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Project Mulberry.

PROJECT MULBERRY. Linda Sue Park, 2005. Read by Mina Kim. 4 cds. 4.5 hrs. Listening Library. 0-307-24536-5. $38.00. Vinyl; plot, reader, author notes. J

From the KLIATT starred review of the book, March 2004: "Seventh-graders Julia and Patrick decide to join an after-school club and work together on a project to be exhibited at the state fair. Julia's mother suggests raising silkworms, as her own grandmother did in Korea. Patrick is excited about this idea, but Julia worries that it's 'too Korean'; she wants to fit into her Midwestern town, not be different. Julia drags her feet, but Patrick's enthusiasm carries the day, especially when they locate a mulberry tree nearby, a source for the fresh mulberry leaves silkworms need to eat. The tree belongs to an elderly African American man they befriend, though Julia suspects her mother harbors racist feelings toward black people. Gradually, Julia becomes more enthusiastic about the project ... Patrick struggles with a phobia about worms.... In the end Project Mulberry is a success. Simple on the surface, this lively, engaging tale brings up many issues: friendship, racism, sibling relationships, and more ... A winning story, and an excellent choice for classroom discussions."

Kim's light, girlish voice is perfect for Julia Song as well her friends and family and she keeps her audience interested in what will happen next. The cover says "Read by Mina Kim with the author"; this means there are interludes between some chapters when Julia has conversations with the author Park. Park "plays" herself and talks to the character Julia, as Julia disputes and questions the author's development of plot. While it interferes with the story to a certain extent, it's certainly an interesting twist. Mary Purucker, Beverly Hills PL, Beverly Hills, CA
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Author:Purucker, Mary
Article Type:Audiobook Review
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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