Since You Asked…

262p. Scholastic. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-44821-5. LC 2012034891.
Gr 8–10—Holly Kim, 15, is trying to convince her mother that no one dresses up for the first day of school, only to have her younger sister wander "into the kitchen looking like a 'Back-To-School Cool!' advertisement in a JC Penney catalog." Holly just wants to make it as a Korean girl in an American high school. Blessed with the gift to write, she is the copy editor for the journalism class. While reading a finished story, she alters it with sarcasm and wit, only to have it published by mistake. Her outlandish remarks make her both famous and infamous with the student body. Her gift for words helps her land her own monthly column, which may or may not help her survive mean girls, homecoming, and other high school drama. As she sets out to write these columns, she focuses on Korean and high school culture and traditions, which are mostly centered around holidays. This makes the story line a bit disjointed at times but the editorials she writes and responses from readers seem to hold it together. Any girl who has felt pulled in two different directions because of traditions at home as well as at school will appreciate Holly's struggle.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

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