- The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio
Library ed. ISBN 978-1-5247-1795-7 $19.99
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-5247-1794-0 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-5247-1796-4 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 4-7
Lou (short for Lucinda) loves building and woodwork, and her dream is to build a tiny house on the land her late father left to her. When she finds out her mother is considering taking a job out of state that would require her and Lou to move away from Lou’s friends and extended Filipino-American family, Lou decides that getting her house built is the way to convince her mother to stay. Lou, with her love of creation and her independent drive, is a beguiling heroine, and the portrait of her life with a massive complement of close cousins, an adoring grandmother, and lots of tasty Filipino food is upbeat and affectionate. The book ladles on too many subplots, though, with Lou’s participation in a Filipino festival, her entry into a local contest, and her budding relationship with a handsome male classmate all jostling for page space, and there’s a fair amount of contrivance in the suddenly [End Page 443] upcoming auction of her father’s land for taxes and the discovery of memorabilia there. Lou and her project are still engaging, though, and readers may get inspired by her to pick up a hammer themselves.