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PROJECT MULBERRY by Linda Sue Park Kirkus Star

PROJECT MULBERRY

By Linda Sue Park

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: April 18th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-47786-1
Publisher: Clarion

No obstacle, real or imagined, can stop Julia Song and her best friend Patrick from entering a community farming-club contest. The two friends decide to grow silkworms from eggs to pupae and spin the silk into thread. Between most chapters are vignettes—the story inside the story—in the form of discussions between the author and Julia, explaining the background for the story, how it developed and how Julia changes as the worms grow. Julia explores her anxiety about being “too Korean” and the confusing attitude about race that she sees when her mother meets Mr. Dixon, the older African-American man who generously shares his mulberry leaves with the children. The warm friendship between the two friends is the real story here—they work together, learn about silk, worms, embroidery, kimchee and life, make decisions about life and death (of the worms) and even learn to appreciate their sometimes irritating siblings. A rich work that treats serious issues with warmth, respect and a good deal of humor. (Fiction. 9-12)