Gigi Shin Is Not a Nerd (Hardcover)

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Gigi Shin Is Not a Nerd By Lyla Lee Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Gigi Shin is in 7th grade and wants to be an artist. When Gigi and her friends find out about Starscape, an elite summer art program, they all want to apply. The girls form the Ace Squad tutoring group to earn money to pay for the camp. If Gigi can pay her own way to camp she figures her parents can't say no, right?  

This quick read is fun and seems perfect for grades three and up. Typical middle school drama — crushes, problems with friends, issues with parents about grades. For fans of The Baby-Sitters Club.

— Barb


This first book in a sparkling middle grade series giving a fresh take on The Baby-Sitters Club follows a young Korean American girl who starts a business with her best friends to support her artistic dreams.

Jiyoung “Gigi” Shin loves to create, from her zany outfits to self-executed haircuts. She dreams of becoming an artist and doodles every chance she gets—at school instead of taking notes, in choir instead of singing, and at home instead of homework. Art is her way of escaping her boring life in suburban Middle of Nowhere, Texas. Unfortunately, her working class, immigrant parents want her to focus on her studies and pursue something more “practical.” Gigi only really feels like herself in art class and at lunch with her best friends, Carolina and Zeina.

When Gigi learns about an elite art camp on the east coast, she’s determined to go. But she knows her parents won’t let her, much less pay for it. After overhearing her little brother Tommy complain about how hard math is and how his teacher goes too fast for him, Gigi has a brilliant idea: forming a tutoring club with her friends to make enough money for the art camp.

With Carolina, Zeina, and Carolina’s friend, Emma, the girls go all in, each with a reason for wanting the business to succeed. But the first few sessions with their classmates are a little chaotic, and Gigi wonders if she will end up sacrificing more than she bargained for to achieve her dreams.

About the Author

Lyla Lee is the bestselling author of young adult novels like I’ll Be the One and Flip the Script. She also writes the Mindy Kim series for younger readers and the Gigi Shin books for the middle school crowd. Her books have been translated into multiple languages around the world. Born in South Korea, she’s since then lived in various cities throughout the United States. 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. Visit Lyla at or on Instagram, X (previously known as Twitter), and TikTok @LiteraryLyla.

Praise For…

"Similar to the Baby-Sitter’s Club series, with a strong representation of Asian American characters, Lee’s story focuses on themes of friendship and teamwork and the academic pressures that immigrant parents can place on their children to excel in math and science versus art. A promising start to a new series."
— Booklist

"Hand this to readers who enjoy the simple ­camaraderie and entrepreneurship of “The Baby-Sitters Club” series."
— School Library Journal

"Via emphatically depicted character interactions, Lee (the Mindy Kim series) skillfully handles topics surrounding cooperation, financial anxiety, first crushes, and pursuing one’s goals in this sweet and wholesome new series."
— Publishers Weekly

"Move over, Baby-Sitters! There’s a new club in town."
— Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9781665939171
ISBN-10: 1665939176
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 192
Language: English
Series: Gigi Shin