Author: Jean Kwok
Genre: Fiction (2010)
About: Kimberly Chang, an 11-year-old girl, moves with her mother from Hong Kong to America for a better life. She struggles with living a life of poverty in Brooklyn, NY, helping her mother in a sweatshop, and trying to fit in at school despite knowing little English. After discovering her intelligence is a ticket to success, she lets nothing stand in her way.
Descriptive Words: Harsh working and living conditions, cockroaches, rats, bullies, teasing, trying to fit in, language barrier, love, education, priorities, choices
Thoughts: I found this book easy to read and the characters easy to know. From Kim's best friend Annette to her mother's mean sister-boss to hunky, muscled Matt, Jean Kwok created distinct personalities for all. Kim's struggle between her eagerness to love and her desire to succeed really drew me in. She wanted love and a family, but she wanted out of the depths of despair and poverty she experienced as a child even more.
Although I enjoyed the story, I was disappointed in the abrupt ending (I'm not giving anything away here):
"Then I took a deep breath, got off the bed and opened the door."
In the context of how the story ends, that is so lame.
Still, I'm glad I read it.
Why I Chose: Because I've seen and heard about it everywhere. Oh, and I think the cover is gorgeous.
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