Mike Jung took middle-grade readers on an action-packed adventure with Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities (2012). In his sophomore follow-up, Jung returns with Unidentified Suburban Object an achingly hilarious, satirical novel full of painful truths about being both a bright, sensitive middle schooler, and a so-called ‘model-minority’ in a decidedly not-diverse town.
Why we like it: “Yes, I’m good at Math. All Koreans are, didn’t you know? Yes, I’m good at sarcasm.” We need more characters like Chloe Cho. She’s spunky, curious, and, like most of us, trying to figure stuff out. Mike Jung’s book is a really unique and out-of-this-world coming-of-age multicultural story – it’s diverse in more ways than one (hint hint). It’s an important addition to contemporary Asian-American children’s literature in that it’s more than just about being “different.” Readers have the opportunity to think about race and ethnicity from both insider and outside perspectives. Read this book and then talk about it with others.