PIPPA PARK CRUSH AT FIRST SIGHT
Pippa Park #2
By: Erin Yun
Published: September 13, 2022
Publisher: Fabled Films Press
I first shared Pippa Park’s story in PIPPA PARK RAISES HER GAME. We pick up right where the story left off with Pippa, a Korean American middle-schooler who just started at a new private school. She made the basketball team and is hoping to become a member of the “popular” group, the Royals. Like most middle-schoolers, Pippa has a lot on her plate with school work (she struggles with Algebra), the basketball team, trying to fit in with the Royals, managing expectations at home, and now a crush on two cute boys.
The book begins just 25 days before Christmas and the elite Royal’s Christmas party is being planned. Pippa has hoped to be included and when a few of the plans fall through, Pippa jumps in to save the party by offering to host. She just hasn’t worked out all the details yet like where she will have it, what she will wear, and how she will pay for it. She knows money is tight and her sister’s laundromat business isn’t doing well.
Each chapter takes us closer and closer to the coming Royal’s Christmas Eve party and each chapter shares the angst of a teen trying to balance it all while on the outside making it look like she has it all under control…when she clearly does not.
I found Pippa’s troubles relatable and her struggles with owning up to mistakes and burying her feelings a common experience for teens. If anything, her mishaps with her friends and the way she apologizes may offer kids support to own up to their own mistakes. Pippa almost waited too long to own up to needing help with the party and fixing her mistakes, but once she voiced her fears, her friends stepped up to help.
Pippa has two crushes in this story, one for Eliot, a boy she has been crushing on since she met him, and another for a new friend, Marvel, that makes her feel different and comfortable. Yun’s descriptions of Pippa’s stomach flip, the warm feeling in her chest, and the difficulty of saying how she felt reminded me of my own teenage crushes.
Eliot was a solar eclipse taking over the sky. Marvel was a pink-tinged sunset casting a rosy glow over the horizon.
This two-book series is perfect for middle-grade readers who struggle to fit in, have wanted to feel part of a group, or like relatable stories about kids their own age. I was impressed with the amount of diversity in this book. Even though Pippa is Korean American, there is a wide variety of kids from diverse backgrounds and situations in this story that offer readers someone to identify with.
Erin Yun grew up in Frisco, Texas and used to play basketball as a middle grader. She received her BA in English from New York University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Creative Writing at Cambridge. She developed the Pippa Park Author Program, an interactive writing workshop, which she has conducted in person and virtually at schools, libraries, and bookstores.
Fabled Films Press LLC is creating original content for young readers and middle-grade audiences that combines strong literary properties with high-quality production values to connect books with generations of parents and their children. Each property is supported by websites, educator guides, and activities for bookstores, educators, and librarians, as well as videos, social media content, and supplemental entertainment for additional platforms.