Gigi Shin Is Not a Nerd

S. & S. Audio. Mar. 2024. 342p. $14.99. ISBN 9781797174235.
Gr 3-7–Lee’s newest series introduces lively seventh grader Jiyoung “Gigi” Shin. Despite her Korean immigrant parents pushing for STEM success, Gigi’s passion lies in art, particularly comics. Learning about the Starscape Young Artists’ Program—a prestigious summer camp held next on NYU’s campus—is both revelatory and discerning, the latter because of the hefty price tag. Also interested are Gigi’s best friends, Latinx video game-maker Carolina and Muslim aspiring picture book creator Zeina, but tuition remains a barrier. Joined by Carolina’s friend Emma, a fashion-forward Chinese American, the quartet form the Ace Squad, providing tutoring services. Misunderstandings are plenty—especially over cute-boy Paul—but more so are the resounding successes. Now the girls just need to get in. Tyo’s crisply youthful voice adjusts effortlessly, distinguishing tweens and teens, younger brothers, older sisters, parents, and teachers.
VERDICT With unfinished business cleverly left for future volumes, audiences will certainly appreciate Tyo’s future continuity.

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