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The House That Lou Built

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  759 ratings  ·  207 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
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Katie The font is actually pretty large. My 8th graders are mainly ELs and they had no problem reading this in less than a month!

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  759 ratings  ·  207 reviews

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While the general themes and subject matter of Mae Respicio's The House That Lou Built are or at least should be of much personal interest to and for me (and this even though I am not all that invested in reading about the specifics of home construction), I do have to sadly but strongly admit that Mae Respicio's writing style, that her methods of literary expression are truly and entirely not at all to my personal reading tastes. For even though The House that Lou Built reads generally easily an ...more
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
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
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
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
Erin Kelly
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Lou! You will, too.
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. :)
Sai at theengineerisreading
✔️Written by Filipina Diaspora author Mae Respicio
✔️Middle grade contemporary
✔️Light, quick read (227 pages, 5 hrs in audio)

Things I enjoyed

*Filipino representatation.
Everything about this book screams Filipino pride. From the things that the Bulosan do (Barrio Fiesta, beliefs, and of course, food,) the experience is accurately based from our culture and heritage.

*Young minds can.
The main premise focuses on Lucinda Bulosan-Nelson, a middle grade Filipino American who is into woodworking and buil
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
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.
Emmanuel Peren
Arrrghhh This MG Book is so Splendid!

The Author itself introduces a much Filipino Centered Culture throughout the book.

For the main character, I find ger brave to fight for something that she dreamed about. Somehow if you are aiming for those things the universe will listen to you.

I love the idea of highlighting Barangay Fiesta, Bayanihan, Balikbayan Box, Filipino food, and Cuisine in this novel. It feels like home. A book that a Filipino reader can relate to.

Also, it is amazing how the autho
Michele Knott
I loved meeting Lou and learning about her passion of building a very unique home.
Dee Dee G
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
My takeaway from this book was never giving up and if plan A fails, try plan B,C,D etc.
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. ...more
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
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I thought I reviewed this already, but I don't see my review. I don't actually remember that much about the book, except for the feeling that it didn't seem very compelling. That's it. ...more
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 he
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
Ari (Books. Libraries. Also, cats.)
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.

Ashley Goyco
Alternative Assessment:
The alternative assessment I chose to do is number two, "Choose a character you'd like to have as a friend. Tell why." I chose to pick a character to be friends with because it is a creative way for students to think about character development. Donalyn Miller argues that giving students freedom within the structure of reading requirements is a productive way to assess students' reading engagement (Miller, 2018). Miller says, "Students are accomplished readers when they ar
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
Sara D
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful story about persistence and family. Lou is a Filipino/American girl within a tight family unit facing the possibility of a move that would create geographical distance from her family. She struggles with not only the separation of family and friends, but from the land that her father left to her. Books portraying cultures are becoming more and more popular in youth fiction. I loved that this one shows the Filipino culture. My sister-in-law if Filipino and in sharing with her ...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
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
Kelly Hager
This is an incredibly sweet middlegrade. I loved every character in it (especially Lou) and I was rooting for Lou and her mom to be able to stay in San Francisco. I was also hoping that Lou would be able to build her house even though, realistically, it's such a huge undertaking and Lou was basically like, "Well, of course I can do this because I'm great in shop class."

(I realize that sounds really dismissive of me, but Lou is actually really skilled at building and probably could build an entir
Sep 06, 2019 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
This is probably worthy in many respects... but it's boring. We're told about these people, and about their heritage, and we're told how to feel about the different things going on. We're not involved. I read about 40 pp or so in the beginning, and about 20 in the end (because I just had to know if mom was really going to take them away from their family, given how important family is to their culture and to mom & Lou personally). And that was plenty. I wanted to get to know everyone on my own, ...more
I like a lot of things about this book: a girl who wants to and can build an actual house!, excellent well-rounded adults, a culture other than my own, emotional connection, and kindness. Lou is the first female kid character I’ve encountered who is talented and interested in building, and the circumstances surrounding that project pulled me in and wouldn’t let go. 🏠🏠🏠🏠🏠
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A great read for upper elementary and middle schoolers. About a tween who wants to make their own tiny house, but encounters several obstacles along the way. She finds support from family and friends. A heartwarming tale that is simple and well thought out.
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 ...more
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Mae Respicio writes heart-filled middle grade novels including The House That Lou Built, which won an Asian Pacific American Libraries Association Honor Award in Children's Literature, was an NPR Best Book, and was named to many "best of" and state reading lists, Any Day With You (out now), and How to Win A Slime War (out fall 2021). Find her at ...more

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