Make a Move, Sunny Park!

Penguin/Kokila. Aug. 2023. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780525555001.
Gr 5-8–A relatable story for tweens that illustrates the struggle of ending a toxic friendship and the triumph of being unapologetically yourself. Sunny Park is a Korean American seventh grader who has learned to make herself small. While Sunny loves K-pop and dancing, her best friend Bailey does not, and she shames Sunny for her “immature” hobbies. Sunny is afraid to face Bailey’s anger if she goes against her wishes or fails to be completely available to meet Bailey’s needs. After joining the school’s dance team and making new friends who are part of the same K-pop fandom, Sunny begins to work through her social anxiety and realizes how much Bailey has been holding her back. This slice-of-life, character-driven story is a quick read, mostly conveyed through dialogue. Sunny is an empathetic and complex character who grows from her mistakes.
VERDICT A potential mirror for tweens who are struggling with their sense of self-worth and navigating the complexities of friendship. Recommended for middle school collections.

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