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Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

by Jenny Han
Illustrated by Julia Kuo

Published by Little, Brown, 2011
149 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢠥16-070386

Ages 6-9

Jenny Han抯 entertaining short novel offers a nuanced look at identity issues in the context of an engaging story about family and friends. Korean American Clara Lee has decided to enter the contest at school to choose who will be 揕ittle Miss Apple Pie in her town抯 annual fall festival. Her friends are supportive, but her classmate Dionne is convinced she herself is destined to be Little Miss Apple Pie, just like her mother before her. At home, Clara Lee is especially close to her Grandpa, who lives with her family, and especially annoyed by her little sister, Emmeline, who has a gift for bringing out the worst in Clara Lee, as their sibling interactions prove more than once. An argument with her friend Max (again showcasing Clara Lee抯 realistically less-than-stellar behavior) has Clara Lee thinking the good luck her Grandpa predicted after she told him about one of her dreams is changing. But Clara Lee抯 speech about the things that make their town special proves to be the only luck she needs in this lighthearted but not unsubstantial treat for independent readers.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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