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Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
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Stand Up, Yumi Chung! (edition 2021)

by Jessica Kim (Author)

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1748137,563 (4.18)None
One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian. On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her "Yu-MEAT" because she smells like her family's Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she's reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage. Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she's a girl named Kay Nakamura--and Yumi doesn't correct them. As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.… (more)
Member:mrb1994
Title:Stand Up, Yumi Chung!
Authors:Jessica Kim (Author)
Info:Puffin Books (2021), 320 pages
Collections:Books
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Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

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A heartfelt and authentic look at shy-girl problems and at navigating family expectations. I love that humor is at the heart of this story, and while I tend to find self-mortification more cringy than funny, Kim does an excellent job walking the line and showcasing the rewards that bravery can bring. Nice to see a book set in the Korean immigrant experience; even nicer to see Yumi's dad embrace some of his own dreams at the end. Good message, enjoyable read. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Yumi wants to be a good student to make her family happy, but she also really wants to practice to eventually become a stand-up comedian -- something her hard-working immigrant parents do not understand or recognize as a career goal. The tension between these two strands becomes particularly strong when Yumi accidentally stumbles into a children's comedy camp on her way to the library to study for a scholarship exam. Yumi struggles with her identity quite literally with the summer camp thinking she's another child and metaphorically as she wonders how to get her parents to see her point of view ever.

This was a fantastic read, full of heart and wit. While Yumi's specific situation might not be recognizable to many (especially given the bit of a stretch with her case of mistaken identity), the feelings of trying to find a place to belong and growing up/away from parental expectations are no doubt unmistakable feelings for many middle schoolers. Yumi, her friends, and family are all presented as interesting characters that feel real. It was a lovely experience getting to know them and while the book was perfectly paced with a fitting ending, it was hard to leave them all. There is definitely a message in the book about being true to one's self, but it doesn't feel heavy handed in its presentation. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jan 31, 2022 |
Recommended Ages: Gr.

Plot Summary: Yumi Chung WANTS to be a comedian just like her idol Jasmine Jasper. But Yumi can't seem to gain enough confidence to have a smooth and engaging delivery of her original material. When, by shear luck, her idol is offering a summer improv camp at a new local theater, Yumi gets wrapped up in a lie pretending she is someone else. Someone else who paid for the camp. Should she keep going when it's the first time she's been successful at making others laugh? Or is hiding the truth worth it if it means she can continue to do what she loves and be successful? side plots: saving Yumi's parents restaurant, getting the scholarship

Setting: Los Angeles

Characters:
Yumi Chung - doesn't care about school and it shows in her grades, needs to maintain a very high score on an upcoming exam in order to get a scholarship to her private school since her parents' restaurant is losing business with the neighborhood changes and they can't afford it anymore
Yuri Chung - Yumi's oldest sister, 20 yo, skipped two grades and attended college early
Jasmine Jasper - famous comedian who has a vlog
Manuel - cook in Yumi's parent's restaurant, can cook anything from any ethnicity, the only person who Yumi feels comfortable trying her jokes out on
Mrs. Pak - Yumi's tutor, known to be intimidating and strict

Recurring Themes: confidence, stand up comedy, secret identity, standing up for what you believe in, friendship, tutoring, family pressure, Korean, help parents run business

Controversial Issues:
pg 25 - "so fricking funny"

Personal Thoughts: While I had to suspend my disbelief that some of these things could actually happen in this realistic book, overall I thought it was well written and engaging.

Genre: realistic fiction

Pacing: medium-fast
Characters: well developed
Frame:
Storyline:

Activity:
  pigeonlover | Aug 15, 2021 |
Yumi chung, a girl who suffers from shyness. Prepares for her Netflix stand-up special. ( )
  VictorTran | Apr 15, 2021 |
this is great. the writing is good but even more so the characters and story shine. this is an excellent story about finding yourself, understanding your family and heritage, making mistakes, and redefining failure as not trying. i'm not entirely sure if yumi reads as an almost-seventh grader or if she seems a bit older than that most of the time, but either way, this is a really great middle grade book with a really good message woven in.

"'You have to speak if you want people to hear you.'" ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jan 3, 2021 |
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One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian. On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her "Yu-MEAT" because she smells like her family's Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she's reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage. Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she's a girl named Kay Nakamura--and Yumi doesn't correct them. As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.

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