Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

by Jenny Han and Julia Kuo

Jenny Han’s entertaining short novel offers a nuanced look at identity issues... read more

Jenny Han’s entertaining short novel offers a nuanced look at identity issues in the context of an engaging story about family and friends. Korean American Clara Lee has decided to enter the contest at school to choose who will be “Little Miss Apple Pie” in her town’s annual fall festival. Her friends are supportive, but her classmate Dionne is convinced she herself is destined to be Little Miss Apple Pie, just like her mother before her. At home, Clara Lee is especially close to her Grandpa, who lives with her family, and especially annoyed by her little sister, Emmeline, who has a gift for bringing out the worst in Clara Lee, as their sibling interactions prove more than once. An argument with her friend Max (again showcasing Clara Lee’s realistically less-than-stellar behavior) has Clara Lee thinking the good luck her Grandpa predicted after she told him about one of her dreams is changing. But Clara Lee’s speech about the things that make their town special proves to be the only luck she needs in this lighthearted but not unsubstantial treat for independent readers. (Ages 6–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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