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Sometimes it can be difficult to stand up for yourself, especially if you're constantly being crushed by the weight of your family's expectations--go to tutoring to get good grades to attend a private school that you hate, help out in the family's struggling restaurant, keep your older sister's secrets while also keeping a mountain of your own. It all makes for an avalanche of stress that protagonist Yumi makes entertaining as she finds herself in the spotlight, her dreams of doing stand up comedy suddenly not so secret. With humor and guts, this book is all about finding the courage to go after what you want.
— Julie Jarema
Spring 2020 Kids Indie Next List
“Yumi Chung has a dream of being a stand-up comedian, but her parents aren’t on board. Suddenly, Yumi finds herself with a chance to attend a summer camp with her all-time favorite comedian, except everyone thinks Yumi is someone else. This book is hilarious, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at once. And in the end, you will absolutely be standing up and cheering for Yumi Chung!”
— Sarah True, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
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.
About the Author
Jessica Kim writes about Asian American girls finding their way in the world. Before she was an author, Jessica studied education at UC Berkeley and spent ten years teaching third, fourth, and fifth grades in public schools. Like Yumi, Jessica lives with her family in Southern California and can't get enough Hot Cheetos, stand-up comedy, and Korean barbecue.
Praise for Stand Up, Yumi Chung!
“With wonderful supporting characters, strong pacing, and entertaining comedy bits, debut author Kim has woven a pop song of immigrant struggle colliding with comedy and Korean barbecue.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Kim has taught school, and it shows, both with the spot-on dialogue and the up-to-date social media references... This will certainly remind readers of Kelly Yang's Front Desk (2018)." —Booklist, starred review
"A must-read." —School Library Connection, starred review
“Being your true self can be tough, but with guts, gumption, and a whole lot of heart, Yumi Chung rises to the challenge and shows us all who she really is—a bona fide star.” —Booki Vivat, New York Times bestselling author of Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom
“A funny, tender story about family, friendship, and the courage to be yourself!” —Karina Yan Glaser, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanderbeekers series
“Come for the puns, the laughs, and the wacky plot of mistaken identity, but it’s the bighearted characters that take center stage in Stand Up, Yumi Chung!” —Carlos Hernandez, author of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
“I adored this book! Like, I seriously hugged it when I was done. This is quintessential middle grade—charming, funny, real, and overflowing with heart.” —Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of 8th Grade Superzero, Two Naomis, and Naomis Too
"This book is my favorite combination of heartfelt and hilarious. Yumi Chung is a headliner!" —Remy Lai, author of Pie in the Sky
“This book is hilarious.” —Sarah True, Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Cincinnati, OH)
“One of the best middle grade books I have read all year!” —Robyn Broderick, The Reading Bug (San Carlos, CA)
“Yumi is a smart and sassy heroine, and Stand Up, Yumi Chung! is a poignant and charming story that appeals to the dreamer in all of us.” —Jackie Jou, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore (San Diego, CA)
“This book made me cry, cheer, and laugh out loud.” —Bethany Strout, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, CO)