Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream is written by the talented writer Jenny Han and published by Little Brown & Co. You can find it at Barnes and Noble or online at  Amazon

I thought this review in the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books summed it up well:
More than anything in the world, eight-year-old Clara Lee wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie in the upcoming Apple Blossom Festival parade in her hometown, but she doesn’t think she is brave enough to get up in front of the whole school and give the speech required of all applicants for the esteemed position. After she has a disturbing dream, Clara’s Korean grandfather assures her that bad dreams often mean luck is coming, and it seems to be true for Clara Lee. Boosted by her new good fortune, Clara Lee signs up as a Little Miss Apple Pie candidate, only to hit a patch of bad luck (one of her rivals challenges her American-ness, she gets into a fight with her good friend Max, and she gets sent to her room during dinner). Ultimately, Clara Lee determines that “there was no such thing as good or bad luck days. Maybe every day had good and bad things” and, in the end, achieves her Little Miss Apple Pie dream. The story in this early chapter book is tightly composed, and the luck theme is an appealing one. The subject and subplots are spot-on for the age group, with a fallen friendship, an annoying little sister, and a whole heap of drama filling out the pages. The cultural element is one of the stronger components of the novel: Clara Lee is very proud of her Korean-American heritage, and her close relationship with her grandfather helps her to continuously learn more about it. Fans of Ruby Lu, Junie B., and Judy Moody may find a new fictional friend in this likely series.