Donna's Reviews > The Trouble Begins

The Trouble Begins by Linda Himelblau
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's review
Jan 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: children, tweens
Read in January, 2009

Author Linda Himelblau guides the reader through Du’s reluctant entry into American life by narrating the story through his perspective. Her carefully constructed account of Du’s intentions and perceptions helps the reader to see the logic to his actions and understand how even his antisocial actions can make sense. She adds further validity to Du’s actions by also developing the characters of his family and community, showing how people can grow and influence one another. Information on Himelblau on the book flap indicates that her background for the book came from years of working as a teacher in southern California with a diverse array of children from different countries. The gradual pace of her plot development indicates an understanding of what happens as children immigrate into American society and must slowly assimilate. Additionally, Himelblau’s rich characterization of Du appears to be the result of years of keen observations and a true respect for the talents child immigrants bring with them. The Trouble Begins is an engaging account of a challenging first year of assimilation for a smart, independent young boy. The book provides substantial insight into the challenges faced by numerous Vietnamese families who have restarted their life in America.

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