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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.
Title: Pippa Park Raises Her Game
Author: Erin Yun
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Fabled Films Press
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Coming-of-Age
I feel like I’ve seen some version of this a million times in Young Adult novels, but not in Middle Grade. I was very excited to see what this book had to offer and I wasn’t disappointed!
I loved getting to know Pippa. She made a lot of mistakes during the book and it was interesting to be inside her head to see why she did and said the things she did. Throughout the book, she just wants to fit in and be more than she was at her old school. I think we can all relate to that feeling of wanting to fit in, no matter what our age. It’s nice to feel wanted and appreciated and missed. I love that the author brought this into the book.
I also really like all the small lessons we learn along the way. It was great to compare some of the things young Pippa was going through with things in my life currently or in the past. Yun did a great job of making me think, even if that wasn’t her intention.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable middle-grade novel that I think could be beneficial to children and adults alike. I’ll be recommending this one for those who enjoy MG. Also, this cover is fabulous!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.