Spotlight on Gigi Shin is Not a Nerd (Lyla Lee), Excerpt & Giveaway ~ US Only!

Today we’re spotlighting Gigi Shin is Not a Nerd by Lyla Lee!

Read on for more about the author, the book, plus enter the giveaway!




About the Author: Lyla Lee

Lyla Lee is the bestselling author of young adult novels like I’ll Be the One and Flip the Script. She also writes the Mindy Kim series for younger readers and the Gigi Shin books for the middle school crowd. Her books have been translated into multiple languages around the world. Born in South Korea, she’s since then lived in various cities throughout the United States. Inspired by her English teacher, she started writing her own stories in fourth grade and finished her first novel at the age of fourteen. After working various jobs in Hollywood and studying Psychology and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. Visit Lyla at or on social media (Instagram, X (previously known as Twitter), and TikTok @LiteraryLyla).

Website * Instagram * TikTok * X




About the Book: Gigi Shin is Not a Nerd

This first book in a sparkling middle grade series giving a fresh take on The Baby-Sitters Club follows a young Korean American girl who starts a business with her best friends to support her artistic dreams.

Jiyoung “Gigi” Shin loves to create, from her zany outfits to self-executed haircuts. She dreams of becoming an artist and doodles every chance she gets—at school instead of taking notes, in choir instead of singing, and at home instead of homework. Art is her way of escaping her boring life in suburban Middle of Nowhere, Texas. Unfortunately, her working class, immigrant parents want her to focus on her studies and pursue something more “practical.” Gigi only really feels like herself in art class and at lunch with her best friends, Carolina and Zeina.

When Gigi learns about an elite art camp on the east coast, she’s determined to go. But she knows her parents won’t let her, much less pay for it. After overhearing her little brother Tommy complain about how hard math is and how his teacher goes too fast for him, Gigi has a brilliant idea: forming a tutoring club with her friends to make enough money for the art camp.

With Carolina, Zeina, and Carolina’s friend, Emma, the girls go all in, each with a reason for wanting the business to succeed. But the first few sessions with their classmates are a little chaotic, and Gigi wonders if she will end up sacrificing more than she bargained for to achieve her dreams.







I was drawing a picture of Meteor Girl flying between the skyscrapers of NYC when there was a knock on my door.

“Ji-young?” It was Dad.

“Yeah?” I quickly hid my sketchbook in its usual place in my desk drawer and didn’t turn around. I was still mad about what happened at dinner. And I didn’t want my parents to see my art since they were bound to just ask me why I was drawing instead of studying.

“Are you done with your homework?” Dad asked when he came into my room. “Yeah,” I said again. “I finished it in study hall.”

“Good. Tommy needs help with his homework. Normally, your mom and I can help him, but his word problems today are too hard for us. Can you go help?”

I didn’t want to help Tommy, but through the open door, I could hear the frustrated groans coming from his room. “Why is long division so hard!” he was saying. I heard Mom speaking softly in Korean, but she sounded confused too. I was still pretty angry at my parents, but it really did sound like they needed my help. Since they came to the United States as grown-ups, English was hard for them sometimes.

“Okay,” I said with a sigh.

 I went to Tommy’s room. My brother’s desk was covered with crumpled-up balls of paper that had endless lines of long division. Mom looked tired, and Tommy was crying. I frowned. Sure, I thought my little brother was annoying 99 percent of the time, but that didn’t mean I liked to see him cry.

“I got this, Umma,” I said in Korean. “You should go rest.”

 “Thank you, Ji-young,” she said.

After Mom left, I looked over at Tommy’s homework. My parents and my brother had managed to do most of the questions, with the exception of the five word problems at the very end of the sheet. I glanced over them. Math wasn’t my best subject, but luckily, I understood what to do.

“Scoot over,” I told Tommy. He wiped his eyes and did what I said.

 “So, what you do is,” I said. “When it says ‘divided by’ something, you put that outside the division sign. Or when it says, ‘split into groups of . . .’ you have to be careful to see what is being divided by what and set up the equation on your own first, and then you can do the math like a normal long division question.”

Tommy’s mouth dropped open in a big O. “Is that all?”


We tried doing a problem together. Tommy was confused at first, but toward the end, he was able to work it out himself. It didn’t take him long to finish the rest of his homework after that.

“Wow, that was easier than I thought,” he said. “You’re a good teacher, Noona. You’re better than me at math!”

 Noona was the Korean word that boys used for “big sister.” Since Tommy was my only little brother, he was the only person who called me Noona. It was a common Korean word, but whenever Tommy said it, it felt like a special name that he had just for me.

I shook my head. “I can only do this because this worksheet is for third graders. Math is my worst subject at school. You’ll probably get a lot better than me soon. I’d much rather do social studies.”

“Oh, really?” Tommy asked, his eyes wide with surprise. “I love math, and it’s my favorite, even though I can’t do some of the problems yet! I hate social studies and English. They’re so hard! I don’t know how you like them!”

And that’s when I got the best idea ever. Just because my parents couldn’t pay for Starscape didn’t mean I couldn’t go. There were a lot of ways to make money. Like my brother and me, my friends and I were each good at different subjects. Besides art, I was good at history, Carolina was good at math and science, and Zeina was good at English.

We could start a tutoring club and raise money for ourselves!

That night I couldn’t sleep. I was too excited by my idea. Lunchtime tomorrow couldn’t come fast enough!


Text copyright 2024 by Lyla Lee

Cover illustration copyright 2024 by Karyn Lee




Title: Gigi Shin is Not a Nerd

Author: Lyla Lee

Release Date: 3/5/24

Publisher: Aladdin Books/Simon & Schuster

ISBN-10: 1665939176

ISBN-13: 9781665939171

Genre: middle grade fiction

Age Range: 8 – 12





Three (3) winners will receive a hardcover copy of Gigi Shin is Not a Nerd (Lyla Lee)! ~ US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

7 thoughts on “Spotlight on Gigi Shin is Not a Nerd (Lyla Lee), Excerpt & Giveaway ~ US Only!”

  1. Kristy says:

    This sounds so cute!

  2. Oh this has been on my list of books to check out for a bit now! It looks precious!

  3. madeleine says:

    Such a cute book cover!

  4. ltecler says:

    I can think of a bunch of readers at my school who’d love this one!

  5. I adore this cover and this book sounds fun to read.

  6. This cover is adorable and it sounds like a relatable story!

Comments are closed.