What's Eating Jackie Oh? (Library Binding)

What's Eating Jackie Oh? By Patricia Park Cover Image
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May/June 2024 Kids Indie Next List

“Loved this book. Patricia Park brings us a complicated, smart, compelling heroine in Jackie Oh. She manages to merge threads of family strife, race, secrets — and lots of great food — all so smoothly and beautifully done.”
— Kathy Crowley, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA


A Korean American teen tries to balance her dream to become a chef with the cultural expectations of her family when she enters the competitive world of a TV cooking show. A hilarious and heartfelt YA novel from the award-winning author of Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim and Re Jane.

"Park’s novel delivers authentic characters who will make you laugh…and cry. Not to be missed!" --Ellen Oh, author of The Colliding Worlds of Mina Lee

Jackie Oh is done being your model minority.

She’s tired of perfect GPAs, PSATs, SATs, all of it. Jackie longs to become a professional chef. But her Korean American parents are Ivy League corporate workaholics who would never understand her dream. Just ask her brother, Justin, who hasn’t heard from them since he was sent to Rikers Island.

Jackie works at her grandparents’ Midtown Manhattan deli after school and practices French cooking techniques at night—when she should be studying. But the kitchen’s the only place Jackie is free from all the stresses eating at her—school, family, and the increasing violence targeting the Asian community.

Then the most unexpected thing happens: Jackie becomes a teen contestant on her favorite cooking show, Burn Off! Soon Jackie is thrown headfirst into a cutthroat TV world filled with showboating child actors, snarky judges, and gimmicky “gotcha!” challenges.

All Jackie wants to do is cook her way. But what is her way? In a novel that will make you laugh and cry, Jackie proves who she is both on and off the plate.

Patricia Park's hilarious and stunning What’s Eating Jackie Oh? explores the delicate balance of identity, ambition, and the cultural expectations to perform.

About the Author

Patricia Park is a tenured professor of creative writing at American University, a Fulbright Scholar in Creative Arts, and a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. Her debut YA novel, Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim, received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal and was an NPR Book of the Day. Patricia’s newest novel, What’s Eating Jackie Oh? is inspired by her love of watching competitive TV cooking shows and creating somewhat edible meals from leftovers. It was also inspired by Patricia’s New York Times op-ed, “I’m Done Being Your Model Minority.” Patricia’s writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Guardian, Salon, and others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For…

★ "An engrossing tale full of appealing characters, foodie elements, and heart." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A perfect fit for teens obsessed with food tv or grappling with the pressure of parental expectations." —Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593563427
ISBN-10: 0593563425
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 30th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English