April 23, 2018

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The House That Lou Built by Mae Resipicio | SLJ Review

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redstarRESPICIO, Mae. The House That Lou Built. 240p. Random/Wendy Lamb Bks. Jun. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781524717940.

Gr 4-6 –Lou Bulosan-Nelson’s dream is to build a tiny house—a structure of only 100 square feet—on a plot of land that she inherited from her deceased father, who passed away before she was born. Living in San Francisco with her vibrant, extended Filipino family, Lou intends for her house to be a space of her own that is environmentally sound and honors her dad’s memory. If only her mother wasn’t considering uprooting them both to Washington state. Lou hopes that if she finishes her house in time, her mom won’t make them move. When Lou discovers her land is on the auction block, she ramps up her building schedule, but not without ample help from friends, cousins, and her attentive crush. A celebration of Filipino culture, this big-hearted debut novel examines the definition of “home.” Readers will be buoyed by the warmth and candor of Lou’s close-knit, intergenerational support system and will enjoy meeting Lou, a resourceful protagonist who knows who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. A sweet touch of romance will appeal to many tweens, without overshadowing the messages of environmental awareness, honesty, and the value of being oneself. VERDICT Cheerful and hope-filled, with an idiosyncratic female protagonist, this is a worthy choice for any middle grade collection.–Melissa Williams, Berwick Academy, ME

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2018 issue.

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