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Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park

Project Mulberry (2005)

by Linda Sue Park

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Jules, a sixth grade Korean-American girl, and her friend, Patrick, work together on a state fair science project - raising silkworms. Jules does not want to raise silkworms because she feels the project calls attention to her background. However, as the worms start to grow, Jules becomes more involved in the project and probably a little too invested in the well-being of the silkworms. The book also brings up prejudice and racism - Jules' mom does not like her to spend time at the neighbor's house when she is collecting the mulberry leaves and Jules believes it may be because Mr. Dixon is black. I wish she had confronted her mom, but she never does. The only complaint I have about the book is the intrusion of the author- throughout the book the protagonist has brief conversations with the author. An interesting idea but it made the book feel choppy for me. A good book for 4-6th graders, girls especially. ( )
  SuPendleton | Aug 17, 2014 |
I really enjoyed reading this book. What I liked about the book was that it was written in first person and there was factual information. Julia, one of the main characters in the book discussed her thoughts which made it intriguing. For example, Julia discussed the thoughts of her mother being racists to Mr. Dixon. Her insight as of why her mother might of been upset when her and Patrick were running late, helped explain her mothers actions further.
The way the author organized the story to discuss factual information about silkworms was great. Patrick was the source of all the information about silkworms which made it lively and interesting. For example, Patrick had to explain to Julia the way that silk is made is by boiling the cocoons of silkworms. He went on to discuss how even though they die they're not in any pain while being boiled.
Overall, this book had many messages. I think the most important being to embrase your culture and who you are. ( )
  Scrane4 | Feb 27, 2014 |
I liked this book because not only did it exemplify the tough work it takes to do well, but it also hit on some disagreements that can occur in a friendship. Julia and Patrick meet when Julia moves to a townhouse in the neighborhood- they were instantly friends! Patrick came over to Julias house everyday, where he usually did homework and always had a bite of kimichee. I would say this book also treads softly on different races. Well, both Patrick and Julia decide to take on the task of creating their own silk by growing and feeding their own silkworms. They find Mr. Dixon, a black man, that lends his Mulberry tree to the duo so they can feed their silkworms. Julia goes back and forth on if she wants to do the project and Patrick ends up having a huge phobia of worms! Julias mother never does quite come around to being open to the duo hanging out with Mr. Dixon. But, Kenny eventually comes around and isn't as big of a "snotbrain" than Julia had originally thought. A well written book and leaves you waiting to see what happens next ( )
  jessotto | Feb 26, 2014 |
In my opinion, this is a fantastic book to read! The title had me interested from the beginning to find out what exactly Project Mulberry was. The language was very clear and in between each chapter there is a mini dialogue section between the main character and the author. It really makes you laugh at some of the things Julia (one of the main characters) says to Ms. Park. The characters were as real and believable, as if I was living the whole story in front of me. I am not a science book type of person, but this book was not just science, it was traditions, friendships, etc. I enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone. The big idea of the story is about the project of the mulberry leaves that Julia and Patrick want to use to spin wool.

There were quite a few big messages I could name but the most important is do not let little arguments ruin a friendship or science project. They still were able to pull through and complete it and win 2nd place. ( )
  kwisem1 | Feb 16, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this one. it was a good middle school read.
a couple of things, Julia is supposed to be in 7th grade, and I didn't really get that impression. I thought 5th grade tops. but that isn't super integral to the story, so it doesn't matter much. the author/character intermissions. they jarred the flow of the story for me. some of the questions/answers/background information was neat, but it totally made things skip for me.

julia song is a korean-american kid living in white bread america. she feels like she isn't american enough and tries to acclimate more, which is both understandable and sad. she and her best friend patrick are in a farming club together at school. each year the club members come up with a natural project and enter them into a big science fair. they decide on animal husbandry. but then have trouble coming up with a project, until Julia's mom suggests growing silkworms and making silk thread. patrick loves the idea, but julia isn't sold... ( )
  librarydanielle | Apr 1, 2013 |
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To Julie, Julie, Julia, and Julia
First words
Patrick and I became friends because of a vegetable.
Here I'd been thinking he was a white guy, and I hadn't said anything one way or the other to my mom, but I was sure she assumed he was white, too, and then he turned out to black, and there he was thinking we would be white, but we where Asian, except for Patrick.
I'd humiliated him. On purpose. What a lousy thing thing to do as a friend. All because the silkworm project was too Korean.
So in a way, it didn't matter whether you what you were thinking was good or bad. Not knowing. And not knowing--or not caring--that you didn't know. And not bothering to find out because you didn't know you didn't know. That was the problem.
"It was too Korean," I said at last. "I didn't want to do the project because it seemed so, well, foreign. I wanted to do a really American project."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440421632, Paperback)

Julia Song and her friend Patrick want to team up to win a blue ribbon at the state fair, but they can't agree on the perfect project. Then
Julia's mother suggests they raise silkworms as she did years ago in Korea. The optimistic twosome quickly realizes that raising silkworms is a lot tougher than they thought. And Julia never suspected that she'd be discussing the fate of her and Patrick's project with Ms. Park, the author of this book!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

While working on a project for an after-school club, Julia, a Korean American girl, and her friend Patrick learn not just about silkworms, but also about tolerance, prejudice, friendship, patience, and more. Between the chapters are short dialogues between the author and main character about the writing of the book.… (more)

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