Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han, illus by Julia Kuo
8 yr old Clara Lee wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie for the Apple Blossom Festival. Clara Lee is scared about going for Little Miss Apple pie until her Grandpa interpret her dream, to mean good luck.
The next day everything goes right for Clara Lee. But too soon, good luck is gone. Clara Lee, gets in trouble at the dinner table and into a fight with a very good friend. Another girl who wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie tells Clara Lee she's not American enough to win.
This story was great I am going to begin bold and say this is a 2011 Newbery contender. (I know that's serious but trust me its that good)
Han's does a wonderful job with all aspects of this story. It's very well rounded. I loved Clara Lee's voice. We get to see all sides of Clara Lee. I loved Clara Lee's relationship with her Grandpa. It's very sweet.
One of the many things I loved abotu this story, its never about identity. Clara Lee embraces her Korean and American heritage. Also the author smoothly incorporates Clara Lee's fear of not being considered American enough (something many can relate to ) without making a big deal about it. Kuo's illustrations are wonderful, fitting the text perfectly and adding to the magic of the story.
There's was just such an easiness to this story that I really enjoyed. Clara Lee is one of my favorite protagonist of the year. 8 up I know I didn't do this book justice, so please read the excerpt.