Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

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Girl in Translation relates the struggles of a Hong Kong immigrant girl and her mother as they try to succeed in Brooklyn despite the malicious plans of the mother's sister who has paid their passage to the United States. Kim's knack for excelling in the classroom quickly brings her to the attention of her sixth grade teacher who secures a scholarship for her at an exclusive college prep charter school. Kim's home life of an unheated apartment in a condemned building (with electricity but no phone) and after-school work in a sweatshop contrasts starkly with the privileged life of her classmates. She works hard to keep the two worlds isolated from each other. We follow her story as she matriculates to high school and discovers the American style of courting while still maintaining connections to the Chinese cultural community. Well described and carefully crafted, the book reads like a memoir because of its vivid descriptions. Kim's understanding of English improves over the length of the book so that the phonetic mystery words slowly move into more recognizable American English phrasing.

Submitted by Leah @ Wisconsin Talking Book & Braille Library


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This page contains a single entry by Jacki published on March 9, 2011 9:05 AM.

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