Swimming into Trouble

Tundra. (Julia on the Go!: Bk. 1). Feb. 2024. 246p. $12.99. ISBN 9781774885857.
Gr 2-5–Korean Canadians Ahn and Kim reunite (after Krista Kim-Bap) for the debut of Ahn’s new series starring exuberant swimmer Julia. At nine, she might be the youngest member of the Vipers junior team, but she’s also one of the most promising and dedicated. When an ear infection threatens to keep her out of the pool for two weeks, she’s convinced that super-duper Rhinoceros Glue and plastic soup bowls just might be the answer to getting wet—safely enough, anyway. Escaping such a sticky situation, though, ultimately allows her to be a supportive teammate—above water. Kim is a careful reader, mindfully enunciating throughout. She moderates tone and pitch for a diverse roster of kids beyond excitable Julia, such as competitive Olivia, kind BFF Maricel, and various helpful adults, adding soft accents for Julia’s Korean immigrant parents.
VERDICT Author and narrator complementarily celebrate tenacity with vivacity and charm.

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