Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han with pictures by Julia Kuo

I'm going back to my roots! Jenny Han was the author of my first book reviewed on here. This time Han introduces Clara Lee. Lee is her last name but everyone calls her Clara Lee because it sounds better. She's in the third grade, has a really annoying younger sister named Emmeline, and loves her Grandpa. Her grandfather is from Korea and her parents and her are from America which means she is Korean American. Just want to do a little shout out for some diversity yeah!

So the big thing with Clara Lee and her story is that she wants to win and become Little Miss Apple Pie so she can ride on a float across town. I have to mention how it is a pageant... which irks me. But it is a little girl's pageant and all it is, is a speech so I don't mind as much. Clara Lee would love to be Little Miss Apple Pie but problem is she is just so afraid to go out there in front of the whole school and speak. But with a little bit of Good Luck she might be able to succeed.

Her Good Luck can only last so far and she's not really in good with her family and friends later on. Her Grandfather is a big part of the story because she cares what he thinks about more than anyone I believe. He also knows about dreams and what they mean. Her best friend Shayna is always loyal. She is also friends with two twins, a boy and a girl, who are complete opposites. What got me about the twins, Georgina and Max, is that while Georgina likes to do tae kwon do (girl power!) Max does Ballet. How cute and encouraging is that right? Max is very scientific as well and Georgina likes to collect bottle caps and loves baseball.

It took me awhile to get into the story. Just the way it's written I'm thinking this must be perfect for a kid this age because Han is going over everything so detailed. But then I thought well a good children's book should be enjoyable to all genders and ages... I did end up getting into it later because I was used to the way Clara Lee spoke. It was like reading what a child would say which is exactly what it should be like but it takes some time to get used to if you aren't a child reading it.

Love the illustrations. Kuo does a great job. I wished the pictures were in color though only because Clara Lee described her elaborate dress so I wanted to see it all colorful in the picture. Kuo's illustrations kind of remind me of comics or graphic novels and I think it's because of how the smiles look. It's very similar to me to other illustrative people I've seen.

Overall for me it was an okay book but it's because I'm a teenager. I'm sure any little girl will love this book. Again diversity yay! I don't usually see much of that. It's probably because I read so many YA books because I've noticed that many children's books are more diversified. Come on YA. Pick it up. So cute book for a little girl. Has some lessons but it's not so pointedly obvious. It sounds like a little girl especially when she is fighting with her little sister. This book reminded why I love being the youngest and that I only have brothers. I love my brothers. Also a nice book for a grandfather to give his granddaughter. She'd love it.


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