Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The House That Lou Built” as Want to Read:
The House That Lou Built
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The House That Lou Built

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  347 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Lou Bulosan-Nelson is going to build her dream. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother's house in San Francisco, and longs for a place of her own where she can escape her lovable but large extended Filipino family. Lou has a talent for woodshop class and creating projects, and plans to build a tiny house, 100 square feet, all her own, on land that she inherited ...more
Published June 12th 2018 by Random House Kids/Wendy Lamb Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  347 ratings  ·  117 reviews

Sort order
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps inspired by Erin Entrada Kelly, Mae Respicio drew on her Filipino heritage for The House That Lou Built, and the story's originality is notable. Lucinda (Lou) Bulosan-Nelson, soon to be thirteen, loves her family. Her Filipino mother's relatives are ever-present: hosting parties, cooking good food, always ready to lend a hand. Lou never met her own father, a white man with a passion for building with his hands, but she inherited his knack for construction. After he died in a car accident ...more
Marie Cruz
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read the arc and absolutely loved it. It’s a book every Filipino American kid can relate to and a story every American will enjoy. :)
Ms. Yingling
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from

Lou lives with her mother and grandmother in San Francisco. Her father died before she was born, and her grandfather passed away a few years ago, but she has a large, supportive extended family and many friends. Her mother is training to be a registered nurse and is struggling financially. She's looking for jobs, and favoring one she is offered in Washington state, because the cost of living is much cheaper. Lou does not want to leave the area, especially since her father
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely story about following your dreams, no matter what challenges come your way! Lou lives with her mother and grandmother. She is incredibly tight with her Filipino family and they do everything together. Lou makes a plan to create a tiny house on the plot of land that her dad left to her. Through building this house, she connects with her father, whom she never got the chance to meet because of his death just months before she was born. When Lou’s mother brings up the idea to move to anoth ...more
Afoma Umesi
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the publisher for a free review copy of this book!

Lou is a middle grader with a knack for building. She excels at her woodwork classes and has dreams of building her own tiny house. Especially because she currently lives with her mother in her grandmother’s house and barely has any privacy. She becomes even more desperate to build when her mother decides to move Lou away from her friends and large Filipino family for a new job offer.

I enjoyed reading LOU and definitely thought her to
Michele Knott
I loved meeting Lou and learning about her passion of building a very unique home.
Toni Rose Deanon
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love love love the fact that this is about Filipino culture and identity. I loved reading words in Tagalog and nodding my head in agreement about traditions and superstitions. I also find it pretty aqesome that the protagonist is female, mixed, and loves to build things with her hands. She definitely doesn't fit the stereotype of a girl, and it makes her that much better.
Lorie Barber
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy of The House That Lou built, thanks to Random House Kids books. I read it in a day and I absolutely loved it.

Lou’s story is strikingly original, as is she. She is resilient, persistent, and real, making mistakes and learning from them. I couldn’t think of a better role model for my students. Lou and her family are beautifully developed, and her creativity and optimism when presented with problems are both traits of like to see developing in my students.

But what stru
It is wonderful to find middle grade novels in which female protagonists aren't boy crazy or preoccupied with their appearance. While a case could be made that these concerns are part of coming of age and being in the middle grades, a steady diet of books that tackle those issues can get old after awhile. Thus, it is refreshing to meet Lou Bulosan-Nelson, a 12-year-old who is determined to build her own tiny house on property she inherited from her father. Lou is more interested in learning how ...more
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 8-12, 660 L
Lou Bulosan-Nelson is not your typical 12-year old. This Filipina- American girl has spirit, intelligence and perseverance. Equipped with power tools, goggles and her blueprints, Lou is determined to build her very own tiny house on the land that her dad left for her. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother’s house and longs for a place to call her own.

With the help of her friends and her teacher, Lou seeks to accomplish her dream. But, one day her mother receives a certified letter a
Melissa Sarno
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved Lou and her tiny house dreams. The friends and family in her life made me so happy. What a lovely, heartwarming book.
Anna Spears
Alternative Assessment

For this book, I chose to have my alternate assessment be to think about the main character of the book and describe why you would or would not like to be friends with her. Students would be expected to give at least three reasons they would or would not want to be friends with her and cite specifics from the text to support their reasons. Donalyn Miller states: "Shifting the purpose for reading a book toward the memorization of plot details and away from an overall appreci
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

My first book of 2019 was such a joy to read. Lou is a biracial 12 year-old girl living with Filipino family in San Francisco. She loves to create things and she dreams of building her own tiny house on a spot of land that her late father left her. But when Lou's mom begins considering a job in a different state, Lou kicks her plan into high gear in order to finish building the house in time to convince her mom not to make her move away from her friends and family.

May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interest Level: 3-6

@kidlitexchange #partner Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.

What would you do if you found out your mother wanted to move you away from your family and friends? What would you do if you found out that the land your dad gave you is about to be taken away because your mom can't afford the taxes on it? Would you think to build a tiny house on it? I wouldn't, but Lou was determined to do just that. Lou is the top of her
Feb 25, 2019 added it
Shelves: diverse-books
"The House That Lou Built" by Mae Respicio (2018-2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner)

I am Me
A young girl, innovative, driven, aspiring to make her dreams a reality.
Surrounded by loved ones, close bonds between family and friends never fading.
The sight of smiling images adorning the walls, the smell of crispy lumpia rolls, and the sound of laughter and dance filling the air.
Her mind filled with thoughts of honoring her father, using her own hands to create a tiny house, a hom
Shaye Miller
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was thrilled to get my hands on this darling book the day it was released. Lou is a 7th grader who is half-Filipino and half-Caucasian. She lost her father when she was just a baby, but she has an extremely supportive family living in close proximity. Because her mother is struggling financially, she is considering accepting a job in Washington state that would pay for Lou’s future college costs. However, this would take them far from their family and friends. So Lou concocts a plan to keep he ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The excerpt I read sounds intriguing. Then I read some reviews of the book on various sites. Still sounds like a good read. I would think 5th to 8th grader might enjoy this story. Some may well be puzzled as so many schools have discontinued shop classes. Liability must be pretty high and do they really have a use anyway. Much like home ec. At least skills in home ec are useful. Not sure about shop classes.... They seem to have been more useful back in the 60s and 70s. By the 80's and 90s not mu ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Alternative Assessment: Book Commercial

Rationale: I would choose a book commercial as an alternative assessment because, it would not only show student understanding of the book, but it would also spark interest and encourage other students to read the same book. Donalyn Miller states, "In order to inspire students to read when school requirements to do so a lifted, we must provide them with authentic opportunities to share with other readers what they love about the books they read." A book com
Katie Fitzgerald
Jun 24, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
Though I was interested in the subject matter of this book, the writing style fell flat for me almost immediately. The text is easy to read, but it's almost too straightforward, without the warmth and humor that work best for middle grade protagonists. I stuck with it for about 25 pages, but when the main character and her best friend started lecturing the boys in their class about women who have made a difference in history they stopped sounding like believable kids and began to sound like talk ...more
Abby Johnson
This is a story with a lot of heart set in a strong, caring Filipino-American community in San Francisco.
Laura (bbliophile)
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
I read this book earlier this year but I apparently didn't mark it as read on here so I'm doing that now! This book was absolutely adorable and I loved it a lot
Melissa Jung
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
So sweet, so wholesome, and I think the first book I've read with a Filipino-American family. A read that will make your heart happy. Middle school teachers, add this to your library!
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

There is so much to celebrate in THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT. I know that my girl-power-loving second grader will love reading a book about a strong, smart, independent young girl who can bridge between goofing off with friends and managing a complex construction site. I'll also recommend this book to my half-Filipina nieces, who I’m sure will appreciate reading about Lou, her Filipino culture, and her lo
Karen Hsu
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mgfiction
MG@Heart book club pick.

What a fun and beautiful story. I loved Lou's spunkiness and determination to built her tiny house. I went and looked at tiny houses afterward; they are SO cute! The characters felt true to life with their unique talents and strengths.

I loved that all the elements of family and friends and home came together by the end. I especially loved the touching scene near the end of her dad. It made me cry.

Wonderful book.
Jessica Bayliss
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a fun MG with a spirited protagonist. Lou wants nothing more than to build a tiny house on land left to her by the father who died before she was born, but when she learns that she and her mom may need to move out of state, she faces the reality that she might have to leave that dream behind--along with her loving extended family. I loved watching Lou fight for what she wanted. A fun read that also made me very hungry!
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 3-6

@kidlitexchange #partner Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.

What would you do if you found out your mother wanted to move you away from your family and friends? What would you do if you found out that the land your dad gave you is about to be taken away because your mom can't afford the taxes on it? Would you think to build a tiny house on it? I wouldn't, but Lou was determined to do just that. Lou is the top of her
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, jf, read-2018
Thank you to the publisher for this ARC.

The House That Lou Built was a sweet story about a 7th grade girl named Lou who dreams of building a tiny house on land her father left her. Lou is Filipina, and the author did a great job incorporating the culture into the story. Reading about different food and festivals was a highlight of this book. I also loved the relationships between Lou and her friends. They supported her in her dreams but still kept Lou grounded when she let her dream change the
This book made me cry before I'd even finished the first chapter.

Lou exists in a very different context than I did as a young girl, but so many of the little touchstones in her life--Filipino food, family friends, working out her identity as a biracial Filipina-American girl--are familiar to me. Her stubbornness and spirit made me wonder if I was ever that strong as a kid, and her struggle with the idea of moving is a struggle my heart knows all too well. Mae Respicio writes Lou with a voice th
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so utterly delightful. From the first page, I was captivated by Lou's voice; I loved her big, wonderful family, her plucky DIY spirit, and (of course) her tiny house dreams. From the moment I first saw the deal announcement for a middle grade book about tiny house building, I've had my eye out for Mae Respicio's THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT, and it didn't disappoint! By turns hilarious, heartwarming, and inspiring, this is definitely a debut to watch for.
Genielysse Reyes
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is as warm and comforting as the house Lou envisions. I know that this protagonist's determination will stay with readers for a long while. And I am again so thrilled to read a story that illustrates the love and community of a Filipino American family...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Science of Breakable Things
  • Just Under the Clouds
  • Merci Suárez Changes Gears
  • After Zero
  • The Benefits of Being an Octopus
  • The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden (The Vanderbeekers #2)
  • The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora
  • Stef Soto, Taco Queen
  • The Parker Inheritance
  • The Way to Bea
  • Kat Greene Comes Clean
  • The Third Mushroom
  • The Three Rules of Everyday Magic
  • Paper Chains
  • P.S. I Miss You
  • Hurricane Child
  • So Done (So Done, #1)
  • Front Desk
Mae Respicio grew up in Northern California and like the main character in her debut middle grade novel, spent many childhood summers dancing in a Filipino folk dance troupe. Mae is a past recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. She's been a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook and Atlantic Center for the Arts and has published a variety of musings on parenthood. She lives with her ...more