Teresa Lukey's Reviews > Girl in Translation

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
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Aug 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, inspirational, made-me-cry, must-share-with-friends, my-absolute-fav-s, 5-stars
Read from August 11 to 13, 2011

This is a favorite for me. I listened to the audiobook and, if you can, I highly suggest that be the way you "read" this book. The narrator does a fantastic job with the Chinese accent.

Having grown up in a lower income area in the 80's I had the opportunity to be around many Cambodian, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese families newly immigrated to the US. I remember the way these people were treated, with uncertainty and sometimes just downright rudeness. Unfortunately, its much the same way the eastern European people who now inhabit these same areas are treated at present. In this story you really get a feel for what a struggle it is to make ends meet in a new country, where you do not understand the language, culture, laws or expectations.

Having lost her father under Mao's reign, Kimberly and her mother move to New York with the help of her aunt. Unfortunately, her aunt puts them up in a condemned building infested with vermin and cockroaches and gives Kim's mother a job at a clothing factory that pays by the piece, then she takes most of the money to repay the debt owed for getting her to the US. Kimberly has to go to the factory after school each day to help her mother complete her work, so that she can make it home after working 12-14 hour days.

Through the heart-ships, Kimberly is still able to do exceptionally well at school and gains access to a private school through a scholarship. Although most kids think of her as a freak because she is so smart and keeps to herself, she continues to excel. Kimberly wants to have friends, go to parties and have a boyfriend, but is not allowed due to her mothers fear that people will see where they live or require something in return, which they cannot afford.

I cannot think of anything I would want different with this story, it is perfect!
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25.0% "This is a really good book!"
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Readingmomma I could'nt put this one down I really loved it. I think I read it in one day it was so great.

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