Becoming Friends with Girl in Translation

BlogHer Review

I did not want Girl in Translation to end. Seriously, I wish I were reading it right now. It was so easy to slip into the world of Kimberly Chang, thanks to ease of writing. As a reader you experience the regular pangs of a coming of age story coupled with Kimberly’s struggle as an immigrant child, who spoke no English upon her arrival in the United States from Hong Kong.

As if this struggle is not enough, Kimberly’s mother ends up working in a sweatshop; they live in a rundown building with all kinds of dirty creatures; and they don’t speak English. It’s a recipe for a disastrous life, but that’s where things get amazing. Kimberly is super smart in school, and her goal is to better her mother’s and her life.

*Spoiler alert!*

And she does!

But that isn’t to say that the story is all roses and sunshine. The honesty in this book is often painful and raw. Issues of immigration, immigrant status in the U.S., weak school systems and labor laws all rear their ugly heads, and amongst all of that, you’ll find a tale about family, love, heartbreak and perseverance.

As a reader, I felt that I went through so much with Kimberly that when the book ended, I wanted to keep following her. I thought, “If she was able to do all of that, what’s she doing today?” If there were 300 more pages to this tale, I would happily read it. Not because it would all be uplifting, but because it would be honest and inspiring.

Read this book. Become friends with Kimberly. You’ll find parallels to everyone’s life struggles and the inspiration to overcome anything.

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