Project Mulberry
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Project Mulberry

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  2,052 ratings  ·  222 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...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Yearling (first published January 1st 2005)
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mitchell dwyer
Jul 29, 2009 mitchell dwyer rated it 4 of 5 stars 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...more
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...more
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.
Barb Middleton
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
Cheryl in CC NV
Mar 29, 2012 Cheryl in CC NV rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheryl in CC NV by: Tween Reader
Well this one just hit all of my buttons - *plus* it's got lots of great aspects for other readers - so, yeah, I have to give the ultimate five-star rating.

It explores a friendship between a boy and a girl at the age when they generally don't want to be seen associating together. It has the inter-chapter meta-textual conversations between the main character and the author. It includes two different kinds of families, so we and the characters can compare & contrast between the large and the s...more
Carolyn S
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
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...more
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...more
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.
Many years ago, my sister worked at a drama department at a state university in the southwest. Somehow they ended up on the crew for a Paul McCartney concert in the big arena (in the dressing room, perhaps? I forget that part). Apparently the contract specified that no meat could be sold in the concession stands during the concert, since Linda McCartney was a vegetarian vocal animal rights advocate. My sister wanted to point out that many silkworms had to be boiled in their cocoons to make the s...more
Julia and her best friend Patrick are looking for a project for Wiggle Club (Work-Grow-Give-Live) and they hope to enter it in the state fair. But, after examining multiple possibilities, they’re still at a loss. Finally, Julia’s mother suggests that they try raising silkworms. Patrick thinks this is a great idea, but Julia feels it’s too Korean. She won’t come straight out and tell Patrick that she doesn’t want to do the project, though, so that makes for a lot of tension between them. Eventual...more
Project Mulberry is a story about Korean 7th grader Julia Song, her best friend Patrick, and their experiences while trying to complete an "animal husbandry" project for an extracurricular club. Julia and Patrick ask Mrs. Song for help to brainstorm possible projects and she suggests silk worms. After a bit of research, Patrick is convinced that this is the best project for them.

Julia is hesitant to engage in raising silk worms for the project because it's "too Asian," but Patrick insists. Julia...more
528_Mary F.
This book is written by Linda Sue Park.

Julia Song doesn't want to do a silkworm project for the state fair because it is not American enough. But Parick has been her friend for a long time and it is what he wants to do. Despite her reservations, she likes caring for the eggs and eventually sewing the silk thread.

Mr. Dixon, a nice old man, donates the leaves for the project which was a concern of theirs. Mom does not like him, though, because she does not like black people. This is a funny stor...more
Julia is a Korean American who wishes she didn’t stand out so much— even her house smells Korean because of the kimchee. Her friend Patrick doesn’t seem to notice this issue, and loves getting a bite of kimchee every time he comes over, so when he suggests they do a silkworm project for the WIGGLE club (like 4-H), he doesn’t see Julia’s secret resistance to something so Korean. Eventually, Julia does get excited (and decides friendship is more important, so she sacrifices her dislike of the proj...more
NCPL Teenzone
Julia Song hates being Korean. She hates kimchee, Korean pickled cabbage made with garlic, green onions, and hot red peppers. She hates the taste of kimchee, she hates the sight of kimchee, and most of all, Julia hates the smell of kimchee and the way it permeates the house almost immediately after it’s made or a jar of it is opened. Julia and her best friend Patrick have joined the Wiggle Club (Work-Grow-Give-Live!), which is like 4-H. They want to pick the perfect project and win at the state...more
Neil Schleifer
This was an interesting YAL book in a number of ways. First, it handles a bunch of social issues: assimilation, bigotry, ecology. Layered into the mix is a hint of teen romance and sibling rivalry. Finally, and the most interesting conceit, is that Ms. Park has an "interview" with her lead character at the end of nearly every chapter about the process of writing. While it's certainly fun and interesting to see the writer's process, I must admit that at times this gimmick stops the flow of action...more
Cheshire Cat
SO this wasn't my favorite. The actual plot of the story was interesting. I did read plenty of bad reviews on amazon for it and was a bit skeptical but one lady and her daughter seemed to blow it way out of proportion.
There is no animal cruelty. But the book seemed like an excuse to drop some racism in. Racism between asians and blacks doesn't seem to be common, although it is understandable (everyone seems to be racist against blacks...)it seems to be a weird book to touch on racism in so be wa...more
Set in the Chicago suburb of Plainfield, this small town USA story is about a girl named Julia and her best friend Patrick as they complete a project for their WGGL (Work, Grow, Give, Live) group. While completing their project they learn valuable life lessons about survival, racism, family traditions. The reader also gets a close up look into the writing process as the main character converses with the author between the chapters.

This is a very clever story that threads together so much history...more
Project Mulberry Julia Song has been a best friend with Patrick ever since she moved to town. They do homework together, study for test, and our both in the Wiggle Club. The club is starting to work on projects that they can enter in to the state fair. When Julia’s mom suggests a project on silk worms Julia thinks it is too Korean, but Patrick loves the idea. Julia is against the silk worm idea because her family is the only Korean family in the town and has previous experiences with prejudice a...more
Patricia  Leon
Project Mulberry, by Linda Park, is a story told from the perspective of the main character named Julia Song, who is Korean-American. Julia is in seventh grade, and through the series of events that take place, she is forced to confront her ethnicity and come to terms with who she is. Julia gets help along the way from her mother, her best friend Patrick, and her annoying brother Kenny. Julia and Patrick want to enter a project in the state fair, through their schools Wiggle Club. Julia wants to...more
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park is the story of a Korean girl, Julia and her best friend Patrick. The two of them are in the Wiggles Club (similar to 4H) and need a project for competition. Julia’s mother tells the children about how she helped raise silk worms in Korea as a youngster. After much discussion, they decide to raise silk worms, even though Julia feels that she would prefer an American project and not a Korean one. Julia also adds a dimension to the project, by creating an embroid...more
Jul 12, 2008 Alison rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: upper elementary students who are in 4-H
Recommended to Alison by: the world wide web
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The book is very relatable for kids interested in animals. Linda was very smart by adding the dialogue between her and one of the characters. It added some extra history to the creation of the book. I think the book was most exciting in the mid-beginning and towards the end, but even those parts weren't that interesting. The only reason that I rated the book with three stars is because it wasn't the greatest compared to other books I have read. I feel there was no real exciting moments the made...more
Reading Vacation
Some books have strong character development, and Project Mulberry is one of those books. As the silkwork project progresses, Julia goes from hating the worms, to loving them. She also goes from being uncomfortable with her Korean heritage to embracing it. I especially enjoyed the "conversations" between Julia and the author after most chapters. This was a writing technique that I had never seen before.

I found the relationship between Julia and Patrick to be realistic. Sometimes they would fight...more
Julia Song, a Korean-American girl lives in Plainfield, Illinois. Her best friend is Patrick who loves her family’s unique cuisine and customs. Julia is trying to minimize the fact that she is Korean and wants to do everything the ‘American Way’. They join the Wiggle Club, short for Work-Grow-Give-Love! and decide they must enter a project for the state fair. Their project will involve some aspect of animal husbandry, under the direction of Mr. Maxwell, who has a sustainable farm in the area. Wh...more
This book is the kind of book adults love to assign kids to read. It covers topics of racism, ecological farming practices, ambitious science/home ec projects, not to mention sibling relationships and working through conflict with friends. As I mentioned in a previous review, the childhood books I prefer are ones that don't tackle tough adult issues but provide a place of wonder and escape. This book features Julia, a 7th grade Korean-American girl who likes to call her brother "snot-brain" and...more
I really enjoyed this one. it was a good middle school read.
a couple of things, Julia is supposed to be in 7th grade, and I didn't really get that impression. I thought 5th grade tops. but that isn't super integral to the story, so it doesn't matter much. the author/character intermissions. they jarred the flow of the story for me. some of the questions/answers/background information was neat, but it totally made things skip for me.

julia song is a korean-american kid living in white bread americ...more
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Julia Song is an average Korean-American girl. She hates kimchee, but her best friend Patrick loves it. In fact, that's what brought them together. When Julia and Patrick must decide on a science project, they feel stuck. Then, Mrs.Song comes up with a great idea! The pair can raise silkworms! Julia doesn't like the idea, because she feels it's too Korean. She goes with the idea anyway. The worms arrive, and the pair must find a mulberry tree to feed them. Patrick finds Mr.Dixon, an African-Amer...more
Beverly Kennett
I really enjoyed reading this book! It was on the list for my 4th grade daughter to read for her school's Battle of the Books contest, so we read it aloud together. The story revovles around two friends who want to enter a project in the state fair together. The main character, Julie, is from Korea and when her friend thinks of a project they can do that can be entered in two categories at the fair, Julie doesn't want the project to be too Korean, but can't admit it to her friend. The way the pr...more
Claire Scott

I'm taking away a star because I just couldn't handle the chapter interludes of the author having conversations with the main character. I skipped them, but they still bugged me.

However, I would have given this five stars if it hadn't been for those. The story was great, and Ms. Park's delicate, unresolved handling of racism was just stellar. The ideas about racism, cultural pluralism, and sustainable farming aren't new to the kids in my community, so it would reinforce discussion rather than i...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...
Storm Warning (The 39 Clues, #9) A Single Shard A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story Trust No One (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #5) When My Name Was Keoko

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