Monday, March 14, 2022

PETER LEE'S NOTES FROM THE FIELD by Angela Ahn with illustrations by Julie Kwon

 Why read this book?

I haven't seen too many books where the main character does something they have dreamed about for a really long time...and then rejects it.  In this story, Peter Lee, a Korean boy with asthma, is obsessed with dinosaurs. He wants to be a paleontologist and is looking forward to a family trip to Drumheller, Alberta and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. 

But everything turns out a little differently than Peter expects--and he ends up feeling like a big failure. In the meantime things with his family are getting confusing and complicated. His grandmother is acting strangely, his mom is stressing about his academics and his little sister, a genius, is getting to be more and more annoying. 

I loved how Peter learned to cope with his disappointments and feelings of failure as well as the declining health of his grandmother. Peter also had to navigate how to fit in at school with mean kids and his friends, as well as managing his parents’ high expectations. I especially liked how Peter struggled with his relationship with his younger sister. Drawings by Julie Kwon helped to show the reader Peter’s growing artistic abilities.

Teaching Connections: 

scientific observations, paleontology, bullying, family relationships, parent expectations, fitting in with friends

Additional Resources

More about author Angela Ahn:

     Asian Heritage in Canada by Ryerson University  

     Angela Ahn's  website

More about illustrator Julie Kwon

     Julie Kwon's online sketchbook

Fossils in Focus Fact Sheet from the Tyrrell Museum

Down the Rabbit Hole's Virtual Visit of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, 2018

For more great middle grade books, check out the line up for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle.


  1. I am reading a lot of Korean books and watching a lot of Netflix movies about Korea like the King's Affection. So, your review interested me because it has a different angle. Sounds like a great story!

  2. This looks pretty cute. The annoying little genius sister sounds like a great character. Thanks for telling me about this one.

    1. Yes, all the family relationships are so great in this book!


I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I’ve decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).