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There are a lot of great books out there. Many of them are terrific because of the inventive plot or the characters. A few contain a masterful message. Krista Kim-Bap by Angela Ahn is both.

The main character in the story is, of course, Krista, a girl with Korean heritage who lives in Canada and has never been to Korea. Her one connection to Korea is the food she eats with her family. Jason has been Krista’s best friend for years. They do practically everything together. They’re inseparable. Until the day Krista meets Madison, a popular girl, and suddenly Krista’s friendship with Jason is falling apart. And what’s even worse is that Krista starts acting differently because of this new friendship-namely, dressing very differently than her usual jeans and T-shirt and trying out eye tape to make her eyes look bigger.

Another problem is that Krista has to make a school project on her Korean heritage for Heritage Month. She’s not sure how she feels about being the one Korean kid in her school, and she has yet another dilemma; asking her slightly unapproachable grandma to teach her class to make kim-bap, a kind of Korean food. Will Krista learn to appreciate her appearance and heritage?

The thing I liked best about Krista Kim-Bap is the message of the story, which is to be yourself and be okay with being who you are. Trying to be somebody else or changing your looks is always going to make you unhappy. Worthwhile friends don’t make you feel bad about being your authentic self. Another one of the things I liked was the humor and Krista’s amusing comments on things everyone has probably wondered about.

Krista Kim-Bap is a short but powerful story about true friendship and self-acceptance. I would advise you to get your hands on it as soon as possible!

Krista Kim-Bap by Angela Ahn. Second Story Press, 2018. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!

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