Girl in Translation: Memories of My Own Translations

BlogHer Review

I recently read Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. This book really hit close to home for me. Being the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, I understand -- I had to speak up for my mom, too. I often had to explain why my mom could not participate in certain activities. I often had to cope with the fact that I did not have a lot of things that other kids had. The way Kimberly was feeling really brought me back in time.

The story taking place in a diverse setting where the poor and the wealthy commingle plays a huge role. I love that Girl in Translation depicts the real side of growing up poor. The things Kimberly had to go through are encountered by the truly poor. I remember going to some of these things myself, so naturally I identified with Kimberly.

I was really shocked to see the way Aunt Paula treated Kimberly and her mother. The way she tried to keep them both down was really harsh. When she invited Kimberly over when she first got into Harrison was very ridiculous. I thought it was ridiculous but at the same time, I can think of some people that I personally know that would sink to such behavior.

The cover of the book was really nice. It works for the book as it shows the hairstyle often associated with her culture. The most memorable parts of the book are the vivid descriptions of Kimberly’s feelings and descriptions of the things around her.

When I reached the 3rd page, I knew this was a book that I would finish in a couple of days. I stayed up really late reading half the book. It was wonderful, and very descriptive. I was a little confused with the writing style, but the plot was really good. Once I got started I could not put the book down. With each chapter I became more consumed to finish and to learn what happened next.

I just wish I would have read this book in grade school. I felt the exact same way as Kimberly when I was translating for my mom. A lot of the things she went through really brought some of my childhood memories back. The way she described the differences in cultures was excellent.

I would recommend Girl in Translation for my friends. The inspiration brought up throughout the book is wonderful and empowering.

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