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Project Mulberry Hardcover – April 18, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Gravity Falls: Journal 3
Gravity Falls: Journal 3
Journal 3 brims with every page ever seen on the show plus all-new pages with monsters and secrets, notes from Dipper and Mabel, and the Author's full story. Hardcover
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 4-7–When Julia Song moves with her family to Plainfield, IL, where they are the only Korean family in town, she becomes good friends with her neighbor Patrick. They have joined the Wiggle (Work-Grow-Give-Live) Club, and they need a project for the state fair. Animal husbandry is their category of choice, but what can they raise in their suburban neighborhood? When Julia's mother suggests silkworms, Patrick is enthusiastic, but Julia is not. Raising silkworms is so Korean, and she wants a real American project. Still, she agrees to the idea. When she realizes that to get the silk, the worms must die, her anguish clearly indicates how much her attitude has changed. At the end of almost every chapter, Park and her young protagonist discuss the story inside the story: where the author's ideas came from, how the characters take on a life of their own, how questions raised in the book continue to percolate inside some readers' minds when it is finished. This lively interaction provides an interesting parallel to the silkworm project as it moves from idea to reality. Julia, a feisty seventh grader, concludes that it is important to know what you don't know, an insight that she has as she grapples with her mother's attitude toward blacks. Park appropriately leaves Julia wondering what's behind her mother's prejudices in certain situations. As the novel progresses, Patrick and Julia negotiate the ups and downs of their friendship, and Julia begins to show a gradual change in attitude toward her younger brother. This skillfully written tale will have wide appeal.–Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 5-8. There are big issues in Park's latest novel--conservation, prejudice, patriotism, biology, and more. But the Newbery-winning writer never allows them to swamp the story; in fact, it's the compelling characters and their passionate differences and commitments that drive the plot. Julia Song doesn't want to do a silkworm project for the state fair. It's too Korean; she wants something American. But she becomes interested in caring for the eggs, the caterpillars, and the moths and then in sewing the silk thread. Kind, elderly Mr. Dixon donates the mulberry leaves the silkworms eat, but why is Mom against Julia spending time with him? Is it because he is black? The first-person narrative alternates with lively interchanges between Julia ("Me") and the author ("Ms. Park") about writing the story. The author's intrusion may distract some readers, but most children will be hooked by the funny, insightful conversations. There's no easy resolution, but the unforgettable family and friendship story, the quiet, almost unspoken racism, and the excitement of the science make this a great cross-curriculum title. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (April 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618477861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618477869
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As of this moment in time the number of Linda Sue Park books I have read in my life amount to the following: two. This is rather shameful. If you're a children's librarian (as I am) and your job is to read and know all the hip young authors winning medals hither and thither (and thither and yon) then at the VERY least you could bring yourself to read the most recent Newbery winners. Ms. Park won a Newbery for "A Single Shard", and I have not read it yet. What I have read is her remarkable picture book, "The Firekeeper's Son". THAT, my friends, is a great book. So when I was handed a copy of "Project Mulberry", I dove into it with zero hesitation. The result was a bit confusing. What we have here is a clever book by a clever author who seems to be hooking far too many themes together all at the same time. Fortunately, you can appreciate this book without necessarily loving it. At least I could.

Julia and Patrick are best friends. Have been since the moment they met, actually. Together, the two of them have done all sorts of interesting projects for school together. Patrick's the ideas man and Julia's the person who likes to do the labor. In fact, these kids never had a single fight until they decided to do a WGGL project together. WGGL is a kind of 4-H for city kids and Julia and Patrick have chosen to do something with "animal husbandry". Finding the right kind of animal, however, isn't as easy as they'd hoped. When Mrs. Song, Julia's mother, suggests that they do a silkworm project Patrick is thrilled. Julia is not. Both her parents are Korean immigrants and their daughter has always shied away from things that strike her as "too Korean". Now, however, she's stuck with a mighty difficult and complex project.
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This book was assigned by my childs 5th grade teacher as a class reading assignment and it caused a lot of problems. I have a child adopted from China who attends a mostly white school. There are topics about racism in this book that are quite extreme and racial slurs are used. one happened to be an Asian slur that had been used against my child the year before at school. hearing it read out loud in class and discussed in the manner in which it was created a very upsetting situation for my child. the few other Asian children and families were all asked how they felt and they also were upset. I absolutely don't think it's appropriate for school unless there is a balanced racial make up of the class. It made the Asian kids feel very isolated and afraid. Also one of the characters is racist against African Americans and the African American families in the class also had problems with the book.
I think that maybe it would be an OK read for 12+ year olds and outside of school where parents can discuss the subject matter with their children.
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Excellent book which is much more interesting than the cover. It has multiple themes: fitting in, doing well, not standing out, being outstanding, being accepting, being honest, life and death, having disturbing questions about people we love. Project Mulberry is a wonderful, middle-school appropriate examination of American society that is built around two students working on a science project. It is also a wonderfully transparent demonstration of how to write; to use a plot to carry other baggage, keeping the plot a central highway but having off ramps to related topics that enrich a somewhat spare plot but do not distract (or detract) from it.
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My students loved this book. It's about 2 kids who who are working on a science fair type project. They decide to raise silk worms (who only eat mulberry leaves). This book has lots of academic learning about the life cycle of a silk worm and the ethics about killing silkworms to keep the thread in one piece. Some students were adamant that it's wrong to kill silkworms for their silk. I told them if they were so adamant about it they can stop buying products with silk in it. We talked about when you buy something, you're telling that company "I like what you're doing; keep doing it." If they think it's fine to kill some worms for silk then they should keep buying silk products.

Also, the main character's mother is Asian and is prejudice against African Americans. This was a great discussion about a character they thought was nice and sweet, having another side that they felt was bad and wrong. We talked about having compassion for the mom and realizing the message she received from her parents as a child. Her racism was fear and ignorance. We then talked about compassion for people who have racist beliefs today and how they are a product of fear, a racist family, or a bad experience. The students really liked the mother in the story so they realized racism doesn't just look like mean people yelling and being angry. It can exist in a gentle woman. They realized the main character had experienced different cultures in the US and that her exposure to other cultures stopped the linage of racism in her family.

I love books with deep underlying messages.
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I purchased this book due to the fact that I would be attending a conference at which Ms. Park is speaking (I like to get an idea of the presentors background). I knew that Ms. Park is talented, but never did I expect to enjoy it so very very much. As an author I found the entries between the chapters to be facinating. What a great idea. And the story itself was amazing as well. I can not say enough about the whole package other than READ IT! Can't wait to meet you Ms. Park! Julia (not Julia Song, but still Julia)
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