Spotlight on Pippa Park Raises Her Game (Erin Yun), Plus Guest Post & Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to spotlight Pippa Park Raises Her Game (Erin Yun).
Read on for more about Erin, a guest post, plus a giveaway!
Meet Erin Yun!
Debut author Erin Yun grew up in Frisco, Texas. She received her BFA in English from New York University and served as president of its policy debate team. This experience came in handy for her job as the debate consultant for the Tony-nominated Best Play on Broadway—What the Constitution Means to Me. Erin is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and has written reviews and articles for BookBrowse. She currently lives in New York City, and yes—she used to play basketball as a middle grader!
Meet Pippa Park Raises Her Game!
A Contemporary Reimagining of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for Middle Graders
Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. It seems like everyone, from her family to the other kids at school, has a plan for how her life should look. So when Pippa gets a mysterious basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself by following the “Rules of Cool.”
At Lakeview, Pippa juggles old and new friends, an unrequited crush, and the pressure to perform academically and athletically while keeping her past and her family’s laundromat a secret from her elite new classmates. But when Pippa begins to receive a string of hateful, anonymous messages via social media, her carefully built persona is threatened.
As things begin to spiral out of control, Pippa discovers the real reason she was admitted to Lakeview and wonders if she can keep her old and new lives separate, or if she should even try.
Discussion Questions, Author Q&A, and Korean Language Glossary and Pronunciation Guide
~ Guest Post ~
Chuseok Blog Post
Ever since I was a kid, autumn has always been my favorite season. I love the cool temperatures, orange leaves, and the fact that fall encompasses not one, but two, holidays centered around food: Chuseok and Thanksgiving. Chuseok is often referred to as “Korean Thanksgiving”, as both days emphasize spending time with family, and eating all sorts of delicious foods together. However, while Thanksgiving conjures up images of plump turkeys, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole, Chuseok features crispy jeon, juicy Asian pears, and sweet songpyeon, among other delectables. The popular Korean holiday originated as a way to both honor a family’s ancestors and celebrate the harvest, and it occurs on the fifteenth day of the eighth month on the lunar calendar. While there are many formal components to Chuseok that center around honoring your ancestors, when I think of Chuseok, I primarily think of all the tasty food. Growing up, my memories of Chuseok included things like spending time with family (most of my mom’s family still lives in South Korea, but one of her brothers moved to Texas with his family) and playing games with my cousins in between stealing bits of kimchi pancake from the kitchen. My mom would cook galbi, japchae, and all sorts of side dishes, filling the whole house with savory, mouthwatering scents. In my book, Pippa Park Raises Her Game, Pippa’s Chuseok also revolves around amazing food and spending time with family. When I was growing up, my mom did most of the cooking, but now that I live away from home, I spend most Chuseoks with my sister, and we cook for ourselves. So, in honor of the holiday, I’ll give y’all the rundown on some of the foods both Pippa and I eat on Chuseok.
“Mina frowned, obviously debating whether to let me off the hook so easily. A beat passed, and she relented. ‘Jung-Hwa forgot to get shrimp for the saeujeon. I need you to go to David’s Divinities to pick up half a pound.’”
Jeon is a kind of Korean “pancake” and can be customized in a variety of different ways. As a kid, I loved when my mom made kimchi or seafood pancakes, but this year, I made saeujeon (shrimp) and hobak-jeon (zucchini). It was my first time making both dishes, and while the hobak-jeon was both delicious and easy to make (essentially you just batter zucchini slices and then dip them into egg before panfrying), I overcooked the shrimp. But I wasn’t too disappointed—it gave me an excuse to try them again in the near future!
“‘This is delicious,’ Mrs. Lee said as she picked out a bit of sweet potato from her japchae and popped it into her mouth. ‘It reminds me of home.’”
When I was growing up, japchae was one of my sister’s favorite foods. It’s glass noodles stir-fried and mixed with soy sauce and a whole array of tasty additions, including sliced carrots, boiled, seasoned spinach, and beef. Since I was focusing on other dishes this year, I bought my japchae pre-made at my local H-Mart, but in retrospect, I think this is one worth making fresh. As a kid, I liked to be mischievous and steal bits of my favorite ingredients from the japchae before we sat down to eat—small pieces of the meat were a popular pick for me, but so was the spinach. My mom would blanch it and add sesame oil and salt to the greens before adding it to the japchae—honestly, though, I would have eaten a whole bowl of just the spinach and been happy.
“While Jung-Hwa grilled pork belly, Mina stuffed rice cakes with a blend of ground-up, sweetened sesame seeds and set them aside to be steamed over a bed of fragrant pine needles.”
When I was younger, my mom sent me to a class where I studied Korean with other children from the Korean church she attended (who were all about five years younger than me, but that’s another post). There, I learned how to make songpyeon—these delicious delectables are an iconic food served during Chuseok. They’re rice cakes that are stuffed with a sweet filling, such as sweetened sesame seeds, and then, if prepared the traditional way, steamed on a bed of pine needles. The rice cakes are often beautifully colored, and the sesame seeds are a perfectly sweet, nutty complement to the chewy rice cakes.
While there are countless other dishes that might pop up on Chuseok, these were a few dishes that both me and Pippa enjoyed during our last one. I was happy with how the majority of the food turned out, but in reality, everything could have been burnt or ice-cold, and I would still have had a happy Chuseok—because honestly, as long as I make time to spend with family, I feel like I’m doing something right.
Pippa Park Raises Her Game
Author: Erin Yun
Publishing Date: February 2nd, 2020
Publisher: Fabled Films Press
One winner will receive a copy of Pippa Park Raises Her Game (Erin Yun) ~ US Only
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This cover looks very sweet and colorful which I enjoy. It also sounds like a spirited story about a character trying to figuring out who she is.
I wish I could celebrate Chuseok ; atleast for a day, it sound delicious.
I absolutely love this cover! It's super colorful, and I'm sure would be very attractive to your readers. I'd love to add this to my classroom library! Such a creative way of introducing kids to the classics.
The cover is cute. The synopsis tells me I have to read this, especially because it will teach me more about Korean culture.