Cover Reveal: Mindy Kim and The Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee

Happy Friday, friends! I couldn’t be more excited about today’s post, as Pop! Goes The Reader has been asked to host the exclusive cover reveal for Mindy Kim and The Yummy Seaweed Business, the first book in debut author Lyla Lee’s forthcoming 2020 middle grade series! Lyla is responsible for writing two of my most-anticipated 2020 releases, both the aforementioned Mindy Kim books and her 2020 YA debut, I’ll Be The One, so I feel extremely lucky to have worked with her on today’s post! Mindy Kim and The Yummy Seaweed Business will be coming to a book store and library near you in Spring 2020 from Aladdin Books and the absolutely adorable cover below was designed by Laura Lyn DiSiena with accompanying artwork by Dung Ho.


About Lyla Lee

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 then 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.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramTumblrGoodreads


When I was a kid, our family moved around a lot. Whether it was from South Korea to California, from California to Florida, or from Florida to Texas, I was always the new kid. My friends changed constantly, and it got pretty lonely! But the one thing that remained constant in my life were books. And one of the series that Kid Me held close to her heart was the Junie B. Jones books. But even as I loved those books, I couldn’t help but wish there were books about girls who looked like me. In Junie B. Jones, the only character that looked like me was the bus driver, and he wasn’t a main character at all.

I didn’t set out to write middle grade. In fact, I spent ten years trying to get published while writing for teenagers. Even as a kid (I started writing books when I was in fourth grade, even though I started pursuing publication in middle school), I wrote about teens, since by then I was already reading YA and writing books that I thought “were cool.”

But then, a few months before my 24th birthday, Mindy found her way into my heart. Mindy was every bit as spunky as I admired Junie B. Jones for being. Except, like me, she was Korean American and was moving into a town where only a few people – if at all – looked like her. Without even planning it, I ended up getting my first book deal writing the very kind of book that kid-me wanted when I was a kid. Life has a funny way of working out like that.

The Mindy Kim books aren’t autobiographical, of course, but bits and pieces of my childhood seeped in: running a (real-life!) dried seaweed snack trading ring with my friend, DESPERATELY wanting a puppy (which at that time, I saw as a sibling/friend that’d always be with me no matter what), and playing in the playground near the sunny beaches of Northeastern Florida.

It’s my hope that new kids out there will find Mindy’s story and feel less alone, even for just a moment. <3

My name is Mindy Kim.

I’m seven and a half years old. That’s old enough to walk to school by myself on non-rainy days, 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.



Cover design by Laura Lyn DiSiena, Cover art by Dung Ho


Title Mindy Kim and The Yummy Seaweed Business
Author Lyla Lee
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date Spring 2020 by Aladdin
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersBarnes & NobleIndieBound

Mindy Kim just wants three things:

1. A PUPPY!

2. A new best friend

3. For her dad to be happy again

On her first day at her new school, Mindy’s delicious dried seaweed snacks aren’t exactly popular at the lunch table. With the help of her new friend Sally, the snacks take off, and they decide to create a spectacular Yummy Seaweed Business! Mindy just knows this will help her (finally!) get her new puppy, make Dad happy, and maybe find a new best friend in Sally.

But when one of her classmates decides to destroy their seaweed operation, Mindy loses more than she bargained for – and wonders if she’ll ever fit in. Will Mindy be able to get everything she’s wished for – and find the courage to be herself?

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