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Bluestem Book of the Week!

2019 Bluestem Nominees!
Have you read any of the 2019 Bluestem Books?
20 books for grades 3 to 5 are nominated every year for the Bluestem Award, and they are displayed in the Youth Services Department.
Take a look at our staff review for this week’s featured book!

Title: Project Mulberry
Author: Linda Sue Park
Lexile Level: 690L
Pages: 225
Recommendations & Comments: Seventh-grader Julia Song and her best friend Patrick need a project for their Wiggle Club’s entry in the State Fair. They want to enter in the Animal Husbandry category, but their townhouse development doesn’t allow dogs or cats. Julia’s mother mentions that as a child in Korea, she had raised silkworms, and Patrick thinks that is the perfect solution – a silkworm project! They can raise silkworms, harvest their silk for thread, and Julia can do an embroidery with the thread. That means they can enter in the Domestic Arts category as well as in Animal Husbandry, and have twice the chance of winning a medal! Julia thinks the idea is “too Korean,” too strange and foreign. She feels different enough from the other kids in Plainfield, and wants to do a project that is all-American. She can’t think of one, however, and doesn’t want Patrick to be mad at her for refusing go along with his idea, so she fakes enthusiasm while secretly trying to find a way to sabotage the project.

Every other chapter in Project Mulberry is a very entertaining dialog between Linda Sue Park and her character. We learn that the opinionated and emotional Julia has definite ideas about the way her story should go, and that the author often has different ideas. In the process, the reader learns a lot about the art and craft of writing.

Project Mulberry packs a great deal of interesting and thought-provoking reading into a very enjoyable and relatable story. Issues such as racism, the ethics of farming, and even the science of silkworms arise naturally within the framework of a funny, warmhearted story about family, friendship, and self-discovery.

Reviewed By: Mary Donovan

Click Here for a List of all 20 Bluestem Nominees

Created by Jen Trotta on Oct 18th, 2018 @ 12:05 PM.
Updated on Mar 22nd, 2019 @ 9:05 AM.