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Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  870 ratings  ·  215 reviews
One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian.

On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her "Yu-MEAT" because she smells like her family's Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Kokila
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  870 ratings  ·  215 reviews

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Remember the funny girls. No one else seems to. Living as we do in an age when every other book published is an inspiring group biography, our children are currently steeped in the very serious nature of what makes a woman great. And being funny, quite frankly, isn’t something that tends to make the cut. Humorists have a purpose on this planet, but you’re not going to win a Nobel or a Pulitzer or even an Oscar most of the time for making someone laugh. This is why funny books written by women ar ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Oh, I ADORED this!!! This is such a feel-good story that's also unexpectedly laugh-out-loud funny, being who you are, and the shenanigans of accidentally living a double-life.

- Follows Yumi, a shy young Korean girl who loves stand-up comedy! When she stumbles on a comedy camp led by her idol, Jasmine Jasper, she is mistaken for another camp-goer and accidentally leads a double-life.
- This was just really funny? Even though it's aimed at a younger audience, I found myself chuckling and giggling
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This was such a fun, heart-warming Middle Grade book. Even though Yumi Chung is super shy she dreams of being a stand up comedian. When she stumbles into a comedy summer camp and gets mistaken for a camper she doesn’t correct anyone. Now she’s secretly attending summer camp, growing her confidence, and hopefully learning how to stand up for what she wants.

I loved this book so much! Yumi was a great character. Her struggles with her parents not really listening to what she wants to do were very
Shaye Miller
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversity
Yumi Chung’s greatest desire is to become a stand-up comedian. But her Korean-American parents have sacrificed everything to send her to a special private school in order to get her into a top-notch university in hopes that she’ll become a lawyer or go to med school like her “perfect” older sister. While her parents face severe financial troubles at their family-owned restaurant, they are informed that Yumi can continue to attend her private school on scholarship if she scores high on an exam. S ...more
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yumi Chung has #shygirlproblems. She also loves to tell jokes using her hairbrush as a pretend microphone after a long day of school and helping out in her family's struggling Korean BBQ restaurant. Yumi's parents sign her up for a summer tutoring class to prepare her for a scholarship exam so she can continue to attend a tony private school for free. On her way to the library to study after class, Yumi stumbles upon a new comedy club in her neighborhood. Inside is favorite comedian and a summer ...more
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book that took some time for me to get into but I loved the immigrant representation in this, expectations from parents, discussion of relevant topics like BTS, and everything else.

May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Yumi Chung has earned herself a big fan in me, because oh boy did I love this book!

I love how this story shows us that comedy, while being a form of entertainment, is really a space of vulnerability where comics share so much of their lives and use storytelling as a way of healing and making sense of their experiences. Yumi loves comedy so much, but struggles because she lacks confidence and self-belief, which is whatmakes her so determined to learn.

As the story progresses, we see that
Abby Johnson
Yumi Chung dreams of being a comedian, but that is not at all what her Korean immigrant parents have in mind for her. When she stumbled across a comedy camp meeting in her neighborhood and a girl with an Asian last name has not shown up for the first day, Yumi finds herself pretending to be "Kay" and taking her spot in the camp. Not only does she have to protect her secret identity, but she has to make sure her parents do not find out. AND she has to find the courage to take the stage and perfor ...more
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to and Penguin Random
House for the advance listening copy of this 3.17.20 release. All opinions are my own.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this story about finding your voice, which is perfect for fans of Front Desk, The First Rule of Punk, and The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. Eleven-year-old Yumi longs to be a stand-up comedian. Her Korean parents, however, insist that she keep her attention on studying and helping out at their struggling Korean barbecue restaurant. When she stumbles upon h
Fun story about following your dreams when your parents don't understand what the dickens you're dreaming of. I could wish that a book about a wannabe comedian was just the least bit funny.
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A shy girl who wants to be a comedian, Yumi Chung finds herself deceiving her parents in order to make her dreams come true. Along the way she learns the importance of family and that her immigrant parents might just support her if she gave them the chance.

A heartfelt story centered on family, comedy, and being your true self; Stand Up, Yumi Chung! is one of the most hyped middle grades of 2020 and for good reason. Jessica Kim's debut has stand out characters and an impactful storyline. Yumi's p
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
2 stars.
This was a fun read about Yumi, a Korean-American girl who’s parents own a Korean Barbecue restaurant. Much to the dismay of her parents, Yumi loves comedy and telling jokes. Personally, I really enjoyed seeing Yumi and her family’s Korean culture—even if it was a little strange seeing Korean words written in English (called “Romanization”) as a posed to 한글. While I wasn’t thrilled with Yumi lying and keeping things from her parents, there was a message throughout the book of going for y
Kat // Novels & Waffles
Stand up, Yumi Chung! is a fun, uplifting, and heartwarming middle grade novel about one eleven-year-old girl’s journey to find her true self and overcome the fear of failure. It deserves nothing less than a standing ovation.

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Priscilla (Bookie Charm)
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! is a middle grade contemporary story that follows a shy, Korean- American girl who has big dreams of becoming a stand up comic. Just don't tell her parents because, as immigrants originally from Seoul, the last thing they want to spend their hard earned money on is a comedy summer camp. When Yumi gets mistaken for another camper, she decides to attend the classes in secret under another student's name.

This book is incredibly charming and I loved the familial relationships
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5. Ah, this warmed my heart and made me smile. It was exactly what I needed & if you're looking for a comfort read, I totally recommend. Yumi Chung is a normal girl in L.A., the daughter of immigrant parents who run a restaurant and encourage Yumi to become a doctor or lawyer. Yumi, however, loves stand-up comedy and can't help herself when she stumbles into a comedy camp full of kids that share her interests and a vlogger/comedian Yumi loves as their teacher. This is a story of family (loved ...more
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another great book from the Korean-American community that will resonate with students everywhere who have the same familial pressures to succeed for the sake of their community and parents and where success is fairly narrowly defined as a few white collar careers.
At once poignant and humourous this is a great middle school read about satisfying both your own needs while remaining respectful to the needs of your family, finding compromises and maintaining relationships.
Thank you to for
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book! It’s been awhile since I’ve laughed out loud so many times during one book. It is super funny and very relatable. It will make you laugh, cry and you will find yourself super hungry for some Korean BBQ. Yumi’s internal dialogue is hilarious and although it is geared towards a much younger age group (🤫) I found myself really connecting with her. A book for all ages! I look forward to reading more from Jessica Kim.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Very cute! Sort of like American Panda but middle grade and without the romance in terms of themes. It's fun to see a book about different kinds of career aspirations for middle grade kids, and it's awesome that Yumi can be a hero without having parents who aren't present. Sometimes kids have innovative ideas adults wouldn't think of.
There are so many strands that miraculously come together in this highly entertaining story about 11-year-old Yumi, want-to-be comedian, who is too shy to speak up. She's overshadowed by her gifted beautiful older sisiter, and success driven parents who immigrated from Korea. Her parents work tirelessly at their Korean Barbecue restuarant, to make sure their daughters succeed in life through a strong education. Although Yumi wants to always please her parents, they don't appreciate her passion f ...more
Leonard Kim
May 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
There is a pejorative among Asian-Americans: "banana" or "Twinkie" meaning "yellow on the outside, white on the inside." I am definitely one myself. It is claimed any young reader should be able to find people who look like them represented in books. But the result has been the publication of many books like this. This book is a banana. It's a white, progressive book, for a white, progressive readership, in yellowface. I and other Korean-American parents I know do look for books in English that ...more
Laura (bbliophile)
I would very much like to thank Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim for reminding me of why I love reading after a 2-month-or-so slump.

(Seriously, I had so much fun reading this and I'd highly recommend it.)
Such a sweet, quirky, and fun book! Definitely made me cry at a few times, but made up for it with all of the laughter!
**Read for Jordan Ford's Summer Reading Challenge 2020. Prompt 1. A book set in a campground or at a summer camp**
Heather Jensen
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Yumi is just the character I needed to get me back into my reading groove. Yumi is the perfect representation of how most middle schoolers feel about themselves. We learn about the pressure of living under a "perfect" sister and demanding parents. A beautiful story of how immigrant families work so hard to make sure their children can have a slice of the American Dream. Thank you Jessica Kim for this story. I cannot wait to share it with my fifth graders!
Sam Bloom
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Ms. Yingling
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Yumi lives in Los Angeles with her mother and father, who run a struggling Korean barbecue restaurant. Her older sister, Yuri, is very academically gifted, and attending medical school across town. Yumi is enrolled in a summer hagwon (cram school) run by Ms. Pak so she can hopefully do well on a test and get a scholarship to the school she attends, Winston Prep. On her way to the library for her required three hours of studying one day, Yumi happens upon a theater
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of 2020. For readers who love to laugh, for anyone who has ever felt pressured to be someone they are not. For people who know what it’s like to be raised by an immigrant parent or parents (literally one passage that like healed my souls a little). I loved this book with my whole heart and can’t WAIT to get back to school and push it on all my students!!
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

This debut book by author Jessica Kim attracted my attention because it focuses on a Korean-American girl who wants to be a comedian, but whose parents don't approve of her non-academic pursuits. It seems like a topic that many middle graders would be able to relate to (having dreams different than what their parents want for them, having a successful older sibling), and yet I was curious to see how Yumi's immigrant parents would
Katie Mac
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a refreshing read. There are some aspects of this (e.g., Yumi's lying and self-deprecation, how harsh Yumi's parents are) that I found problematic at the beginning, but I think they serve their purpose by the end of the book.

I also appreciate how well-rounded this book is; so often we see books of parents vs children in which the parents are one-dimensional and/or lack depth, but the author does a nice job of balancing this dynamic--Yumi, her sister, and her parents all have their flaws
Aliza Werner
Yumi stands up for herself by doing...stand up! Full of humor and heritage, written by #OwnVoices (Korean).
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