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Project Mulberry

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,876 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
Julia Song and her friend Patrick want to team up to win a blue ribbon at the state fair, but they can't agree on the perfect project. Then
Julia's mother suggests they raise silkworms as she did years ago in Korea. The optimistic twosome quickly realizes that raising silkworms is a lot tougher than they thought. And Julia never suspected that she'd be discussing the fate o
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Yearling (first published January 1st 2005)
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mitchell k dwyer
Jul 29, 2009 mitchell k dwyer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: older elementary students; kids dealing with asian-ness
Shelves: reviewed
Why I really, really like this book:

Julia, a Korean-American seventh-grader, deals with a lot of issues common to Asians growing up in the United States. I immediately identified with some of her insecurities.

Patrick, Julia's best friend, becomes her friend mainly because he's not put off by the smell of kim chee. I love how a simple thing like this can break through some of Julia's hangups and lead to a real friendship. When you're that age, sometimes little things like that do lead to th
Oct 23, 2007 Abbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of themes going on in this book. It feels a little messy, and some of the ideas are never tied up successfully. It also gets a bit preachy at times. It also has sections between the chapters where the author discusses things with the main character; it didn't really work for me.
Oct 16, 2011 528_Kristin rated it it was amazing
Summary: Julia is a typical American child who lives in Plainfield, Illinois. Her family is Korean, and she sometimes has a hard time with that. She wants to blend in and be more “American”. Her best friend Patrick lives across the street. Together they join the Wiggle Club, an environmental club. They need to do an animal husbandry project, but can’t decide on what to do. Julia’s mom suggested raising silk worms like her mother used to do in Korea.
Patrick is thrilled with the idea, but Julia i
Oct 17, 2015 Madison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
Some background on how I came upon this book. In elementary school we were typically allowed to borrow from the teacher's library full of books for us to read. While it encouraged reading, I have to applaud my teachers' willingness to use their money on us.
Anyway, I had read this book because it had a Korean girl on it and was written by a Korean author. Even when I was younger, I loved to read these kinds of books. That year though, my third grade teacher retired and, along with popiscles, let
In Seo Woo
Feb 21, 2015 In Seo Woo rated it liked it
I personally really liked reading this book for several reasons. In fact, this was one of the books that I enjoyed the most. This book is mainly about a girl named Julia, a seventh grade Korean-American girl in America. Although she had friends before she moved somewhere else, one time when her friends visited her house and smelled Kim Chee (kimchi), they thought it was gross. This made her have sort of a Kimchi trauma because she thought that everybody would be grossed out, just like her friend ...more
Barb Middleton
Dec 10, 2012 Barb Middleton rated it really liked it
Linda Sue Park reminds me of Lowis Lowry as a writer. You always get a well-crafted, unique story with characters' that have distinct voices and a tight plot. She's also such a sophisticated writer, I don't think readers always get what she's doing. Take the metafictional narrative that occurs between the author and the protagonist in this story. On the outset, it is a story about a girl and her best friend doing a project about silkworms for a state fair competition. Themes abound regarding fri ...more
Carolyn S
Dec 13, 2012 Carolyn S rated it it was ok
I’m currently reading the book “Project Mulberry” by Linda Sue Park. Julia and her friend, Patrick are intending to make something absolutely awesome for their partner project... but right now their minds have gone blank. Until the day Julia asked her mom for suggestions, her mom gave the idea of growing silkworms and making some thread. But Julia thought it was FAR to Korean. Still she decides to be loyal and tell Patrick. I like this book because the characters are so interesting, funny, and s ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Not one of the best books I've ever read, but still a pretty good kid's novel with a creative and original topic and interesting characters.
Alex Baugh
Like most best friends, seventh-graders Julia Song and Patrick like to do everything together, from homework to collecting state quarters to joining the Work-Grow-Give-Live Club, affectionately known as the Wiggle Club. The club's purpose it to teach kids about farming, and every January, members are supposed to sign up to work on farm-related a project which will then be exhibited at the State Fair in August.

A project is right up Julia and Patrick's alley, but they can't come up with a good one
Landon Rotolo-Utz
Apr 14, 2015 Landon Rotolo-Utz rated it really liked it
Project Mulberry would be a great resource for any upper elementary school teacher. This book offers so many opportunity for learning experiences as well as class discussions. This book was a quick read only about 220 pages but contains numerous situations and issues that will connect with children. It also acts as a gateway to get children to think critically about issues such as racism, stereotyping, and patriotism.

As a resource is the classroom this book could be used both for independent
Kelly Grimes
I personally did not enjoy this book that much. I thought the plot of the story was very slow and dragged on. But I did enjoy this book because I am not familiar with the Korean culture, so I was able to learn more about this culture especially with the importance of Silk Worms. I think I didn’t enjoy this book that much because I couldn’t relate with any personal experiences. Julia Song was almost embarrassed of her Korean culture, not wanting to expose her culture to students. She did everythi ...more
Kristina Befort
Apr 11, 2015 Kristina Befort rated it really liked it
Project Mulberry tells the story of Julia and her best friend Patrick, and their work on their Wiggle Club project. Julia's family is from Korea, and her and Patrick decide to raise silkworms for their project, but Julia fights the idea because she wants to be less Korean and more American. After working on the project for a couple of months, Julia learns to accept her heritage, and actually grows to love the silkworms.

Overall I thought this book was good. I vaguely remember reading it when I w
The book is about a young Korean American girl, Julia Song, who lives in a small predominantly white town and HATES kimchee. Her best friend is the precocious Caucasian boy who lives across the street. Julia and Patrick do everything together, they study together, they walk to school together- Patrick practically lives with the Songs in order to escape his numerous siblings and hectic home. The funny thing is, Patrick LOVES kimchee, everyday after doing homework together Julia’s mother is waitin ...more
Sara Baker
This book is about a girl named Julia Song. Julia is Korean and her best friend is Patrick. Patrick and her have always been friends and done school work together. When needing their next project idea, they listen to Julia's mom about raising silkworms. Julia is hesitant at first but in the end, ends up really liking them.
Julia battles her emotions throughout the book. She does not know how to react to her mother not wanting her to go to a complete stranger's house to pick leaves off his
Nov 21, 2014 Wyattmclaughlin rated it it was amazing
I really liked the book Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park. I have read a lot of other books by Linda Sue Park too and it was really good just like this one. I read A Long Walk to Water by her also.I just could not put the book down.

The main characters in the book are mostly Patrick and Julia. They are really good friends and they are in this club called the Wiggle Club. They have to do a project on a certain subject and they did Animal Husbandry and Domestic Arts. So what they did was they did
Apr 29, 2015 Kaity rated it really liked it
[bookcover:Project Mulberry|138047Project Mulberry is about two kids named Julia and Patrick that want to win a ribbon at the state fair. They argue for awhile about what the perfect project would be until Julia’s mom suggests that they try to raise silkworms. Julia’s mom is from Korea and she raised silkworms herself when she lived there. Julia and Patrick love this idea but they soon come to find that raising silkworms is not exactly the easiest task. The author does something very interesting ...more
Apr 20, 2014 Caroline rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This is another one of the books I'm using with my students for their author study project (it's the companion to Park's The Kite Fighters).

Unlike several other of the author's books, this is a modern story, about a Korean-American girl, Julie, living in a town where there are no other Korean-American families. She and her best friend, Patrick, are putting together a project to submit to the state fair, but they can't come up with anything. Her mom suggests that they grow silk worms and then ma
Apr 13, 2015 Olivia rated it liked it
Grades: 3rd-4th
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other books I have read in class. I thought it was a slow read and I wasn't engaged throughout the book. However, I think this book was unique by incorporating "pauses" in between each chapter to have a dialog between Mrs. Park and Julia. By having this dialog, it helps with character development and comprehension. I would use this book in various ways, but one way in particularly, I would introduce a lesson over the different types of insec
Alex Daniels
Mar 17, 2016 Alex Daniels rated it liked it
Project Mulberry is a book about Julia Song and her friend Patrick who partner up to win a ribbon in the state fair. They decide to do their project on raising silk worms, thanks to her mother who is from Korea. The task at raising silk worms is actually very difficult. They find that silk worms eat mulberry leaves, hence the title. This book is a great choice for children who are competing in any type of fair, or who have to team up with a partner to complete a project. The book shows how two d ...more
Jan 09, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asian-american
Book covers so much - intimate lifecycle of silkworms, basic embroidery, sustainable farming and ethics of raising farm animals, racism, what it takes to be a good friend. Realistic, fun dialog. Author/main character banter following each chapter shows young writers how a storyline and characters are developed.
Mar 24, 2015 Hyejun rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-read
This book is about a Korean-American girl named Julia Song who have to do a Wiggle Project with Patrick, her best friend who never complained about the kimchi smell in her house. Her mother suggests to grow silk worms because she grew them in Korea when she was young. But Julia thinks it's too Korean. Will she able to finish the Wiggle Project with Patrick without having it be too Korean?
I have three words for this book: short, simple, sweet. I thought it was nice story talking about a project.
Jordan Hernandez
This book is an interesting mix of perspectives the main character Julia, and the author Linda Sue Park. It is an excellent novel in my opinion that tackles the ideas of labels on people and how they are defined. This book could be read prior of a science fair at the school, it can give students ideas to start and build off. It can also spark discussion over where labels come from and what they mean to different people. This book for also work for individual reader working on trying to understan ...more
Scott Hayden
Apr 27, 2014 Scott Hayden rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Julie wants a great project for the Wiggle Club, but her best friend Patrick's idea rubs her the wrong way - the Korean way. Despite, or perhaps because of her Korean heritage, she'd rather do something more American. Yet she can't bring herself to admit it to Patrick. Enter "Agent Song" on the secret mission to allow natural sabotage.

So begins the first of a few conflicts.

Sweet, innocent, light reading. Naturally and gently opens opportunities to talk about many topics: sustainability, respect
Karen Grikitis-Sage
Apr 21, 2016 Karen Grikitis-Sage rated it really liked it
As well as teaching children about silkworms (fascinating in themselves) this book touches on a number of potential issues including racism, sustainability, phobias and 'fitting in'. These are dealt with sensitively through the words and actions of Julia Song, a young girl of Korean parentage living in small town America. She and her neighbourhood friend Patrick decide to raise silkworms for a project to be entered in a competition at the state fair. In between chapters the author engages in dia ...more
Lee Födi
Dec 18, 2014 Lee Födi rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite Linda Sue Park books. It has a tight plot, interesting characters, and some nice messages. Best of all are the quirky interjections that happen between the main character and the . . . well, the author. These could be taken out or skipped (as some of my creative writing students have admitted to doing) without impacting the overall story arc, but in my opinion, this device just makes this book all the more memorable. I spend a lot of time in Korea, so personally, I rea ...more
Gabriela Fernandez
Julia just moved to a new school and is having a hard time making friends. When she meets Patrick, they become fast friends, all starting when Patrick told her he liked Kimchee, a traditional Korean food, After they become friends, they have to decide on a science fair project, and Julia’s mom suggests raising silkworms. Although Julia is initially hesitant because she wants to do a project more “Americanized”, they eventually end up doing their project on silkworms. They put a lot of work and ...more
Meredith Mason
Mar 20, 2016 Meredith Mason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm-335, wow-books
This book is told through the point of view of young Julia, a Korean-American who has many insecurities about the culture and lifestyle of her family and how it is different than that of her peers. In the book, Julia becomes friends with a young boy named Patrick who takes a liking to kim-chee (one of Julia's insecurities about her culture) and the two work end up working on a school project together to make silk by growing a mulberry bush and silk worms. The book details the struggles that youn ...more
Ms. P
May 13, 2016 Ms. P rated it really liked it
A farming club project, pushing friendship boundaries, and exploring racial acceptance merge in this fun story. Patrick and Julia decide to raise silkworms for the WGGL (AKA "Wiggle") club project, but they run into problems along the way. The only thing I didn't like about this book was how the author decided to insert short "interviews" between herself and Julia in between chapters. They gave us "permission" to skip them if we readers found them distracting. I should have taken them up on thei ...more
Jill Wolf
Mar 26, 2016 Jill Wolf rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Contemporary #2
This book is about a Korean girl and her friend who are part of the Wiggle Club. This club is kind of similar to 4-H. They are trying to come up with a project to take to the state fair, but they can't seem to agree on anything. Julia's mom suggests that they raise silkworms like she did as a child in Korea with her own mother. Patrick is excited about it, but Julia is not. Eventually, Julia gets on board and the project is a huge success! This book would be great to teach kids ab
(2007) Seventh grader Julia Song is a Korean-American girl who has just moved to a virtually all-white community. Julia befriends a neighbor boy named Patrick and the two are looking for a project that will take them to the state fair. Julia's mom suggests that they raise silkworms as she once did as a young girl in Korea, but Julia rejects the idea as too Korean. After Patrick's sustained persistence Julia finally agrees to go ahead with the project. Julia learns much about the "science" of rai ...more
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Linda Sue Park is a Korean American author of children's fiction. Park published her first novel, Seesaw Girl, in 1999. To date, she has written six children’s novels and five picture books for younger readers. Park’s work achieved prominence when she received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard.

More about Linda Sue Park...

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