Lou Bulosan-Nelson is going to build her dream in The House that Lou Built. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother’s house in San Francisco, and longs for a place of her own where she can escape her lovable but large extended Filipino family. Lou has a talent for woodshop class and creating projects. She plans to build a tiny house, 100 square feet, all her own, on land that she inherited from her dad, who died before she was born. Then Lou discovers it’s not so easy to build one, but she won’t give up on her dream—and her friends and family won’t either. This heartwarming coming-of-age story explores culture and family, forgiveness and friendship, and what makes a house a true home. (via Goodreads)
I received an eARC of The House that Lou Built courtesy of Wendy Lamb Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The House That Lou Built is a delightful contemporary middle grade novel. This story is brimming with Filipino family love, the realities of cultural differences, and hard decisions.
Lou is headstrong, determined and delightful, though a lot of the decisions she made in The House That Lou Built were ones that would have had me chewing my nails off as her parent. She did a lot of lying about where she was going and with whom. My mom would have grounded me for an eternity and made sure I stayed grounded. I think it’s a sign that I’m getting old when I identified more with Minda and Lola than Lou herself.
She has big dreams for such a small girl, and I adored her. I loved the relationship that Lou had with her cousins and large family, and that she embroiled them in her schemes. I love that their family supported them, no matter what.
Overall, I really enjoyed The House That Lou Built. I felt that another round of editing could have made it just a little tighter, but it’s a book with a very open protagonist. If you love headstrong little girls following their dreams, you’ll love The House That Lou Built. You can pick up a copy for yourself on Amazon or Indiebound with my sincere recommendation.