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Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  47 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 4.27  · 
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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, isnt something that tends to make the cut. Humorists have a purpose on this planet, but youre 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 are ...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
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 ...more
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.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book! Its been awhile since Ive 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. Yumis 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. ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Laugh out loud hilarious and totally relatable! Loved the audio provided by and Penguin Random House Audio!
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, tbr-arcs
Review to come.

Thank you Libro.FM and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the audio book on exchange for an honest review!
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
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
Valerie McEnroe
This is a fresh read with a fresh plot. I've gotten really bored with what's being rehashed over and over in middle grade books. I listened to the audio version which I have found can drastically affect my enjoyment. This wasn't the best audiobook as far as the acting goes, so my gut is telling me I probably would have given it 4 stars had I read it myself. As it stands, I still prefer Front Desk as my go-to for a glimpse into Asian-American life.

Yumi has the classic Asian-American immigrant
Mid-Continent Public Library

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
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is no joke, although it is chock full of laugh out loud one-liners and punchlines (dont worry, no spoilers here). Releasing on March 17, 2020, STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG! by Jessica Kim, is an engaging and wonderfully touching story of determination and staying true to yourself even if it goes against the grain of whats expected of you. Eleven-year-old Yumis dream is to become a stand-up comedian, but its not exactlynot even close towhat her Korean immigrant parents envision her to become. ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Middle Grade Realistic Fiction. Yumi is the second daughter of two Korean immigrants. Her parents run Chung's Korean BBQ. It is the summer, and Yumi is booked in a study academy in order to boost her chances of qualifying for a scholarship to the private school. However, what Yumi wants is to do stand-up comedy like her idol Jasmine Garcia. So when she sees a new comedy club in town run by
Jasmine herself, she is immediately intrigued. She steps inside and finds a kid's comedy camp in progress.
Kristin Crouch
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing a review copy with Collabookation.
I'll make this quick: I hugged this book when I finished it. I need to come up with a name for that feeling that you have to hold a book for a just a minute, close to your heart, before you put it down.
Anywho, Yumi Chung is the daughter of immigrant parents who have worked, struggled, and sacrificed for Yumi and her sister Yuri. They go to the best schools, they go to the best enrichment programs. There are
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Yumi Chung is about to start middle school, but her parents are not rich, so unless she can score high on the placement test, she won't be able to attend Winston Prep on scholarship. Yumi is enrolled in a morning test-prep class to get that high test score, but, Yumi doesn't want to go to a prestigious college. Yumi wants to be a stand up comic! So, when a case of mistaken identity lands her in an afternoon comedy summer camp, taught by her favorite stand up vlogger Jasmine Jasper, Yumi jumps at ...more
Lisa Nagel
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At a time when we are finally recognizing that we need more diversity in books, especially for younger readers, this one hits the mark. It is well written and fun to read and yet still manages to deal with some weighty issues. Yumi is struggling to find herself and feels the pressure of trying to live up to her parents expectations in the shadow of her brilliant sister. The author authentically touches upon some of the unique struggles of growing up as a Korean American, but even though the main ...more
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 ...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 her
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yumi Chung is a budding young comedienne who wants nothing more than to practice comedy. Her Korean parents, however, have their sights set higher for Yumi. They have signed Yumi up for tutoring lessons so that she can continue to attend her prestigious private school. One day after her lessons, Yumi stumbles upon a new comedy club offering summer camp classes by no other than her favorite YouTube star. With one stolen identity, a failing restaurant, and lots of secrets, one would expect this ...more
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny, heartwarming story about accepting your true self, family, and friendship.
Yumi really wants to pursue comedy, but her parents, hard working restaurant owners, want better for her. She thinks they don t listen to her. They think she doesn't listen to or appreciate, them.
When Yumi stumbles onto a comedy summer camp, one small lie snowballs into many other lies and much guilt. One day it all comes to a head and Yumi learns that she needs to own up to her double life, apologize to her new
Amy Holland
But someone really special taught me that life isnt about being perfect. Im starting to see that Im a work in progress, growing and learning and messing up sometimes. And thats okay. The less I worry about what everyone else is thinking, the more I feel free to be the True Me. And that, my friends, is the secret to why Im so happy to be up here tonight.

This was the exact right book at the exact right moment for me. It was the perfect blend of humor and heart, with a realistic yet satisfying
Karah Sutton
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Funny and heartwarming, this story delivered on and exceeded my high expectations. I knew I'd love the mistaken identity storyline (one of my all-time favorite tropes) and there were a lot of laugh out loud hijinks in Yumi's doomed attempts at pretending to be someone she's not. But what I wasn't expecting was the warmly drawn characters, the pangs of loneliness, and triumph of the protagonist finding her voice on and off the stage. Yumi's dad in particular really stole my heart. The story is ...more
Arianne Costner
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a delightful read! Yumi Chung is torn between wanting to please her hardworking immigrant parents who sacrifice so much for her, and wanting to be a comedian.

Yumi is beyond lovable, and her voice is spot-on. The supporting cast is hilarious (the dad is my fav!) and the struggle yumi experiences feels realistic. I chuckled my way through this one and read quickly, eager to know how all would resolve. I dont want to give spoilers, but the ending was very satisfying. Such a great pick-me-up!
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All Yumi Chung wants is to be a stand-up comedian, but her immigrant parents who have sacrificed so much so that she can attend a private school don't understand her passion. In this funny and heartwarming story, Yumi accidentally stumbles into a comedy summer camp by impersonating another student, while juggling summer studies for the SSAT, helping her parents' struggling Korean BBQ restaurant, and making new friends. She manage her different identities while learning something true about ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yumi dreams of becoming a comedian, but she also wants to please her parents who are more concerned with school and academics. When she discovers a comedy camp being taught by her favorite comedian, Yumi pretends to be someone else and secretly attends. As Yumi struggles to get herself out of the predicament she has landed in, she learns the importance of being herself and using her voice to be heard. This is a book with heart and humor.
Noreen Trotsky
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, 2020
A funny, heartwarming debut about a middle grader who wants to be a comedian. Yumi Chung is a shy, bullied, young girl who knows what she wants but has a hard time expressing herself to her parents and standing up for herself. Through a series of comical errors, we follow Yumi on her journey to find herself.

Not to be missed. I cannot wait to read Jessica Kim's next book.
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.
Stephanie Affinito
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful read about a middle school girl finding her way and finding her voice, ultimately realizing that she can change the trajectory of her life by simply changing the way she looks at it. Lessons in life, family, friendships and sense of self were wrapped into every page and I found myself rooting for Yumi to find her voice and use it to connect with those around her, a lesson we can all use from time to time.
Katie Adams
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book - it had new ideas that I hadnt yet heard in other kid lit, and I really appreciated all of the Korean culture. It made me homesick for the years I lived there and the people I met. Did not love the new slang peppered throughout, but thats what keeps it current, so *shrug.* (This is the moment I physically see myself aging before my very own eyes.) ;D ...more
Mr. Salerno
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yumi is forced to spend her summer taking extra classes so she can pass a standardized test to earn a scholarship for the best private school in Los Angeles. What her overbearing Korean parents dont know is that shes secretly attending comedy camp with her YouTuber idol. ...more
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-kids, paper-arcs
This was super cute, and I'm impressed it didn't end exactly how I predicted.
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