good one for caregivers to read and realize alongside. This moment here, for example: Min-jung. She frowned as she tried to say my Korean name. “Do you have an English name?” “I go by Mindy, “ I told her, like Dad told me to do. “Oh, Mindy! What a pretty name!” —-let us all cringe together. I didn’t like Mrs. Potts. I missed Ms. Lin, my teacher in California. Ms. Lin said my Korean name was pretty too. [italicized line is mine] Not all the introductions will be cringeworthy. Mindy navigates lunchroom drama with the help of a well-liked student who discovers the seaweed snacks in Mindy’s lunchbox. Sally encourages others to try them, helps start a snack trading business, and will spark Mindy’s big plan that will solve a lot of her concerns: she’ll continue to make friends and earn money to buy a puppy for the family—no one can be sad or lonely with a cute puppy around. But there are a few problems with this. Appa (Korean for Daddy) has to drive an hour (to Orlando) to find a Korean market (which is still smaller than their California one). Two: Trading snacks wasn’t an issue, but when she tries to sell them, she breaks a school rule. Next: She throws Sally under the proverbial bus for even having suggested she sell them. Yeah. It gets pretty tense there. But Lyla Lee writes pretty marvelous characters into her protagonist and their father; earnest and imperfect; relatable. “The snack thing was a good idea, but try to find another way to make friends,” Appa tells her. Mindy will. And it will start with an apology. Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is cute and funny. She is great character and the relationships she has and will make will draw the reader into further pursuit of the series. Lyla Lee writes important, relevant topics of lunchrooms, playgrounds, friendship, family, and puppies—you’ll not want to miss it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)

    Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is an exciting new addition to the world of chapter books. This series provides much needed Asian-American representation, much like the Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen . If you’re looking for a chapter book with a sweet protagonist dealing with grief, moving, and fitting in with a new school crowd, this is your pick. Plus, there are puppies! Read my full review here. Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is an exciting new addition to the world of chapter books. This series provides much needed Asian-American representation, much like the Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen . If you’re looking for a chapter book with a sweet protagonist dealing with grief, moving, and fitting in with a new school crowd, this is your pick. Plus, there are puppies! Read my full review here.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Yoomi

    Thank you Netgalley for the advance reader copy. I am 40 something and still so excited when I see myself reflected in a book. And this one is adorable. There are some complex themes (death of a parent, new school, cultural differences) but I think they’re handled well for this age group. The reading level is just right for my 7 1/2 year old. I’ve already preordered it and I’m already looking forward to the 2nd book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This is a sweet little easy reader about Mindy Kim and her father moving to a new city and learning to start fresh. Mindy goes to a new school, struggles to make friends, until one day her classmates become interested in her seaweed snacks. Mindy meets Sally and they become fast friends, but when Sally suggests Mindy sell her snacks, things go from bad to worse. A great story about learning to fit in but still be true to your family's roots. I can't wait to read Mindy's next adventure! This is a sweet little easy reader about Mindy Kim and her father moving to a new city and learning to start fresh. Mindy goes to a new school, struggles to make friends, until one day her classmates become interested in her seaweed snacks. Mindy meets Sally and they become fast friends, but when Sally suggests Mindy sell her snacks, things go from bad to worse. A great story about learning to fit in but still be true to your family's roots. I can't wait to read Mindy's next adventure!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Super sweet, completely on point culturally and emotionally. Would probably remind reading with a slightly older kid than mine (5yo), but with a few explanations we made it work.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    I needed a light read and this hit the spot. Much better than Junie B. books, I adored Mindy. Yay!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Harrison

    As the parent of a young reader who is advancing into chapter books, I’m always on the lookout for new series that are not only fun but offer something new. Enter Mindy Kim. Lyla Lee’s new series features a Korean-American girl who wants to fit in and be herself at the same time. The first book in the series is Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business. Mindy and her father (her mom died a few months ago) have just moved across country, and life could not be more different. In California, Mindy live As the parent of a young reader who is advancing into chapter books, I’m always on the lookout for new series that are not only fun but offer something new. Enter Mindy Kim. Lyla Lee’s new series features a Korean-American girl who wants to fit in and be herself at the same time. The first book in the series is Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business. Mindy and her father (her mom died a few months ago) have just moved across country, and life could not be more different. In California, Mindy lived in a small apartment in an ethnically diverse neighborhood. Her new home in Florida is huge, and no one at her new school looks like her. Mindy is apprehensive to start school, but at least her lunch of rice, kimchi, rolled eggs and dried seaweed snacks will be the same. Lunch has always been Mindy’s favorite subject. Except her lunch makes her stand out in all the wrong ways, too. Luckily, Mindy’s new friend, Sally, makes seaweed snack seem like a treat to everyone else. And that gives them an idea — maybe Mindy can share her treats and make some money at the same time. Everything seems great until another student sabotages the Yummy Seaweed Business. But it’s not just the business that comes to an end — Mindy could be out her new friends, too. The Mindy Kim reading experience will vary for readers based on their backgrounds. The series is important for Asian-American kids who are just moving into chapter books. It gives them a character in which they can see themselves. Mindy Kim Lunar Lyla LeeIn the case of my daughter — whose school is predominantly white — it exposes her to kids who are from other backgrounds and helps her see that “different” is often what makes people more fun to be around. It also opens up discussions about differences on a more macro level (between family members, etc.). At 96 pages, Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is a short read. Its 15 chapters each feature a delightful illustration by Dung Ho, who really captures Mindy’s spirit. The illustrations enhance the text without taking over, and most pages are text only. Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business and the second book in the series, Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade are both available now. Mindy Kim and the Birthday Puppy launches May 12. The books are available in both hardback and paperback at $16.99 and $5.99 respectively.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland

    At seven and a half years old, Mindy Kim thinks she’s old enough to have her own puppy, but her dad tells her they need time. Following her mom’s death, the two have just moved from California to Florida. Mindy feels out of place at her new school, where no one looks like her, the students make fun of her lunch, and her teacher isn’t sensitive to her situation, culturally or as the new kid. She starts a snack business to fulfill her dreams of making friends, buying a puppy, and cheering up her d At seven and a half years old, Mindy Kim thinks she’s old enough to have her own puppy, but her dad tells her they need time. Following her mom’s death, the two have just moved from California to Florida. Mindy feels out of place at her new school, where no one looks like her, the students make fun of her lunch, and her teacher isn’t sensitive to her situation, culturally or as the new kid. She starts a snack business to fulfill her dreams of making friends, buying a puppy, and cheering up her dad. Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is a super cute book. Children can relate to Mindy’s fears as the new kid and her desire to be liked. This book portrays real conflicts between children and how they can resolve their differences through open and honest conversation (which includes admitting when you’re wrong). While Mindy acts on her own at times, out of consideration for her dad’s grief, her dad remains a strong presence in her life. He supports her as best he can, but he also admonishes her when necessary. Interwoven throughout this book are references to elements of Korean culture, such as the food, market, and honorifics. Adorable illustrations bring Mindy’s story to life. From an Asian-American perspective, this is a book that I would have loved to read as a kid. While I come from a Chinese-American background, I can relate to aspects of Mindy’s life. I’ve been the new kid, and I’ve had kids make derogatory comments on my food. My family made efforts to connect with the local Chinese community after each move, and I referred to my elders with Chinese honorifics. Rated G - Mindy’s mom died after a long illness (mentioned) - Other kids make fun of Mindy’s food Bias Notes As an Asian writer who wants to support other Asian writers, I’m predisposed to liking books that feature Asian characters and are written by Asian authors. Disclaimer I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    Mindy Kim is a sweet girl, who deals with a situation almost any kid can relate to, while presenting a bit of cultural diversity along the way. After the passing of her mother, Mindy and her father have moved from California to Florida, and that means they finally have a house with a yard. That makes Mindy one step closer to reaching one of her dreams: having a puppy to call her own. But that's going to have to wait thanks to other challenges. She's going to start a new school with the problem of Mindy Kim is a sweet girl, who deals with a situation almost any kid can relate to, while presenting a bit of cultural diversity along the way. After the passing of her mother, Mindy and her father have moved from California to Florida, and that means they finally have a house with a yard. That makes Mindy one step closer to reaching one of her dreams: having a puppy to call her own. But that's going to have to wait thanks to other challenges. She's going to start a new school with the problem of finding new friends, and her father is still very sad about the loss of their mother. Mindy might have a way to solve both problems...maybe. This is such a lovely story, and so easy to sink into. Mindy is a girl, who's hard not to like from the very first moment. She's kind, a little shy, wants to help where she can, but still faces the same problems of an average seven-year-old and doesn't always know how to deal with them. When she steps into the school for the first time, it's easy to understand her insecurity and feel for her as she sits at the lunch table by herself. Her attempts to make things work bring a smile to the face, and the stumbling blocks as well as her mistakes, make her into the kind of person most kids would want as a best friend. The story rolls along in such a smooth way that it's hard to put down. And not only is the story one kids can sink into, but there's an important message as Mindy works through whatever she faces. The author also slides in aspects of Mindy's heritage, letting the reader learn a little bit more about an Asian culture along the way. Summed up, this is a wonderful read I can see many kids really enjoying and can't wait to see where the rest of Mindy Kim's adventures will take her...and catch up on the ones, which have already are out there. This one gets a two thumbs up from me! I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed this one so much that I'm leaving my honest thoughts.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara Magnafichi

    Thank you to Lyla Lee for sending my students and I a copy of this ARC through a contest we won via Twitter. A copy was also shared with #collabookation. Thank you for that as well. My first graders were mesmerized with this story and the audible sigh of dismay occurred when I told them that they have to wait quite a bit of time before book 2 and 3 in the series come out. There was tears, laughter, and applause. Mindy Kim is a young girl who has had to deal with a lot of change in a short amount Thank you to Lyla Lee for sending my students and I a copy of this ARC through a contest we won via Twitter. A copy was also shared with #collabookation. Thank you for that as well. My first graders were mesmerized with this story and the audible sigh of dismay occurred when I told them that they have to wait quite a bit of time before book 2 and 3 in the series come out. There was tears, laughter, and applause. Mindy Kim is a young girl who has had to deal with a lot of change in a short amount of time. Mindy's mom recently passed away. This is by no means a spoiler, because you learn this early in the book. Her dad is struggling with the aftermath of her death, while trying to hold it all together for Mindy. At the same time, he is transferred to Florida from California for his job. This means more change including a move, a new home, and a new school for Mindy. Mindy's new school is nowhere near as diverse as her previous school. She feels different and it only gets worse when kids start making fun of her lunch, including dried seaweed chips. Mindy decides she has to come up with a plan in order to make friends and this is when she comes up with her seaweed business. But her plan backfires and she learns who her true friends really are. O highly recommend this book as a read aloud for kinder and first graders and it is is perfect for second and third graders. Both my students and I cannot wait to meet Mindy again in book 2 and 3. This book is available in January of 2020 with books 2 and 3 soon to follow.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Second-grader Mindy Kim and her father moved from California to Florida where Mindy has to go to a mostly-Caucasian school. On her first day, Mindy opens her lunch of seaweed, kimchi, rolled eggs and rice. It catches the attention of the other kids at her table, who don’t recognize any of it. The second day of school, Mindy can’t ask for a different lunch because the toaster had caught fire and distracted her father. She plans though to not get laughed at again, make a new friend, and convince h Second-grader Mindy Kim and her father moved from California to Florida where Mindy has to go to a mostly-Caucasian school. On her first day, Mindy opens her lunch of seaweed, kimchi, rolled eggs and rice. It catches the attention of the other kids at her table, who don’t recognize any of it. The second day of school, Mindy can’t ask for a different lunch because the toaster had caught fire and distracted her father. She plans though to not get laughed at again, make a new friend, and convince her father to get a puppy. When Sally asks to try some of Mindy’s seaweed at lunch, Mindy is very surprised. Soon everyone is trying them. So Mindy has a new idea and has her father buy lots more seaweed snacks. As she creates her own snack trading ring, Mindy and her friend decide to start charging money for snacks rather than trading them. She soon finds out that she’s broken a school rule! Lee has written an early chapter book that is marvelously accessible for young readers and also grapples with being different from your classmates. Mindy is also dealing with the death of her mother, something that is poignantly shown in her time at home with her father and with her babysitter after school. The use of seaweed snacks as a gateway into an illicit snack ring is clever and delightful. The illustrations inside the book offer breaks in the text for new readers. They are done with a wry sense of humor that is evident in the art and work well with the story that also has a lot of funny moments. A diverse and delicious early chapter book. Appropriate for ages 5-7.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Mindy Kim wants a puppy really badly. But her father isn't eager to get her one. Having just moved from California to Florida and learning to live without her mother, Mindy and her father try to settle into their new home. Mindy reluctantly starts school as the new kid and the only Asian American in her school. Her Korean-based lunch is one of the few things she looks forward to. But when some of the other kids make fun of her seaweed snacks that pleasure is taken from her as well. The next day Mindy Kim wants a puppy really badly. But her father isn't eager to get her one. Having just moved from California to Florida and learning to live without her mother, Mindy and her father try to settle into their new home. Mindy reluctantly starts school as the new kid and the only Asian American in her school. Her Korean-based lunch is one of the few things she looks forward to. But when some of the other kids make fun of her seaweed snacks that pleasure is taken from her as well. The next day she's determined to make a friend and asks the girl sitting next to her if she can sit with her at lunch. Sally agrees and even asks to try Mindy's seaweed snacks. Mindy starts sharing and then trading her snacks in an effort to get the other students to like her. But when she starts selling the snacks, both she and Sally get in trouble, which threatens to end their budding friendship. Can Mindy find a way to fix things at school and with her grieving father? This is a cute, own voices, story about finding a place for yourself while still remaining true to who you are. In addition, it was nice to read about a father who is trying his best to be a good parent despite his grief. The book is smoothly written making it an easy, quick read. The illustrations are cute and add a nice way to break up the text. A fun book where diversity is a part of the story, but not the sole focus.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Mindy Kim has just lost her mother, moved halfway around the world (not really but Florida is a world away from California) and really, really wants a puppy.  Her father does his best at being both a mother and a father but he is also coping with the move and the loss of his wife. This book packs in a lot of emotions in a few short pages.  Mindy no longer has anyone who looks like her at the new school and she wonders how she will ever fit in but, wow,  is she a fighter.  At just 7 years old she Mindy Kim has just lost her mother, moved halfway around the world (not really but Florida is a world away from California) and really, really wants a puppy.  Her father does his best at being both a mother and a father but he is also coping with the move and the loss of his wife. This book packs in a lot of emotions in a few short pages.  Mindy no longer has anyone who looks like her at the new school and she wonders how she will ever fit in but, wow,  is she a fighter.  At just 7 years old she has figured out how to make new friends, create enemies and find that perfect puppy.  Well, she doesn't quite get the puppy in this adorable little chapter book, but she has plans! This story really pulls you in quickly and makes you feel good about a bad situation. Although Mindy ends up in a bit of hot water at school, she bravely takes responsibility and learns from her mistake.  I also agree that she needs a puppy though and she is going about that dream in a good way.  I love how easily everything flowed and this is a wonderful start to a series that I can wait to recommend to other children just starting on chapter books. I know it is going to be a huge hit.  It reminded me a bit of the Cupcake Club series by Carrie and Sheryl Berk.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Corene

    Cute early chapter book for children just beginning to read books with lots more text than pictures. I listened to the audio edition, very sweetly read by Jaine Ye. Told from Mindy’s point of view, the story follows her as she tells of moving across the country with her newly widowed father, from California to Florida. Here the 7 1/2 year old must cope not only with the recent death of her mother and leaving her friends behind, but also finding herself the only Asian-American student in her class Cute early chapter book for children just beginning to read books with lots more text than pictures. I listened to the audio edition, very sweetly read by Jaine Ye. Told from Mindy’s point of view, the story follows her as she tells of moving across the country with her newly widowed father, from California to Florida. Here the 7 1/2 year old must cope not only with the recent death of her mother and leaving her friends behind, but also finding herself the only Asian-American student in her class. The short novel deals with the feelings of being an outsider, the struggle to make friends as the new kid, and the poignant awareness the main character has that her dad is also very sad. The school staff doesn’t really help Mindy, and do not seem to have ever had diversity training. Despite all this the book is mostly light-hearted, (I did tear up a couple of times, though,) and Mindy figures things out with the help of her loving dad. I’m sure I’ll listen to the next one in the series on audio, and recommend it to kids in the target audience, (maybe 6-8?) and for families to enjoy together.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 7 and 1/2 year old puppy-loving Mindy Kim is the new kid in her Florida school, after moving from California. Being new isn't the only thing different about her from her classmates: she only has her dad after her mom died, and she's the only Asian kid in her new school. Her dad is sad and working all the time, and Mindy's first day at school doesn't go well when her lunch is mocked by her classmates. However, after a I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 7 and 1/2 year old puppy-loving Mindy Kim is the new kid in her Florida school, after moving from California. Being new isn't the only thing different about her from her classmates: she only has her dad after her mom died, and she's the only Asian kid in her new school. Her dad is sad and working all the time, and Mindy's first day at school doesn't go well when her lunch is mocked by her classmates. However, after a new friend helps spread the popularity of Mindy's seaweed snacks, a snack-trading business is born and Mindy finds popularity. Then she decides to take it a step further in order to be able to buy herself a dog--then she and Appa will both be happy again! This... does not go according to plan. A delightful early chapter, perfect for fans of Jasmine Toguchi and Lola Levine, has a precious protagonist, fantastic illustrations, and important lessons about friendship and being proud of your differences.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dianna (SavingsInSeconds blog)

    Mindy’s endearing story is the first book in a delightful new series. I’m excited to see a Korean-American main character in a children’s book. Mindy Kim has so much in common with today’s 7-year-olds. She’s a new student at a school across the country from where she grew up. Her mom passed away, and her dad is adjusting to life as a single parent. She wants to own a dog, but her dad keeps putting her off. One thing that sets her apart, though, is her unusual (for Florida) lunch of seaweed and ot Mindy’s endearing story is the first book in a delightful new series. I’m excited to see a Korean-American main character in a children’s book. Mindy Kim has so much in common with today’s 7-year-olds. She’s a new student at a school across the country from where she grew up. Her mom passed away, and her dad is adjusting to life as a single parent. She wants to own a dog, but her dad keeps putting her off. One thing that sets her apart, though, is her unusual (for Florida) lunch of seaweed and other Asian treats. The only part I didn’t love about the book was the way Mindy and Brandon interacted. Mindy’s friend advises her that “no one really likes him” and that he’s “a big baby.” I would have loved to see a positive resolution to this conflict by the end of the book; however, maybe it’s in an upcoming Mindy story. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Opinions shared are mine.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Trudy Zufelt

    After the death of Mindy Kim's mother, she and her father move from California to Florida. Not only does Mindy have to deal with the being the new girl at school, she's also the only Korean American. Her desire to find new friends doesn't start out well when she pulls out her Korean lunch of kimchee, eggs, rice, and seaweed and her fellow classmates turn up their noses at the unfamiliar food. When her new friend, Sally, takes a liking to the Mindy's dried seaweed snacks, everybody else wants to t After the death of Mindy Kim's mother, she and her father move from California to Florida. Not only does Mindy have to deal with the being the new girl at school, she's also the only Korean American. Her desire to find new friends doesn't start out well when she pulls out her Korean lunch of kimchee, eggs, rice, and seaweed and her fellow classmates turn up their noses at the unfamiliar food. When her new friend, Sally, takes a liking to the Mindy's dried seaweed snacks, everybody else wants to try them too. The instantly popular snacks helps launch Sally and Mindy's Yummy Seaweed Business. It also stirs up unforeseen trouble. A lovely debut that tackles issues of friendships, grief, and overcoming challenges in a way that feels natural and touches the heart. It's nearly impossible for anyone not to love Mindy Kim but she especially gives Korean Americans a chance to take pride in their heritage.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Boling

    8/27/2020 ~ A fun new early chapter book / chapter book about Mindy, a Korean-American child living with her dad (mom died after being seriously sick. In this first book, the two have just moved to Florida from California and Mindy is struggling with being one of the few Asian kids in her school. I have a few quibbles with the series. It's told in first person, and I don't quite buy Mindy's voice. Also, she's 7 1/2 (first or second grade) and in book two, she's studying long division (typically a 8/27/2020 ~ A fun new early chapter book / chapter book about Mindy, a Korean-American child living with her dad (mom died after being seriously sick. In this first book, the two have just moved to Florida from California and Mindy is struggling with being one of the few Asian kids in her school. I have a few quibbles with the series. It's told in first person, and I don't quite buy Mindy's voice. Also, she's 7 1/2 (first or second grade) and in book two, she's studying long division (typically a 4th grade topic.) However, I'll definitely be adding the series to my elementary library. I thoroughly enjoyed the aspects of Korean culture that Mindy and her father shared with readers and other characters in the book. 2020 Nerdy Early Reader/Chapter Book Award: https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aeicha

    Lyla Lee’s Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is a delightful and charming own voices novel, for younger readers, about a plucky, relatable Korean American seven-year-old girl named Mindy. Through Mindy’s honest, endearing voice, humor, and a lot of heart, Lyla Lee expertly explores topics like grief, cultural identity, loneliness, friendship, and responsibility in age appropriate and fun ways. Mindy’s Korean heritage, culture, and traditions are wonderfully celebrated throughout the story Lyla Lee’s Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is a delightful and charming own voices novel, for younger readers, about a plucky, relatable Korean American seven-year-old girl named Mindy. Through Mindy’s honest, endearing voice, humor, and a lot of heart, Lyla Lee expertly explores topics like grief, cultural identity, loneliness, friendship, and responsibility in age appropriate and fun ways. Mindy’s Korean heritage, culture, and traditions are wonderfully celebrated throughout the story, shining a bright light on Asian representation, which is sorely lacking in kid’s lit. Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business will engage, entertain, and educate young reeaders...and make them crave yummy Korean food! 

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