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Girl in Translation

Kwok, Jean (Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Girl in Translation
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Introducing a fresh, exciting Chinese-American voice, an inspiring debut about an immigrant girl forced to choose between two worlds and two futures. When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles. Through Kimberly's story, author Jean Kwok, who also emigrated from Hong Kong as a young girl, brings to the page the lives of countless immigrants who are caught between the pressure to succeed in America, their duty to their family, and their own personal desires, exposing a world that we rarely hear about. Written in an indelible voice that dramatizes the tensions of an immigrant girl growing up between two cultures, surrounded by a language and world only half understood, Girl in Translation is an unforgettable and classic novel of an American immigrant-a moving tale of hardship and triumph, heartbreak and love, and all that gets lost in translation. Watch a Video
Authors: Kwok, Jean
Title: Girl in translation
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2010
Characteristics: 293 p. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Jean Kwok
ISBN: 1594487561
9781594487569
Branch Call Number: FICTION KWOK 2010
Subject Headings: Mothers and daughters Fiction Chinese American teenagers Fiction Women immigrants Fiction Chinese New York (State) New York Fiction
Topical Term: Mothers and daughters
Chinese American teenagers
Women immigrants
Chinese
LCCN: 2009041041
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When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings.

This autobiographical novel recounts a young girl's experience as a new immigrant and the child of a single and struggling mother.

When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, t... Read More »


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Jun 16, 2014
  • becker rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

An immigration story with a focus on the mother/daughter relationship of the main characters. Loosely based on the author's personal experience. It was a good storyline but the writing style was a little flat for me.

"Drawing on author Jean Kwok's own experience, this debut novel tells the story of Ah Kim, who emigrated with her mother from Hong Kong to Brooklyn, where she decides to go by Kimberly Chang at school. Their unheated apartment is condemned (and infested), and both must work at a sweatshop to pay back the aunt who financed their transport, but that doesn't stop Kimberly from excelling at school. Success there eventually takes her to Yale, but not without some hardships. Partially a coming-of-age story, this tale of an immigrant's experience offers "much to savor" (Booklist). Kwok's second novel, Mambo in Chinatown, will be published this month." Fiction A to Z June 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/f8a47f9a-47e1-421e-89e4-590a8c0bb5d0?postId=014b3586-7c3a-45ac-a7c4-7eb5a7b93283

Dec 04, 2013
  • jtkretzschmar rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A very well deserved 5 stars! This book was compared to 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' which was unequivocally my favorite novel growing up. I think this one would have definitely been a contender; something about the strength of the protagonist and the love of her and her mother makes this book so special. I'll likely read this again in the future.

Oct 07, 2013
  • JCLKinsleyR rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Coming of age story about the struggles of being an immigrant in a large city that can easily swallow you up.

Jul 18, 2013
  • kjt rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Fabulous!! I loved this story. I can't wait for more from Jean Kwok.

Jul 10, 2013
  • EndsWell rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Loved this book and devoured it over a day.

Mar 25, 2013
  • thart rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

For February 2013 Bookies (Fiction Book Club) at Crystal Lake Public Library. I thought the writing was fine but the book was rather cliche. The first half was fine but once she had the pregnancy and was off to college I thought the "twists" were quite typical and I lost interest. I did not hate it, but I would not recommend it much to anybody, except if you cannot see plot twists coming from a mile away. The author apparently based much of the first half on real life events and people, especially her brother, although the protagonist is a girl, Kimberly. I think that is why the ending becomes cliche and dies, she no longer had real life to reference for those parts. When she was referencing life in the first 1/2 to 3/4 of the book it was better written and flowed more smoothly.

Jan 30, 2013
  • sharonb122 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This was fabulous! I admired the was Jean Kwok wrote progressively better as Kimberly became older and better educated. It was incredible to read of the hardships under which this mother and daughter lived. They had so much strength. Makes my complains so petty! Definately a "couldn't put it down" book.

I assume this story is mostly based on the author's real-life story. I found it to be very intriguing and enjoyed reading it, until it's first ending ended in a very cliche way. You'll get what I mean if you read it.

Jun 09, 2012
  • DebbyReese rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is one of the best books I read this year - read twice - once on my own, and later with my book club! I'm hoping this author publishes another soon!

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app10 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/16 16:30