It’s Another Month of Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays!

This debut from Erin Yun features Pippa’s first person narration as she tries to fit into her new private middle school. Unlike the other students with their makeup and fancy homes, Pippa hides the embarrassment of her upbringing and present situation by pretending she’s like the other kids. Let’s just say things don’t go as planned.

With her mother in Korea, Pippa lives with her older sister and husband. There’s pressure to do well both in basketball and in her classes. Failure means she’ll be asked to leave the school. A dominating group of girls and a crush on her math tutor provide the drama. It all turns into a realistic romp with a touch of mystery. Perfect for fifth grade on up (including interested adults), the 27 chapters flow by smoothly.

Great job, Erin! A sequel would be welcome.


PUBLISHED: 2020 PAGE COUNT: 264 pages


Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. So when she gets a mysterious basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself. At Lakeview, Pippa juggles old and new friends, a crush, and the pressure to perform at school while keeping her past and her family’s laundromat a secret from her elite classmates. When social media threatens Pippa’s persona, she wonders if she can keep it together.

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  1. I always call the teen and preteen years the “Oops” or “Whoops” time period. Kids often act first then realize when its too late what they did wrong. Pippa provides many ‘oops’ and readers will be nodding with familiarity.
  2. The cast of characters were perhaps too many, but each has a personality that surfaces in both good ways and bad. Some of the so called clique group break the usual stereotype and befriend Pippa.
  3. You feel Pippa’s passion for basketball, but it doesn’t dominate the story for anyone assuming this is a basketball book. It’s about the Korean culture and the tension of being the new kid in school.
  4. A nice plot twist when her crush has a far from perfect life than Pippa believed at first.
  5. The brother-in-law, Jung-Hwa, is the kindest and most sincere caregiver you’d ever hope for in a family. His dress and demeanor added special charm to the story.
About the Author
Debut author Erin Yun grew up in Frisco, Texas. She received her BFA in English from New York University and served as president of its policy debate team. This experience came in handy for her job as the debate consultant for the Tony-nominated Best Play on Broadway—What the Constitution Means to Me. Erin is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and has written reviews and articles for BookBrowse. She currently lives in New York City, and yes—she used to play basketball as a middle grader!
About Fabled Films and Fabled Films Press
Fabled Films is a publishing and entertainment company creating original content for young readers and middle-grade audiences. Fabled Films Press combines strong literary properties with high-quality production values to connect books with generations of parents and their children. Each property is supported by websites, educator guides, and activities for bookstores, educators, and librarians, as well as videos, social media content, and supplemental entertainment for additional platforms.
Thanks for stopping by. Comments are welcome below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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  1. I scored an early copy of Pippa Park at ALA in Washington, DC in June. Delightful new voice with a great cover. Thanks for sharing your review with which I wholeheartedly agree.

  2. I scored an early copy of Pippa Park at ALA in Washington, DC in June. Delightful new voice with a great cover. Thanks for sharing your review with which I wholeheartedly agree.

  3. This sounds like a lot of fun. I will put it on my list. Thanks for your review.

  4. Since my son spent two years in Korea I’ve sought out and really enjoyed books which connect into its heritage, so this sounds right up my alley. Many thanks for the heads up, and happy MMGM!

  5. This sounds like a fun read about some important topics. Thanks for sharing it for MMGM, Greg!

  6. I am always looking for stories related to Korea and filled with culture and tradition. I like Pippa’s voice and would find her story intriguing! Nice choice today!

  7. Andrea Mack says:

    It was really great to learn about Korean culture while reading this one! I really liked the character of her brother-in-law too!

  8. This one looks like a fun book! I’ll have to check it out…

  9. Natalie Aguirre says:

    I like the idea that this is about Korean culture. I’ll have to see if my library has this one. Thanks.

  10. Stephanie@Fairday's Blog says:

    I hadn’t heard of this one before your review. It sounds like a great book and I like that Pippa realizes that other people’s lives may not be what we expect them to be. An important lesson! I will have to look for this one.

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  12. Pingback: PIPPA PARK—MY JOURNAL ABOUT LIFE | Always in the Middle…

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