Stella: On the Edge of Popularity

Stella: On the Edge of Popularity

by Lauren Lee

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Promoting tolerance through literature may be a worthy goal, but this uninspired first novel falls severely short. Stella Kim, a studious seventh grader, lives with her family in a Chicago suburb. She courts popularity by obliging cruel, inexplicably influential Eileen--wearing what Eileen tells her to, helping Eileen with homework and coaching her for the school's all-important spelling bee. Racist comments and taunts from Eileen and others have made Stella ashamed of her Korean heritage. Rachel, who is Jewish, easily recognizes Eileen's blatant insincerity, but Stella, fearful of losing her tenuous place with the in group, rebuffs Rachel's overtures. There are few surprises here, and the climactic spelling bee simply becomes embarrassing for the reader when Stella wins a round by spelling camaraderie ``cameraderie'' (``Was the root word camera?'') and another contest word is given as ``immaleable.'' Ages 8-up. (May)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Stella Sung Ok Kim is caught between her desire to fit in with the popular American girls and her loyalty to her Korean culture. Through her own experiences and through those of her parents, she learns that there is more to friendship than popularity, that it is important to take responsibility for your own actions, and that respect can be earned but never demanded. Well-developed characters and a credible plot will hold the interest of readers, who will find themselves exposed to information about the Korean culture as they read. Students will probably recognize fellow classmates, and possibly even themselves, in the characters who tend to stereotype and make fun of anyone who is different.-Dona Weisman, Northeast Texas Library System, Garland

Product Details

Polychrome Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

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