Girl in Translation Is A Moving Book But I Didn't Like the Ending

BlogHer Review

Kimberly Chang and her mother moved to the United States from Hong Kong. Her aunt helped assist in this process but hinders them in many other ways once they arrive. Kimberly starts public school in the United States as a sixth grader. She excelled in school back in Hong Kong, where she was number one in her class. Here she struggled with the language barrier and school is much more challenging. Her mother makes her money working at a sweat shop where she finds herself in her free time helping her mother. She pushes herself to do better and better at school. She sees it as a way out of their hard life and into a better one. This book shows her journey out of poverty and all of the trials she has to face to get there.

Jean Kwok wrote Girl in Translation in a way that makes it easy to picture how Kimberly Chang and her mother lived. I could picture the sweat shop and their disgusting, unheated, roach- and rat-infested apartment. I read the book able to see them using stuffed animal fur for warmth after digging it out of the trash. I loathed her aunt every time she was mentioned. The entire time I was reading this book I thought, “This is a book I want my daughters to read.” Until I got to the end. I loved how Kimberly told herself that she didn’t understand why people wore make up, it didn’t matter what they looked like on the outside -- it was what was on this inside that mattered. This is why I wanted my girls to read this book. Wanted being the key word.

I’m not going to ruin it for you, but the ending changed the way I viewed the entire book. I loved this book and then I read the last 45 pages. I hate to say it, but it ruined the book for me. This book had so much promise.


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