Chloe Cho is not a Korean music and math prodigy, thank you very much. It's so hard living in her ultra-white community and being the only Korean-American girl there. Everyone thinks of her as a stereotype, not a person. But Chloe is fierce and calls out racism like a boss. Please see her encounter with Mr. Frank, the principal, as proof. I have always wanted to see a girl just SHUT DOWN her dumb principal, and this gave me so much LIFE as I read it.
She's also proud of her heritage, and wishes that her mom and dad would tell her more about what it was like growing up in South Korea. They only eat super-Americanized foods, like KFC and pizza, while Chloe wants to learn how to make Korean food. Sometimes, it seems like her parents don't remember anything about Korea ... and they don't want her to know anything, either.
I wonder why?
This middle grade novel brilliantly explores identity, racism, friendship, family, and the general suckitude of middle school. Chloe's voice is clear and authentic, and her identity struggles inform her prickly exterior. Mike Jung has written a book full of humor and heart, and I would recommend this to any reader, anywhere, from any planet.