A Girl in Translation Will Stay With Me For a Long Time

BlogHer Review

So many emotions plucked at my heart strings as I read Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, every emotion from horror to admiration.

Kimberly and her mother move to New York City to start a new life after Kimberly’s father dies. As many people believe when they come to the US, they envision a life better than the place they left. Unfortunately, Kimberly’s aunt did not have that life in mind for her. Kimberly and her mother were forced to live in a rat and roach infested apartment without heat. I can't even imaging spending a day in that environment. They barely made enough money at the sweat shop to feed themselves and pay the bills. Knowing this story is based loosely on Jean Kwok’s life I wondered how closely it resembled her real childhood and my heart went out to Kimberly. What I loved about the story was that even during the terrible times Kimberly was determined to make a better life for her and her mother. Kimberly was a strong minded, smart girl and that combination assisted her in being accepted into a private school which allowed her talents to be uncovered and allowed her to reach her full potential. This was by no means easy as she went to school during the day and worked with her mother in the sweatshop at night. I’m in admiration of Kimberly as she rises to the top of the class and is accepted into an Ivy League school.

I’m placing A Girl in Translation on my teenagers night stand in hopes they will be as inspired by the book as I was. I’ll check back with them to see if they picked up on some of the following lessons. First, whenever you aren’t happy with your life remember there are many people who are much worse off than you, the glass is at least half full. Second, if you really want something, put your mind to it and you can make it happen, it may not be easy, however your life will be better if you take charge of it. Third, take some time to think about how you can give back to a world that has given you so much.

Where to Buy Girl in Translation


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