Twice a year the library staff display their current book favorites for you to read and enjoy. Rate the books you read from the display by submitting a ballot at your branch in order to enter a drawing for a $25 gift card. Check out what the library staff considers current "good reads" and give us your feedback on our choices by voting at a branch and posting a comment.

Friday, July 1, 2011

GIRL IN TRANSLATION by Jean Kwok

In the 1980’s Kimberly Chang, and her mother, leave Hong Kong, to immigrate to Brooklyn, New York. Living in poverty in Brooklyn, Kimberly shifts between her day mode, as an exceptional school girl, and her night work in a Chinatown sweatshop and discovers she must constantly translate between languages, lifestyles and cultures, as she faces the confusing challenges of becoming an American girl.

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10 comments:

Jean said...

I'm so honored to have my book nominated for this award! Libraries and librarians have a very special place in my heart because my local library was a safe, clean, wonderful place I could go to as a child. Thanks so much. I've posted this to my Facebook pan page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jean-Kwok/213583280524

All my best,
Jean

E said...

I loved this book! It's amazing the things we take for granted as "citizens" of this country. A great description of what it's like to be on the other side of immigration.

Anonymous said...

I loved the beginning of the book and all the way up til the part about how the rich popular cool caucasian boys were crazy for this poor Chinese girl who was so quiet and withdrawn that most didn't even know a thing about her. The rest of the story was lost on me.

Emilee said...

I loved this book as well! I loved the friendship that Kimberly had and I loved how it was told in her voice. This is my favorite so far.

Anonymous said...

My favorite book so far. Loved it!

Renee said...

I LOVED this book. I couldn't put it down! I read it in just a few hours. Definitly my favorite so far.

Britt said...

Wanted to love this one but just didn't. Had a hard time with the ending, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I generally avoid dramas like this because they're depressing or stressful. This was was kind of stressful to read yet it was difficult to put down.

Kimberly and her mother move from Hong Kong to New York when Kim is 11. The book ends when she finishes high school, but most of it takes place in the first two years.

They live in desperately poor conditions while working for Kim's aunt's sweat shop. The aunt is mean and bitter toward them for the entire story.

Writing in English with and portraying the Chinese language must be tricky, but it's done very well.

This story makes you grateful for every little thing you have. It was very interesting overall.

There's not any real swearing here and a little sexual description.

Anonymous said...

I know what I need in a book, and Girl in Translation delivered! I need to be carried into an unfamiliar realm with artful expressiveness. I need authenticity, and characters that rally my sympathies and reproach. I need surprises! As I mined this treasure, I felt I was experiencing a parallel to a Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of my all-time favorites. My only regret is that the story line travels somewhat graphically into PG-13 (or beyond?) territory which keeps me from being able recommend this book to my conservative book club. This led to my discussing the ethical considerations of the end of the book with teaching colleagues instead. It had to be discussed!

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I could relate to the feelings and dramas the characters in the book faced & dealt with.