Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream
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Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Clara Lee knows exactly what she likes: her best friends, her grandpa, kimchi, candy necklaces, and her dream of becoming the next Little Miss Apple Pie.

Clara Lee knows exactly what she doesn't like: when her little sister is being annoying, her mom's fish soup, bad dreams (but Grandpa says they mean good luck), and speaking in front of lots of people (but she'll have to d...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Doret
8 yr old Clara Lee wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie for the Apple Blossom Festival. Clara Lee is scared about going for Little Miss Apple pie until her Grandpa interpret her dream, to mean good luck.

The next day everything goes right for Clara Lee. But too soon, good luck is gone. Clara Lee, gets in trouble at the dinner table and into a fight with a very good friend. Another girl who wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie tells Clara Lee she's not American enough to win.

This story was great I am...more
Sarah BT
I'm a big fan of Jenny Han, especially her first novel, the fantastic tween novel Shug. So when I saw she was heading back to MG territory, I was thrilled!

Clara Lee is a younger tween read, but perfect for young tweens looking for an easy chapter book to read. Clara Lee's voice is fun and she surrounds herself with a memorable cast of characters. Her relationship with her Grandpa is sweet and I loved when Clara Lee would try to spell the words Grandpa was trying to read-too cute. She has an ann...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
Clara Lee is a fun, cute, book with wonderful illustrations and a fantastic message about being proud of who you are. Clara Lee lives with her parents, younger sister and Grandpa. She has a great imagination, a best friend and dreams of being the Apple Pie Princess. Like many kids her age, Clara learns how to enjoy the good days she has, and how to hold your head high during the bad days, when kids make fun of you, when you fight with a friend and get in trouble at home. Luckily for Clara she ha...more
Ardea Smith
Title / Author / Publication Date: Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream/Jenny Han/2011

Genre: Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Plot summary: Clara Lee knows exactly what she likes: her best friends, her grandpa, kimchi, candy necklaces, and her dream of becoming the next Little Miss Apple Pie.

Clara Lee knows exactly what she doesn't like: when her little sister is being annoying, her mom's fish soup, bad dreams (but Grandpa says they mean good luck), and speaking in front of lots of people (but she'll have t...more
Bethany
Apparently, I just love Jenny Han. Everything she writes, I love.

It's always hard to explain what it is that makes intermediate novels good, because, well, here's the plot:

Clara Lee is in the third grade. She's Korean-American, and her grandfather interprets dreams. She has one day of incredible good luck after her , and she decides to sign up to be Little Miss Apple Pie, and she really really wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie in the apple festival, but she'll have to give a speech in front of t...more
Mandy
**I read an ARC of this book where much of the art was not finalized**

This book was short and sweet, about a Korean- American girl named Clara Lee who has dreams of being on the Apple Blossom Festival. She has a dream that her grandfather interprets to mean good luck, which leads her to keeping track of all the good things that happen to her. As the list grows, she gets the courage to sign up for the speech contest that determines who will ride on the float. But as her luck seems to turn, will s...more
Liz Padula
Sep 02, 2013 Liz Padula rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my friends
Recommended to Liz by: my sister
Typed by a 3rd grader for her summer reading project.

Clara Lee and the apple pie dream is about a girl named Clara Lee who is about 9 years old and lives in a small town. She goes to school there and has lots of friends. In the book, there is a contest to be the "little princess". Many people want to be the little princess because the winner gets to be on a the apple pie festival float in a parade. You have to try out and make a speech in front of the whole school the school votes to choose the...more
Stephanie
May 04, 2014 Stephanie added it
Shelves: contemporary
Jenny Han’s Clara Lee and the Apple Pie dream is a brilliant story about a no-nonsense Korean-American third grader who lives in small town America. One night, Clara Lee has a frightening dream, in which her grandfather dies. She shares this terrible dream with her grandfather, who informs her that it is an actually Good Luck dream. Clara Lee hopes that the good luck will help her become Little Miss Apple Pie in the town’s Apple Blossom Festival. She is having a great day until Dionne Gregory sh...more
Dolly
May 30, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
It took us a long time to read this book. We had a slow start and put it down for awhile. But once we got really into the story, we finished it quickly. We liked the various characters and we loved the mixture of Korean culture and the Apple Blossom Festival. The black and white illustrations are very expressive and complement the story nicely. We really enjoyed reading this story and would like to read more about Clara Lee and her family and friends.
Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Third grader Clara Lee wants nothing more than to be crowned Little Miss Apple Pie and ride on a float while wearing the special red dress her grandfather bought her in Korea. Initially she’s afraid to make the necessary audition speech, but after she has a scary dream—which her grandfather tells her actually means good luck—it seems like nothing can stop her! She gets a good seat on the bus, a secret friend puts a candy necklace in her desk…surely she’s got the tiara in the bag. But then her lu...more
Elissa
Clara Lee really wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie, but she's afraid to give a speech in front of the whole school. Then she has a bad dream involving her grandfather. When she tells him about the dream, he assures her that means good luck is coming her way. And he's right! She gets a good seat on the bus, climbs the rope in P.E., and more so she signs up for Little Miss Apple Pie, knowing good luck is on her side.

This was my first Jenny Han book (although my teen librarian LOVES her!) and I rea...more
Shazzer
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

As soon as I heard that Jenny Han was releasing a book for early middle grade readers, I did a little dance of joy at my desk. A new Jenny Han book is always going to be a reason to celebrate, but a new Jenny Han book branching out into yet another age group? Super celebration time. Han’s Shug is one of my favorite coming of age books for older middle grade readers, and her YA Summer series (The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, and the forthcomin...more
Madigan McGillicuddy
I loved this sweet story about a third-grade Korean-American girl. Clara Lee goes by her first and last name because, "It just sounds better that way. Like peanut butter and jelly, like trick-or-treat, or fairy and princess, those words just go together. Just like me, Clara Lee." Clara Lee has a lot of personality, and this realistic fiction novel offers a fun look at her family, school and friends. The illustrations keep the story moving along perfectly, and bridge the gap for kids who are just...more
The Rusty Key
Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Jordan B. Nielsen

Recommended for: Girls, aged 8 and Up. Though surely appealing to everyone, this story will be particularly relatable to Korean-American, Asian-American, or any first-generation American kids with strong cultural backgrounds.

One Word Summary: Splendid.

Sweet without being syrupy, Jenny Han delivers a book for younger readers with the same relatable, honest, unadorned narrative voice found in her works for teens. With seemingly no difficulty at all,...more
Allison Parker
Clara Lee has a dream. She wants to become Little Miss Apple Pie this year, which means she would ride on a parade float in her town's Apple Blossom Festival, wearing a red dress and a beautiful tiara. When she discovers she's got some Good Luck, she just knows she should sign up to audition. But Georgina, another girl in her third grade class, suggests that perhaps Clara Lee isn't as American as Little Miss Apple Pie, since Clara Lee is Korean American. Maybe Good Luck can't help her win, after...more
Suebee
NEW AT THE HILLSIDE LIBRARY: Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han, Pictures by Julia Kuo

Clara Lee is a Korean American girl who lives with her family (which includes Grandpa and Mom and Dad) in a town called Bramley, and Clara Lee looks forward to the town's yearly Apple Pie Festival. Clara Lee is in the third grade, and her sister Emmeline is six.

Rarely does an early chapter book come along that makes me excited to finish it! Well written and delightful, it would be perfect for teac...more
Jess
Sep 25, 2012 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ivy & Bean or Ruby Lu fans
Recommended to Jess by: New book at work
See, there's this apple festival...

Shug remains one of the most realistic junior high books I've read. Ever since then, I've purchased Jenny Han's stuff for work.

This one's a happy little chapter book. Low stakes (unless you're in 3rd grade and really want to be the apple pie princess, because then those stakes be high), nice details on school life and family life including the gentle annoyances of having a little sister, etc. Han did a great job bringing in some Korean-American touches.

No real...more
Tiffany
This book makes you feel good and that anything is possible. The story is about Clara Lee and her dream to be Little Miss Apple Pie. When she has a bad dream, her Grandpa tells her it actually means good luck! In this spirit, Clara is able to gather her courage to pursue the things she dreams about. The theme is about growing and taking the leap of faith in order to make anything come true. Sweet story that girls around 9 years old and above will love and enjoy!
Jess
This is one of those stories that's great for kids who can read chapter books, but who don't want something too long and still enjoy the support of illustrations (which are sweet and straightforward). Although Clara Lee is a third-grader, the content makes it perfect for younger kids as well, those kids who are strong readers early on and enjoy realistic stories. Clara Lee has a great relationship with her grandfather and a not-so-great one with her younger sister, and she starts tracking her Go...more
Ingrid
Clara Lee is a third grader who wants to try out for the Little Miss Apple Pie pageant. This is scary because she would have to give a speech in front of the whole school. She begins to rethink her her idea when a classmate questions if she is "American" enough because she is Korean American. I think that kids will be able to relate to Clara Lee. I really liked this early chapter book.
Tasha
Clara Lee wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie in the upcoming Apple Blossom Festival parade. But it requires that she gives a speech in front of the entire school and that worries her. So when she has a dream that she thinks is a nightmare but her grandfather assures her is good luck, she discovers that she has an entire day of luck. She gets the backseat on the bus, she climbs all the way to the top of the rope in gym class, and someone secretly gives her a candy necklace. So she signs up to comp...more
Cass -  Words on Paper
3.5/5

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream was a really sweet, short story about a Korean-American third-grader called Clara Lee. I loved the honesty in her voice and storytelling. I loved the illustrations that accompanied the simply formed sentences. I loved the characters- I particularly found the relationship between Clara Lee and her grandfather to be extremely endearing. The cultural aspect of the book (the main character is of Korean descent) was easy to follow and relate to. Being an ABC (Au...more
Katie Bruce
Wahoo! Finally finished this galley that I've had sitting around my apartment forever! (Also have a stack of other galleys sitting around in the same spot, but will try not to think of those right now...). Cute story--cover says readers of Clementine and Junie B. Jones will like this, and I would agree. The fact that the main character is Korean American is what makes this unique, and I liked that the author took that fact on and brought it to the front of the story. Clara Lee is trying out for...more
Jenn Estepp
2 1/2. It's cute enough, I guess, but there are an awful lot of cute/spunky/precocious/whatevs early-chapter girl books and, compared to the best of them, Clara Lee didn't stack up. At times, it felt very lessony - like, "Okay, kids! Now we're going to learn about being a good friend!" - and a great part of the voice felt inauthentic. More like what grown-ups think kids this age sound like, as opposed to what they actually sound like.

I did super like Clara Lee's interactions with her grandfathe...more
Heather
Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream is a cute, fun read for 2nd and 3rd graders with whimsical pencil sketches, a dazzling cover complete with glitter letters, and a story of self-confidence. Clara Lee is a liitle girl who has bad dreams. Her grandfather says her dreams will bring her good luck. And they do! A candy necklace, ginger snaps, and her favorite seat on the bus. But when life takes a terrible turn including an unwanted Valentine and teasing from her friends she has to find the courage i...more
Inge
Aug 27, 2010 Inge rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
Such a cute, fun little read in the same vein as Judy Moody, Ivy and Bean, and Clementine. Clara Lee desperately wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie, sort of a queen of the local pageant that is based on a speech (not on looks/beauty). In her quest to become Little Miss Apple Pie, Clara struggles with her pain in the hoo hoo little sister Emmeline, her fear of not being American enough (Clara is Korean American), bad dreams (luckily her grandfather is a "world reknowned" dream interpreter), romant...more
Abby Johnson
Korean-American third-grader Clara Lee dreams of being Little Miss Apple Pie and riding on a float at the Apple Blossom Festival, but in order to be chosen, she has to make a speech in front of the whole school and she doesn't have the nerve. When Clara Lee has a good-luck dream about her grandpa, she knows that good luck will follow her in whatever she does and she signs up for the Little Miss Apple Pie competition. But will her good luck last?

Clara Lee is a likable character and the book's pe...more
Robin Rousu
Sweet family/school story. Strikes that tough balance of being well-grounded in a specific culture, but having universal appeal. Realistically complex sibling and friend relationship dynamics. Highly recommended for ages 6-9.
Leslie
"Jenny Han’s Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream is absolutely delightful. It is a sweet little chapter book for the 8-10 crowd with a sassy protagonist who will easily charm any reader."

[...]

"Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream is certain to be a pleasure for any reader looking for a non-white protagonist, and/or a multi-cultural home. Clara Lee is a second generation Korean American. Korean Americans will likely find familiarity, and those unfamiliar with Korean culture will be enchanted—and infor...more
Terry
This is a lovely story. Clara Lee is as girl-next-door as they come, and the author does a beautiful job illustrating how multicultural families are American. The writing is crisp, descriptive, and totally accessible to transitional readers. Clara uses words like "un-cheer-up-able" which is as kid-friendly as it gets.

To read our full website review (complete with the kids' opinions!) go to The Reading Tub®.

To read our Blog Review: Go to our Scrub-a-Dub-Tub Book Talk.
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