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Necessary Roughness

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Chan Kim has never felt like an outsider in his life. That is, not until his family moves from L.A. to a tiny town in Minnesota--Land of 10,000 Lakes--and probably 10,000 hicks,too. The Kims are the only Asian family in town, and when Chan and his twin sister, Young, attend high school, it's a blond-haired, blue-eyed whiteout.Chan throws himself into the only game in town--football--and the necessary roughness required to make a player. On the field it means "justifiable violence," but as Chan is about to discover, off the field it's a whole different ballgame.

240 pages, Paperback

First published February 28, 1996

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About the author

Marie G. Lee

9 books39 followers
Marie G. Lee is a second-generation Korean American who was born and raised in Minnesota. Marie was born on April 25, 1964 in Hibbing, Minnesota. She is the daughter of William and Grace Lee, who immigrated to the United States in 1953.

As a Founder of the Asian American Writers Workshop, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Kenyon Review, and several anthologies. Her books include Finding My Voice, the story of Ellen Sung's senior year as the only Asian in a small Minnesota high school; Saying Goodbye, a sequel to Finding My Voice, is the story of Ellen Sung's continued search for her Korean American identity at Harvard; Necessary Roughness, the story of a Korean American boy who wants to play football; and If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun, the story of a Korean American adoptee, Alice Larsen, who confronts her Korean identity when she meets Yoon Jun, a Korean immigrant who is her fellow student at school. If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun is a finalist for the Maud Hart Lovelace award.
Marie's latest book is Night of the Chupacabras - a funny, slightly scary mystery about Mexican Vampires!

Marie draws on her experiences growing up as a Korean American. She is a graduate of Brown University, and a lecturer at Yale. She enjoys children and is a great role model for all kids. Her books are particularly relevant for Asian American children growing up in America today.

NEW FLASH!! The novel is being reissued by Soho Press forbes.com/sites/rachelkramerbussel/2...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 52 reviews
Profile Image for Laura.
598 reviews24 followers
May 11, 2020
3.5 stars.

Chan is so mad when his Abogee (“father” in Korean) announces that his family will be moving from LA, where he has tons of friends and is a star on the soccer team, to a super white town in Minnesota. There’s only one game in town there: football. And it just so happens that the team is short a kicker. How different could it be?

It turns out that Chan is actually great at football, and it’s a great way to work off some of his anger at his family and their expectations, the blatant racism present in this small town, and other frustrations. He even makes friends (well, at least one close friend) with some of the guys on the team. That doesn’t mean it’s easy – on at least one occasion, their “lighthearted” hazing takes on a violent dimension. But it looks like they could be headed to State again this year, so it’s worth it, right? He’ll just keep his head down and ignore them.

Chan is in many ways a typical and relatable teenage guy, interested in girls, not super into school, loving of his sister but also not wanting her around all the time. But he’s also secretly really sweet — wanting to compliment his mom on her hard work and help out his dad, but not knowing quite the right words for either. When tragedy shakes their family, will it push him into even more silence, or will he be able to bridge the gap and reach out to the rest of his family?

This book was published in 1998, and it is definitely rough to read at times. Although the themes are evergreen, some of the terms used and discussions of racism feel like they’re of the past. That said, it is written by an own voices author, who is Korean-American and was born and raised in Minnesota, so I’m inclined to think that it’s true to her experience. It doesn’t shy away from showing the racism and small mindedness of the small town and the toxic masculinity of football culture in a gritty and realistic way, so be prepared for the jocks throwing around insults and (surprisingly often) slurs, and some physical violence. This is mostly targeted at the main character and challenged/punished within the book, except for a few things that Chan thinks/says about a Native American character that I found slightly questionable.

Overall, this is an exciting and satisfying underdog football story, with a (frustratingly) realistic depiction of small-town racism and a moving family story.

TW: racism and homophobia, slurs, bullying, major character death.
September 8, 2016
I liked this book a lot. Well, I loved this book because of the fact that it's about football and my favorite books are usually about, well you guessed it, football. I highly recommend you read it because it covers a broad range of topics such as: Korean; Death; Action; Adventure and Perseverance. Another reason I like this book is the fact that something really bad happened in the Book regarding Chan, the main character. The part I really liked about it was the fact that he persevered through the fact that something bad happened and he continued to play football. Now, I do have only one complaint about the book and my complaint is how it ended. *SPOILER ALERT* I thought it should've went through the state championship and they would've won. Sorry buddy, I had to do it. So I highly recommend you reading it because it's an AWESOME book. Now, if you really want to know what happened before the ending, you have got to read it. Football Genius
Profile Image for Lewis W.
3 reviews2 followers
September 11, 2015
I think that Necessary Roughness is a really good book because it has lots of action in it that makes it interesting the whole book. I rated this 5 stars because the book keeps on get more interesting every chapter and that it leaves me at a cliff hanger after every chapter. The author Marie G.Lee did a good job of put good dialog in the book. Chan is a person who never stops trying and is someone who kind to other. This book was easy to read but it was still a challenge to put all of it together to make scene. I think that if you are interested in sports you should read this.
Profile Image for Akilah.
1,000 reviews52 followers
May 30, 2016
Football, football, football, football. There is a lot of football in this book. Just...a lot. So there's that.

I will say, though, that Lee gets the shock of moving from a multi-ethnic big city to a small lily-white town in the Midwest pretty right. I agree with other reviewers that the ending was rushed, but I did like the family stuff and most especially all of the stuff with O-Ma and Mrs. K. Those ladies are the best.
Profile Image for 🌙~Carden~🌙.
490 reviews33 followers
October 8, 2019
I found Necessary Roughness upon skimming for a book on the school library shelves as a book to read for in the meanwhile while I wait for other books that I really wanted to read came in .

And I do not regret it at all. At first glance,the dialogue might seem a little bit gloomy and boring. But if you look closer, you will find the story of a young Asian teenager trying to find their way through and write their own story . Books like these are the most underrated for me. For example, try In The Year Of The Boar And Jackie Robinson.

This book was rushed for me. It went by so fast,I felt like I just sat there and then put it down. I did enjoy reading it and most of the dialogue wasn’t that choppy.

I appreciate the nice cover on the book. It conveys the whole message of what the book is trying to say and the summary leads you on to what the whole story is about.

It sounded promising so I read it. I liked the romance aspect to the story. It was nice. Not much,but I would have loved to see if it were a bit more believable. This book could have been better if not for the rushed ending.

For me, there were at least a lot of simmering issues on the surface of the novel. Father and son tensions. Racism on the football field,regarding that...there is one (spoiler) unfixed plot hole.

Many tragedies followed through the course of this book and they weren’t that well done. As I said this book could use more pages to make the story seem a little bit more longer and believable.

It was rushed. And the romance could have been a little more believable. If a few more scenes were added in,that would make me so happy. I loved how this book was from the early 2000’s, and even than young adult lit was barely even beginning its way through.

Overall,a nice decent story with a good execution that has room for improvement. I enjoyed reading it and it was a pretty quick and fun read. I won’t forget the protagonist either.

In terms of content, a few things to consider: There is one scene where a character gets bullied and left naked on the locker room floor. A few stereotypes and uses of names. Some events might upset the reader. Teens kiss.
Verdict: Mild
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Hilmi Isa.
351 reviews27 followers
September 13, 2018
Sebuah novel yang saya boleh kategorikan sebagai simple dan ditulis untuk golongan remaja. Mengisahkan keluarga Kim (dengan anak lelaki yang bernama Chan Kim sebagai watak utama) yang berpindah ke Iron River,Minessota yang pada asalnya untuk menyelesaikan masalah hutang adik bapanya yang bernama Bong. Chan mempunyai adik kembar perempuan yang bernama Young (ibu mereka hanya dikenali di dalam novel sebagai O-Ma dan bapa mereka pula dikenali sebagai Abogee,masing-masing bermaksud ibu dan bapa di dalam bahasa Korea)

Walaupun berasa tidak puas hati,Chan akhirnya berjaya menyesuaikan diri di tempat baharunya dan menyertai pasukan bola sepak Amerika Iron River High School. Walaupun sering terasa asing kerana hanya keluarga mereka sahaja yang berbangsa Korea di Iron River dan menjadi mangsa buli,tetapi Chan berjaya mendapatkan kawan baharu yang rapat dengannya yang bernama Mikko. Bukan itu sahaja,Chan juga berjaya mempunyai teman wanita baharu yang bernama Rainey! Namun demikian,sering terjadinya pertelingkahan antara Chan dengan bapanya yang bersifat konservatif dan tradisional.

Novel ini merupakan sebuah kisah tentang bagaimana untuk meneruskan kehidupan walaupun terdapatnya cabaran dan tragedi hebat di dalam diri seseorang dan betapa pentingnya nilai-nilai kekeluargaan.
164 reviews1 follower
February 20, 2020
The story of a city boy having to move to a small midwestern town. Life is hard and different, and uniting, and loving, and scary, adn the Korean uncle is a dick
Profile Image for Jonathan Rivera.
1 review1 follower
March 1, 2011
In Necessary Roughness by Marie G. Lee, Chan, an Asian-American teenager moves from Los Angeles to a small town in Minnesota with his family. Chan is very displeased with this decision. I LA he was a star soccer player for his team. He had a girlfriend (not technically because of parents disapproval) and he was happy where he lived. But when he moved, he happened to be the only Asian at the school, much less the whole town. Chan has to suffer through racism and get constantly bullied. Chan decided to join a sport. Young, his sister, played flute in the school band. Since they didn't have soccer, he decided to be a field goal kicker for the football team. Instead the coach had him be a running back (along with kicker). Chan has to go through very rigorous practices and face the necessary roughness of being a football player. Chan also has to face the problem with the relationship with his father. Chan's dad doesn't agree with him being in football. He wants Chan to be like his sister and be academically strong. Chan's relationship with his father is like walking in a mine field. No matter how hard he tries to avoid arguments, they just spark and happen somehow. Through these problems, Chan is strengthened. He learns to just deal with what's going on and to face the necessary roughness in life. He begins to fully understand the phrase "you don't know what you have until it's gone". But as the season progresses, a tragic incident happens to both Chan and his sister.The incident then helps to bring Chan and his dad together. To know what that is, read the book!

I really loved this book. I thought this book was very well written and had a voice to it. I loved how the whole time it got you into the story and made you feel what the main character felt. Although the author was a female, I loved how the story was convincingly a football player. Now, I like football, but don't fully understand it. So I thought it was great how the author explained it in a way that others could understand. Although, football fans may have wanted more if they were looking for more of a football oriented book. I thought a minimal of the content may have been mature for younger readers and they may have not have understood it. So some maturity is advised. What I love about the book is that the theme is "strength is earned". In the book, Chan had to face the "necessary roughness" to be where he wanted to be and succeed. Basically, life isn't perfect, but those are the things that strengthen you. Anyways, overall an awesome book!

I would recommend this for obviously, football fans. A lot of the book; actually the book IS about football. Football fans will enjoy reading this because of the football oriented theme. I also think this book will be relatable to people who may have been through racism or have had too much pressure put on them from parents. Also a lot of the references are Korean references so, Korean kids may relate to some of what is said. However, it is also written in a way where non-Koreans could understand. Anyway, I would recommend this book to anyone! It was awesome and I was very upset when I finished it but I somewhat wish it ended differently. But overall, awesome book! Read it!
Profile Image for Jake Fulton.
2 reviews
September 24, 2009
In the book Necessary Roughness by Mary G. Lee, Chan Jung Kim overcomes the difficulties of moving across the country. When he lived in Los Angeles Chan always fit in, but now he was in Iron River, a small town in Minnesota. Everything was different. Instead of soccer, everybody played football, and on top of it all, having a bad relationship with his dad just made everything worse.

Both Chan and his twin sister, Young, are having a hard time getting used to their new school. Nobody had ever seen an Asian-American family before and some of the kids are bullies. After awhile, Mikko, a star football player asks Chan if he wants to eat lunch with him. Chan agrees and before long he gets roped into trying out for the football team. Since Chan has never played football, everyone is surprised when he makes Varsity. Chan’s father doesn’t like the idea of him playing football and neither do some of his teammates. This just makes him want to prove himself even more.

As Chan’s friendship with Mikko grows, so does his playing time on the football field. He even makes a game-saving tackle. Things are finally starting to go well. Chan’s father even went to a father-son football dinner. Mikko and Chan’s sister, Young, start liking each other and Chan is okay with it. He’d rather his sister like his best friend than someone else.

Just when things seem to be going so well, Chan’s life changes for the worse. After getting home from practice one day he finds out the bad news. Young died in a car crash. Chan doesn’t believe it. His sister, who he has spent his whole life with, is just gone? It couldn’t have happened. He starts to skip football practice and school. He just doesn’t find any purpose to it. How can Chan ever move on from this?

A major theme in the book Necessary Roughness is adapting to life’s difficulties. At first Chan has to deal with moving across the country. He thinks this is the biggest change that has ever happened to him. But he makes adjustments so he can fit into his new home. He starts playing football and deals with being one of the few Asian-Americans in town. But when his sister suddenly dies, he is truly devastated. Eventually he finds ways to deal with it from the help of his friends and family.

**** I rate this book four stars because the beginning was kind of boring. But after I got going it ended up being a really good book. I liked the characters because I could relate to them and they were very realistic. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes sports or has had to deal with major changes.
Profile Image for Xgrimsxxlies.
2 reviews
June 15, 2009
Necessary Roughness by Marie G. Lee is an inspiring book about the life of a young teenage boy named Chan. Chan's family has to move from Los Angeles to an unfamiliar town called Iron River. He and his younger twin sister, Young struggle to get along and fit in with vicious students in their new high school. Chan decideds to make a choice that lets him earn respect from a couple of students, but lose the respect from his disapproving father. Somehow, Chan manages to stay strong even through difficult times.
One thing that I really like about Necessary Roughness is the personalities that Marie G. Lee gives to each character. I really like how she gave Abogee an overprotective personality, just like parents in the real world. Chan and Young try to rebel against their father, like average teenagers. I also liked the dialogue between Chan and his father. The way that Chan speaks to Abogee tells you a lot about his personality and his relationship with his father. Another thing that I liked about the book is the ending. Chan's relationship with his father improves dramatically after his father changes his ways.Abogee made an attempt to appreciate his son more than he did before.
An issue that sticks with me after reading this book is how Chan struggles to get along with his father. He tries so hard to seek his father's approval, but does not receive it until the ending. Chan's issue with trying to get along with his father really makes me think. Parents can be strict, but some parents can be worse than just strict. Some try to mold you into the perfect son/daughter that does everything that their parents tell them to do. Some parents may make their children have freedom, but others may make their children have little to no freedom at all. That is what Chan's father does. Perhaps that is one reason why children and maybe even young adults tend to act out, and believe that they can do anything that they desire.
Profile Image for Anna.
48 reviews
October 18, 2007
I am currently reading Necessary Roughness by Marie G. Lee and it this piece is very powerful. You could spend only 10 or 20 minutes on it and you could fall in love with it. It shows how a Korean-American boy named, Chan Kim, who moves a lot and puts no effort in meeting new friends in every other school. However, in RiverWood High School, Chan Kim is accepted and finally finds something he really enjoys: football. Although many of this team mates doesn't want him on the team, he tries even harder to prove them wrong.

At first, I thought this book was really aweful (last year) but then I came to realize this is a really romantic realistic-fiction book. Please give it a try !

At the end, Chan's relationship with her father and the teammates united after the death of her sister. The boys that have jumped him in the locker the days before were kicked out of the team, the toughest boy.

Now his goal was to to win the Final Champions and win another name for Minneapple. With the death of his sister motivating Chan and Mikko, they won the Football Champions and the book ended with a poigant of emotions.

Profile Image for Phoebe.
910 reviews36 followers
March 14, 2010
The topic of this book intrigued me -a Korean teen transplanted from California to the Mid-West- because I'm curious about those Asian families that own shops in largely white areas of the country. I always wonder, how do they make it work with all the forces of racism, classism, and cold weather to get in their way? How CAN they make it work? And yet, they seem to.

Chan is funny, resilient, and a very typical American teen. I enjoyed spending time with him and watching his friendships blossom. At times I wanted to protect him. I never found him unreasonable.

Overall, "Necessary Roughness" was well-composed and thoughtful, though it did seem to touch very lightly upon some of the more painful aspects of life. For example, Chan likens getting jumped in the locker room to suffering a rape, a shocking, emotional comparison, but then the book moves on before the readers really get to take that in. Also, something terrible befalls one of the leading characters, but again I felt a little rushed-along -like the author was holding back to protect the reader.

Still...boys, friendship, football, Korean culture -"Necessary Roughness" has what it takes to be a satisfying read. But you don't have to take my word for it (oops- just channeled Levar, there!)


1 review
May 29, 2013
Passion ,intense in a hurry we know what we want.Mastery not ending waiting to find out none words spoken angry issues to be resolved. Many people hurt and cant take the pain yelling at the problem no feelings can be left out. Moving to other countries cant resolve the situation that are happening. Leaving loved ones behind the cry and laughter have to put it in the past not remembering what had happen. So much memories that been made the friendship the games the time hanged out in school have to leave it.
In the book it talks about how a family keeps moving a lot an there in a situation where they don't know weather to keep moving or not. There kids are stuck In the middle which they hate the fact the make new friends and then leave. The family has been mostly around the world an there leaving family behind that they haven't even seen in years. The son gets tired of the family and want to live on his own. The question is can he survive being out there in the world or would he just come back home because it to hard? Does the family support him or would they want him back at home so he wont have to suffer out here alone?
19 reviews1 follower
November 28, 2008
A good story about how a Korean family has to adapt to living in a white neighborhood in Minnesota. The protagonist, Chang, has to deal with giving up soccer and trying to assimilate into football, a sport his critical father has said is stupid. In his way is a bunch of high school jocks who feel his presence on the football team is unworthy. Through this turomil, Chang meets ALL-PRO, who eventually falls in love with Chang's twin sister, Young. The two becomes great friends as ALL-PRO is turning Chang into a real football player.

In all, I felt that the story was decent. The protagonist, in the end, comes to the realization that football isn't everything when his twin dies in an accident. He discovers that the thing he was spending all his time on throughout the duration of the story was trivial to anything that truly mattered in the world. In a way I kind of wanted a happier ending, which this story didn't provide. Nonetheless, it was a decent read for anyone who might feel insecure and out of place in a new place and school.
1 review
September 14, 2007
English II
Luis Diaz
John Rossi

Lee, Marie. Necessary Roughness.LA,Harpercollins, 1996

Dear Lee,
thank you for writing me asking me about this book. I thought that this book is great. I think that the only thing wrong with this book was that the first fivety pages really didn't have a point. It was a really a flash back and it didn't discribe why it was doing it. Other then that this is a really really great book. It really did go into great detail. This book expressed how they felt what pain they were feeling. Mark lee really does make you feel as if you are one of the important character. I really like the part that you put him as the kicker insted of one of the big strong guys like a line backer or a running back or even a quarterback. Over all this was a really good book and so far I have really injoyed reading this book in school and at home.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
23 reviews
November 28, 2007
This novel by Marie G. Lee about a boy named Chan Kim who struggles with adjusting to the all-white suburban neighborhood his family just moved to. He has a younger sister who excels academically, and parents who focus' on their education and physical well-being but neglects their emotional well-being.
Chan has a really difficult time fitting into their new town, especially since his family is the only Asian one in the entire town, his school doesn't even has soccer--a sport he enjoyed playing back home. So Chan joins the football team after being recommended by the only person that talks to him.
I enjoyed reading this book because it reminded me a lot of Rule of the Bone, Prep, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A Step from Heaven and The Catcher in the Rye. Wow, there are a lot of books written about teens! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed either Rule of the Bone, Prep, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A Step from Heaven and The Catcher in the Rye.
October 7, 2011
1.I have read so far that the main chareter chan plays soccer.Then him and his family moves to minnesota.So then he wants to play soccer but there is no soccer team.So a football team is in need of a kicker.So he ask his mom(o`ma)can he try out for the team but him ,his mom, and sister are all on 3 differnt levels.His mom says no.His sister say he will die out there because he is small.But instead he tries out so his mom doesnt care no more.So he makes the team lost first 3 games won the rest.THEY WERE STATE CHAMPS.GO MINERS.THEY
2.One prediction i made was chan was best player on the team.The reason i made this prediction was because he was on the front cover.My prediction didnt come true because he wasn't the best he was the most talked about.Another prediction i made was chan can kick.The reason i made this prediction is because he played soccer.My prediction came true because he broke a record for kicking 70 yds in high school.
56 reviews1 follower
December 18, 2011
Chan, the main character of this story is a Korean kid and is currently living in L.A. He was then moved into Minnesota and thanks to his uncle; Chan’s family lost a bunch of money just arriving there without a home to stay in. This book title Necessary Roughness caught my attention and overall, it was a great book. There were things that I still didn’t like about the book like how the action during the football games weren’t that intense and how the plot of the story about Chan’s like moving to Minnesota was like destined for him. Although Chan plays soccer, the book made him seem like he’s fit for football and it really keeps me wondering. Other than that, I liked how this book had a mix of Korean (translated into English) and English in it, the way Chan calls his mother and father other than mom and dad and funny moments when Chan was with the football team.
37 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2013
This is about an Asian family who moves from California to Minnesota.Chan Kim is an alien at his high school to the other students.He and his family stand out in the community and Kim has to find a way to fit in.Kim could not relate to the other kids and they looked at him as an outsider.This story reminds me a lot of someone who in the worst circumstances finds something that brings them through a tough time.Kim shows that he is not going to "curl up into a ball" and give up and chooses to fight in the form of football.I enjoy all sports books.Especially Football stories because it is my favorite sport.This is also a book about someone finding themselves.I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys inspirational effort.
Profile Image for 2isler_luke.
13 reviews1 follower
February 6, 2013
This was a nice, steady read for me, and I learned plenty of new vocabulary too. I feel sympathetic for Chan, the oldest child of the Kim family, who has to move from Los Angeles, the capital of cultural diversity, to Minnesota, where they are the only family that isn't white. Marie Lee did a great job portraying a teenage Korean boy who has not only to face the regular problems of teenage years, but also the problems of trying to fit in. The bullying experiences Chan faces are so real I start to wonder whether to the author experienced them herself. This book was fun to read and I think anyone else who is interested how people try to fit in and are also interested to learn a little how a Korean family operates will love this book too.
42 reviews
November 9, 2008
I really enjoyed this book because I love to play football and I can connect to the character. This story is about a kid named Chan Kim. He lived in Los Angeles and he was very popular. he then moved to a tiny town in Minnesota and he joined the football team. Most of the people on the team does not like him. His best friend is Mikko. Chan gets jumped in the locker room one day by his teammates. the people that jumped him got kicked off the team and Chan and Mikko had to carry the team to the championships by themselves. they work together and win the championship game. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys sports and a dramatic story about a kid in high school.
Profile Image for Susette.
186 reviews4 followers
April 15, 2010
this was one of those books that i remembered reading when i was in middle school, i bought it in high school, but i haven't read it since that first time. in reading it through again, some of the things were simplistic and some situations i felt were never fully delved into...however for the audience it was intended for (middle to high schoolers), it was actually a quite heavy book. it deals with moving to a new town, racial prejudices, holding to your family traditions, death in the family, etc. overall, i still enjoyed the book but it wasn't as incredible as i remember it being when i was young.
Profile Image for Christie.
481 reviews25 followers
March 18, 2013
This was a nice, fast read about a Korean family that moved from LA to Minnesota. The main character is a high school junior Chan who has a twin sister Young. Chan is the trouble child that does not live up to his father's expectations. His sister is a straight A student who plays the flue.

The book contains the struggles of starting in a new high school, decisions to join the football team, or the band (in young's case), finding new friends and a new life. I think that
Profile Image for Sunny.
245 reviews35 followers
November 2, 2007
i read this book in middle schoolish and i'll never forget the elation i felt as i realized that there was at least one YA novel that was gonna speak to me. korean family uprooted from urban setting (in the novel it's LA and in my life it was phoenix) and dropped down into a superwhite rural town (MN in the book and WA in my life). the larger plot details don't even really matter because that was all i needed. i mean, i know it ends kinda tragically but so what! i had the closest thing to a mirror that i'd found in the library!
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
46 reviews
April 15, 2011
This is a novel about an Asian American teenager named Chan trying to fit in in a typical American high school while dealing with his traditional family. Chan's father wants him to do nothing but study and work at the family store, but Chan has other ideas. Chan wants to play football, because he sees that as a way to fit in at school. He also wants to date girls, even though his father strictly forbids it.

This book is appropriate for middle school students and would be a good independent reading or literature circle book.
25 reviews
October 27, 2013
"Necessary Roughness" documents the life of Chan Jung Kim, whose family moves from L.A. to a small town in Minnesota. Chan feels like an outsider here because he is the only Asian-American. He's desperate to fit in, so Chan decides to play football, the only popular sport at his new school. Despite his efforts to throw himself into this new game, Chan still feels like an outsider. This book could be used in the classroom to discuss the desire to fit in to a new environment. All students will connect with the concept of wanting to fit in at school.
1 review
February 10, 2014
This book about Chan life what was happen in his life and how it's affect etc.Chan family was move from Korea to LA and LA to Minnesota. He have 5 member in his home,his mom, dad,Tow twin sister. Chan he don't really spoke English and he's don't have friend. Chan start playing game in school and he made friend but he can't play football because he never play before. they practice more and they win the game but they still have to play final. Chan sister was die and he desire to not play game. coach and his friend give him some advice and he change his mind. they win the game.
85 reviews
December 31, 2007
Summary: Chan, a sixteen-year-old Korean America, moves to a small town where he must deal with racism on his football team and a tension filled relationship with his father.

Personal Response: I am not a football fan and forced myself to begin reading this book. However, this book grabbed me from the start. It deals with many issues: racism, family relationships, friends, religion and sportsmanship. There are a few unexpected surprises, the biggest being the death of a key character.
Profile Image for Mr. Sell.
2 reviews
May 28, 2009
Chan and Young are two Korean-American teenagers who until recently spent their lives in California, but they are suddenly asked to move to an all white rural community in Minnesota. The struggles they face in school and at home drastically increase the stress of teenage life. I recommend this book for anyone who has moved--especially a move to a place completely different from your original home.
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