Saturday, April 11, 2009
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
7th grader Julia is Korean-American and highly embarassed by her ethnic heritage including the never-ending amount of kimchee at her house. She becomes friends with Patrick and they try to decide on a prize-winning topic for the state fair. Her mother suggests that they raise silkworms, an idea that Julia hates at first because it seems too Korean to her. But she agrees to give it a try because of its uniqueness. In order to raise the silkworms Julia and Patrick need to have mulberry leaves, the only food for silkworms. And the only mulberry tree in town is owned by an African-American man which surprisingly reveals Julia's mother's prejudice. As the project goes on Julia embraces her own heritage and begins to really care about the silkworms. At the end of many chapters there is a "conversation" between the character Julia and the author which gives readers a look into the writing process.