Korean American Pippa Park picks up right where she left off . . . trying to balance basketball, school, friends, working at the struggling family laundromat, and fitting in. Eliot, her math tutor—and the cutest boy at school—is finally paying attention to her. And Marvel—her childhood friend—is making her required volunteering much more interesting. But things with the Royals, her new friends and teammates who rule the school, still feel a bit rocky. Especially because Caroline, a head Royal, would like nothing more than to see Pippa fail.

So when Pippa is faced with hosting the annual Christmas Eve party that could make or break her social life, how can she say no? Will Pippa make enough money to cover the costs while juggling crushes and everything else? With courage and determination, Pippa sets out to host the party, find the perfect dress, pick the right boy, and stay true to her real self.


The second book in the Pippa Park series will for sure please fans of the first book. I recommended Pippa Park Raises Her Game last year on Always in the Middle. Even those who missed the initial offering will be able to jump right into Pippa Park’s newest dilemma as she faces another year.

The first four chapter titles in Pippa Park Crush at First Sight focus on how many days until Christmas. The rest point to how many days remain until Pippa hosts the big holiday party in a cramped apartment on Christmas Eve. Pippa has one shot to be successful and accepted by the top group in the school. This lead-up to the big day is a great countdown technique.

Korean culture is infused throughout including a wide variety of delicious sounding food. Pippa’s apprehensions and always trying to solve problems on her own come full circle as she discovers it’s just fine to ask for help.

The 288 pages are an entertaining and a realistic look at middle school culture. Fitting in is always front and center.

For more about Pippa Park Crush at First Sight, visit the book’s dedicated web page. You will also find an excerpt and an educator’s guide.


Coming up next week is another edition of MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY! It’s here I share highlights from other individuals blogging about middle grade books. Many of the posts will have reviews, interviews, and tips on writing. Take a look at PAST MMGM POSTS.

It’s easy to join the lineup. All you have to do is email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com

Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and don’t forget to say what you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Danielle Hammelef says:

    I must get a copy of the first book–Pippa sounds fun and I do enjoy reading books featuring diverse cultures.

  2. These sound like cute books that kids will like. Middle school drama always makes for a good story. Thanks for the review.

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