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Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Girl in Translation (edition 2011)

by Jean Kwok

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1,4251375,292 (3.95)94
Title:Girl in Translation
Authors:Jean Kwok
Info:Riverhead Trade (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:book club

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Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok


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English (136)  Dutch (3)  Finnish (1)  All languages (140)
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)
Girl in Translation by ( )
1 vote | Calavari | Jun 7, 2016 |
After arriving to America from China, pre-teen Kimberly Chang and her mother face many more trials than they were expecting; In a country with an entirely different culture and language, Kimberly has to persevere through numerous challenges that are unfamiliar to children her age. The way the author illustrated these issues has made me appreciate the simplicity of my childhood and has furthered my understanding of how unpleasing and downright terrible a life in poverty is. I like how this book doesn’t use over complicated vocabulary, yet still has a captivating storyline. ( )
  LCrorey | Apr 15, 2016 |
Kimberly Chang and her mother come from Hong Kong. Aunt Paula arranged for them to come and has provided them with an apartment and work at her clothing factory. Kim slowly learns English and her ability to learn helps her work her way up through high school and to a scholarship at Yale. Great realistic fiction that shows the struggles of countless immigrants that had to fight their way out of poverty to make it in America. Accurately shows the challenges on many levels at Kim struggles to fit in at school while still helping out at the factory after her studies. It's inspiring to see them make their way from poverty and Aunt Paula's control to surgeon and successful citizen. ( )
  alsparks | Feb 22, 2016 |
This book was good in an odd sort of way. I liked it but it was odd to read an adult book told through the voice of an elementary/middle school student. The most adult part happened 250 pages in. Parts of it read like a memior as well. There were parts where you could tell that the author wrote something that the character had said in Chinese and then translated it into what it would be in English. It was easy to read and worth it. Like I said the beginning was odd but overall it was. ( )
  Lisa_Boys | Feb 8, 2016 |
This book tells the tale of Kimberley, a Chinese girl who moves to new York with her mother following the death of her father. They live in poverty, in a horrible apartment and working in a factory, where Kim spends her evenings after school helping her mother hang garments. The book is written as a memoir, telling of Kim's struggles to adapt to the new country with no English, and despite her great intelligence.
I enjoyed reading this and found the story really interesting. But I did think it ended quite suddenly. ( )
  AHouseOfBooks | Jan 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)
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.
Kwok adeptly captures the hardships of the immigrant experience and the strength of the human spirit to survive and even excel despite the odds.
added by khuggard | editLibrary Journal

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean Kwokprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wey, GrayceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Erwin, Stefan and Milan, and to the memory of my brother Kwan S. Kwok
First words
I was born with a talent. Not for dance, nor comedy, nor anything so delightful. I've always had a knack for school. Everything that was taught there, I could learn: quickly and without too much effort. It was as if school were a vast machine and I a cog perfectly formed to fit in it. This is not to say that my education was always easy for me. When Ma and I moved to the U.S., I spoke only a few words of English and for a very long time, I struggled.
What Annette didn't understand was that silence could be a great protector. I couldn't afford to cry when there was no escape. Talking about my problems would only illuminate the lines of my unhappiness in the cold light of day, showing me, as well as her, the things I had been able to bear only because they had been half hidden in the shadows. I couldn't expose myself like that, not even for her.
Brains are beautiful.
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Book description
Ah-Kim Chang and her mother immigrate to Brooklyn, where they work for Kim's Aunt Paula in a Chinatown clothing factory earning barely enough to keep them alive; however, Kim's perseverance and hard work earns her a place at an elite private school where she is befriended by Annette, who helps her adjust to American culture.
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Emigrating with her mother from Hong Kong to Brooklyn, Kimberly Chang begins a secret double life as an exceptional schoolgirl during the day and sweatshop worker at night, an existence also marked by her first crush and the pressure to save her family from poverty.… (more)

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Jean Kwok is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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