Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business — “Mindy Kim” Series

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business cover


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Book Review

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee follows Mindy’s journey from trying to fit in as the new girl at school to really making friends.

Plot Summary

Mindy Kim and her father have moved from California to Florida for his new job. Her mother has passed away within the last year. Now Mindy must make new friends at a school where she is the only South Korean student.

On her first day of school, Mindy’s new teacher, Mrs. Potts, mispronounces her Korean name and is relieved that she goes by the name Mindy. Mindy sits next to a girl named Sally. At lunch, Mindy eats traditional Korean food, which includes seaweed snacks. The children at her table laugh at her food and think it smells.

After school, Eunice-unni, a Korean who lives in their neighborhood, picks her up from school. Her father has to work late. Her new babysitter has a Maltese dog, which Mindy immediately bonds with. She really wants a dog of her own, but her father won’t consider the idea of getting a dog.

The next day in the cafeteria, Mindy asks to sit at Sally’s table. Sally agrees, and she is interested in Mindy’s food. Sally likes the seaweed snacks. Soon others at their table are asking to try the seaweed snacks, too. Mindy shares with everyone.

Sally suggests that Mindy trade her seaweed snacks for other people’s snacks, which Mindy does. Then she suggests that Mindy sell her seaweed snacks, which she does. She wants to buy her father a dog so he won’t be so sad about losing her mother.

Selling the seaweed snacks gets Mindy in trouble with the principal, and Mindy blames Sally for her idea. There is a school rule that doesn’t allow for the selling of anything by students. Sally no longer talks to Mindy, which means that Mindy no longer has any friends.

Mindy eventually apologizes, and the girls renew their friendship. Even Mindy’s dad comes around and says they’ll start saving money for a dog.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

Mindy wants a dog but she says she hasn’t had any luck convincing her dad.

Authority Roles

Mindy’s father takes care of his daughter — preparing meals, going shopping, talking with Mindy about her day and spending time with her. When he works late hours, he provides a responsible babysitter for her. After the principal calls him, he has a talk with Mindy. Only after he thinks Mindy has gone to sleep does he cry because he misses his wife.

Mrs. Potts, Mindy’s teacher, seems uncomfortable with Mindy’s Korean name but is relieved she has a nickname. Mrs. Potts doesn’t give Mindy and Sally grace when they sell seaweed snacks, even though they didn’t know that they’d broken a school rule. She sends them directly to the principal. The principal makes it clear that he doesn’t intend to listen to their story. He chooses to call their parents and return the money received from other students.

Profanity & Violence

Mindy used the phrase dog poop in her mind after she isn’t allowed to get a dog. She hates being a new kid at school. Brandon, who tells Mrs. Potts that Mindy is selling seaweed, is described as a big baby by Sally.

Sexual Content


Discussion Topics

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