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Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

Book #1 of Mindy Kim
Illustrated by Dung Ho

Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this first novel in an adorable new chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who is starting a snack business!

Mindy Kim just wants three things:
1. A puppy!
2. To fit in at her new school
3. For her dad to be happy again

But, getting all three of the things on her list is a lot trickier than she thought it would be. On her first day of school, Mindy’s school snack of dried seaweed isn’t exactly popular at the lunch table. Luckily, her new friend, Sally, makes the snacks seem totally delicious to Mindy’s new classmates, so they decide to start the Yummy Seaweed Business to try and raise money for that puppy!

When another student decides to try and sabotage their business, Mindy loses more than she bargained for—and wonders if she’ll ever fit in. Will Mindy be able to overcome her uncertainty and find the courage to be herself?

Chapter 1 Chapter 1
My name is Mindy Kim.

I’m seven and a half years old. That’s old enough to ride a bike around our street, but not old enough to have my own puppy—or at least that’s what my dad said.

I don’t really agree with him, but our old apartment in California wasn’t big enough for a puppy anyway. I looked it up, and the experts on the Internet say that puppies need lots of room to run outdoors.

Now that we’ve moved into a house with a big backyard, we can really get a puppy! I just have to convince my dad that it’s a good idea first.

So far, no such luck. Dad wants me to prove that I can be “responsible” enough for a puppy first… and then he’ll “consider” getting me one.

I decorated my own room to show Dad I’m “responsible.” I’m trying to be more grown-up, so I only put three dog stuffed animals on my bed. There are ten more under my bed, but Dad doesn’t need to know that. They’ll just have to take turns.

After I finished, I was looking through a website on huskies, one of my favorite kinds of dogs, when I heard Dad say, “Mindy? Can you help me with these boxes?”


“Dad!” I ran downstairs to see him standing over a box of broken dishes.

“Oh no!” he said. “These were your mom’s favorites.”

He looked so sad, like he was about to cry. I wished I’d brought one of my stuffed dogs with me. I’d even let him hug Snowball, my favorite white husky.

I miss Mom, but I know Dad misses her a lot more. She died a few months ago because she was really sick for a long time.

Lyla Lee is the author of the Mindy Kim series as well as the upcoming YA novel, I’ll Be the One. Although she was born in a small town in South Korea, she’s since lived in various parts of the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. Inspired by her English teacher, she started writing her own stories in fourth grade and finished her first novel at the age of fourteen. After working various jobs in Hollywood and studying psychology and cinematic arts at the University of Southern California, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. When she is not writing, she is teaching kids, petting cute dogs, and searching for the perfect bowl of shaved ice. You can visit her online at   

Dung Ho was born and raised in Hue, Vietnam, where she studied graphic design at the Hue University College of Arts. After graduating, she worked in the design and advertising industries before discovering a great passion for illustration and picture books and becoming a freelance illustrator. Currently, she lives and works in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Ho draws inspiration from nature and the interaction between people and nature and especially loves to draw children. When not drawing, she enjoys cooking and watching movies.

More books from this author: Lyla Lee

More books from this illustrator: Dung Ho

More books in this series: Mindy Kim

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