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Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

(Mindy Kim #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  623 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this first novel in an adorable new chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who is starting a snack business!

Mindy Kim just wants three things:
1. A puppy!
2. To fit in at her new school
3. For her dad to be happy again

But, getting all three of the things on her list is a lot trickier than she thought it
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Aladdin
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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Janete on hiatus due health issues
Very cute and sweet!
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Okay y'all but this was SOOOOO CUTEEEEEE. I teared up a bit from how sweet and cute this was.

- Follows Mindy Kim, a seven year old Korean-American girl who moves from California to Florida - and finds herself the only Asian in her school. When she discovers that people want her seaweed snacks, she starts a seaweed trading ring and learns what it means to make new friends.
- This book was so wholesome! This book is aimed at younger audiences (probably 8 - 10 years old?) and the narrative was so
destiny ♡ howling libraries
This was absolutely adorable! Mindy Kim is the new girl in school, and in a desperate attempt to fit in after being made fun of for her Korean snacks, she starts trading and selling dried seaweed to her classmates to convince them to befriend her. It's a pretty typical and lighthearted take on the classic "nervous new kid" theme, but it's got this great breath of fresh air thanks to the own-voice Korean-American rep as well as Mindy's status as a child whose mother has recently passed away. Whil ...more
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
2020: once again Lyla Lee makes me tear up as her characters each deal with grief of the passing of their loved ones in different ways. I love how fish out of water Mindy is in her new school and how she is looked at differently.

2021 reread and I freaking loved it!!!
This is a sweet story for kids who have just gotten the hang of full chapter books. There are pictures, perhaps one per chapter, but it's primarily text.

Mindy Kim's mother died, her father's company moved them from CA to FL, and now she's starting school someplace far beyond her comfort zone. None of these are uncommon themes in juvenile fiction. Mindy's story adds a bit of a twist, though: Making friends through food, specifically food not known to the kids in her class.

I appreciated Mindy's ex
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mindy Kim and her father have just moved to Florida from California after the loss of Mindy's mom. Mindy is starting a new school, and she is having trouble adjusting to the dearth of diverse cultures in her new environment. It is through seaweed that Mindy first estranges herself and then forms connections and then becomes estranged again, and, finally, bonds with others again.

It's a wonderful story of the difficulties of childhood connections and learning to get along with those who are diffe
I don't read chapter books a lot, but I couldn't resist this series as it looks so incredibly cute. The first installment was already adorable. ...more
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Okay, this book was ADORABLE. I haven’t read a 6-8 book in a long time and I’m thankful to my friend on Instagram who recommended these books!

Mindy has to deal with not only her grief about losing her mom and her dad’s busy schedule (as well as his own grief), but she’s also at a new school in a new State where she is the only Asian student.

I’ve mentioned this in some of my most recent reviews, but I love that these important topics are being discussed in children’s books. We see moments of ra
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-ebook, mg-reads
While own voices books on the middle grade level are becoming more common, to find them in chapter books appropriate for primary grade readers is not as common. This book is just that!

Mindy Kim is the new girl and while this book deals with the usual "new kid in school" issues, it also tackles grief after loss and having to explain your culture and cuisine to those who are unfamiliar. These can be universal for many readers. Also relatable in a kid's desire to be an entrepreneur to save money fo
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this so much! I wish this book series was out when I was a kid. This book tackles some pretty difficult and heavy topics in such a great way for younger audiences. Plus the illustrations were adorable! Can't wait to read the next installments. ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-fiction
I love Mindy so much!
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
this was: adorable!!!!!
A lot of things are new for the star of this new chapter book series. Mindy Kim has recently moved to a new state (from California to Florida), into a new house (not a small apartment), and will be starting her school year at a new school. Even changes to her family are relatively new. Her mother “died a few months ago because she was really sick for a long time.” And since they’ve moved, father is working long hours and grieving.

‘You don’t have to be embarrassed, Dad. You can cry. Everyone gets
Jessica Harrison
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-reader
As the parent of a young reader who is advancing into chapter books, I’m always on the lookout for new series that are not only fun but offer something new.

Enter Mindy Kim.

Lyla Lee’s new series features a Korean-American girl who wants to fit in and be herself at the same time. The first book in the series is Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business.

Mindy and her father (her mom died a few months ago) have just moved across country, and life could not be more different. In California, Mindy live
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
At seven and a half years old, Mindy Kim thinks she’s old enough to have her own puppy, but her dad tells her they need time. Following her mom’s death, the two have just moved from California to Florida. Mindy feels out of place at her new school, where no one looks like her, the students make fun of her lunch, and her teacher isn’t sensitive to her situation, culturally or as the new kid. She starts a snack business to fulfill her dreams of making friends, buying a puppy, and cheering up her d ...more
Tonja Drecker
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mindy Kim is a sweet girl, who deals with a situation almost any kid can relate to, while presenting a bit of cultural diversity along the way.

After the passing of her mother, Mindy and her father have moved from California to Florida, and that means they finally have a house with a yard. That makes Mindy one step closer to reaching one of her dreams: having a puppy to call her own. But that's going to have to wait thanks to other challenges. She's going to start a new school with the problem of
Sara Magnafichi
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: earlyreader
Thank you to Lyla Lee for sending my students and I a copy of this ARC through a contest we won via Twitter. A copy was also shared with #collabookation. Thank you for that as well. My first graders were mesmerized with this story and the audible sigh of dismay occurred when I told them that they have to wait quite a bit of time before book 2 and 3 in the series come out. There was tears, laughter, and applause. Mindy Kim is a young girl who has had to deal with a lot of change in a short amount ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Second-grader Mindy Kim and her father moved from California to Florida where Mindy has to go to a mostly-Caucasian school. On her first day, Mindy opens her lunch of seaweed, kimchi, rolled eggs and rice. It catches the attention of the other kids at her table, who don’t recognize any of it. The second day of school, Mindy can’t ask for a different lunch because the toaster had caught fire and distracted her father. She plans though to not get laughed at again, make a new friend, and convince h ...more
Mary  BookHounds
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mindy Kim has just lost her mother, moved halfway around the world (not really but Florida is a world away from California) and really, really wants a puppy.  Her father does his best at being both a mother and a father but he is also coping with the move and the loss of his wife. This book packs in a lot of emotions in a few short pages.  Mindy no longer has anyone who looks like her at the new school and she wonders how she will ever fit in but, wow,  is she a fighter.  At just 7 years old she ...more
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

7 and 1/2 year old puppy-loving Mindy Kim is the new kid in her Florida school, after moving from California. Being new isn't the only thing different about her from her classmates: she only has her dad after her mom died, and she's the only Asian kid in her new school. Her dad is sad and working all the time, and Mindy's first day at school doesn't go well when her lunch is mocked by her classmates. However, after a
Trudy Zufelt
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After the death of Mindy Kim's mother, she and her father move from California to Florida. Not only does Mindy have to deal with the being the new girl at school, she's also the only Korean American. Her desire to find new friends doesn't start out well when she pulls out her Korean lunch of kimchee, eggs, rice, and seaweed and her fellow classmates turn up their noses at the unfamiliar food.

When her new friend, Sally, takes a liking to the Mindy's dried seaweed snacks, everybody else wants to t
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is an exciting new addition to the world of chapter books. This series provides much needed Asian-American representation, much like the Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen . If you’re looking for a chapter book with a sweet protagonist dealing with grief, moving, and fitting in with a new school crowd, this is your pick. Plus, there are puppies! Read my full review here. ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing MG book! I loved Mindy's character & her voice. And I really hope she gets a dog someday!

The book follows Mindy as she moves from California to Florida and tries to make friends in a new school. Then, she realizes the other students loves the seaweed snacks she brings from home so they trade their snacks with hers. And eventually she decides to sell it at school.

We love a lil enterpreneur! Also very relatable bcus I did something something similar when I was her age too!

TW: m
Erin Buhr
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
Mindy Kim is a Korean American girl who recently lost her mom and moved with her dad from California to Florida. Her relationship with her dad feels so real and full of heart. Readers who have ever been the new kid or felt different at school will emphasize with Mindy as she attempts to make friends at her new school. Have you ever been the kid at lunch with the food everyone else deems "weird"? Then this book is especially for you. There are two books in this series right now. I hope more are o ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mindy Kim is from California and has been dying for a puppy. Ever since her mother died and she moved to Florida, things have changed...A LOT. Mindy has no friends and is petrified of school. When Mindy opens her seaweed snack one day at school, people begin thinking she's a weird person. But when one girl tries the snack, she flips out and says for everybody to try it. Soon Mindy's friend Sally suggests starting a seaweed business, but once they start making money, their enemy tries to pull the ...more
Amber Webb
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mindy Kim is the new girl in town and she is NOT looking forward to starting school. She is facing a lot of challenges in her life and making new friends at a new school seems overwhelming. As she works through her first few days and tries to cheer up her Dad, she discovers, she has a lot to offer. She finds friends and maybe a little trouble along the way.
I love this new #diverselit from #SSEDLib and hope to see more diverse authors and literature from them!
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley for the advance reader copy.

I am 40 something and still so excited when I see myself reflected in a book. And this one is adorable. There are some complex themes (death of a parent, new school, cultural differences) but I think they’re handled well for this age group. The reading level is just right for my 7 1/2 year old. I’ve already preordered it and I’m already looking forward to the 2nd book!
Sarah ♡
How adorable. I was an avid reader of the Junie B. Jones series as a small child so the comparison already had my hopes up. Obviously, I am not the intended age group for this book series but it brings me so much delight. And I plan to collect the series for my own children in the future (hopefully). I'm so pleased that young Korean Americans (and others) but especially the Korean American children get to see themselves in a book like this. ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I am so excited about this chapter book for our students just starting reading chapter books! It fills a big need. I like how the author incorporates diverse characters, interesting storyline and the picture interspersed throughout the book. Best of all you can see there will be more in the series! I am looking forward to recommending this book to my students in the fall. Highly recommend this book!
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet little easy reader about Mindy Kim and her father moving to a new city and learning to start fresh. Mindy goes to a new school, struggles to make friends, until one day her classmates become interested in her seaweed snacks. Mindy meets Sally and they become fast friends, but when Sally suggests Mindy sell her snacks, things go from bad to worse. A great story about learning to fit in but still be true to your family's roots. I can't wait to read Mindy's next adventure! ...more
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Lyla Lee is the author of young adult novels like I’ll Be the One and the upcoming Flip the Script (May 2022). She also writes the Mindy Kim series for younger readers. Born in South Korea, she’s since then lived in various cities throughout the United States. Inspired by her English teacher, she started writing her own stories in fourth grade and finished her first novel at the age of fourteen. A ...more

Other books in the series

Mindy Kim (7 books)
  • Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade (Mindy Kim, #2)
  • Mindy Kim and the Birthday Puppy (Mindy Kim, #3)
  • Mindy Kim, Class President (Mindy Kim, #4)
  • Mindy Kim and the Trip to Korea (Mindy Kim, #5)
  • Mindy Kim and the Big Pizza Challenge (Mindy Kim, #6)
  • Mindy Kim and the Fairy-Tale Wedding

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