January Book Selection: Girl in Translation

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Girl in Translation

One of my goals for 2012 is to read more. I was a little bookworm when I was a kid and you’d never catch me without a book in my hand. That love extended to college where I majored in English and was able to read the greats {and not-so-greats} to my heart’s content. I don’t know what happened after college; I guess I was just burnt out and even though I graduated long ago I’ve been slow to get back on the reading train.

That’s all going to change this year.

Nothing holds me more accountable than blogging, so I thought I’d make my goal to read 12 books in 2012 and to blog about each. At the beginning of each month I’ll announce the book I’m going to read and at the end of the month I’ll post a review, that way if you want to read along you’ll have plenty of time.

January’s selection is going to be Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. One of my favorite food bloggers, Eat Live Run recommended it as her favorite book of 2011, which is all I needed to hear. I tend to love all of her book recommendations and secretly think we might be book twins.

Here’s the synopsis of Girl in Translation from Publisher’s Weekly:

A resolute yet naïve Chinese girl confronts poverty and culture shock with equal zeal when she and her mother immigrate to Brooklyn in Kwok’s affecting coming-of-age debut. Ah-Kim Chang, or Kimberly as she is known in the U.S., had been a promising student in Hong Kong when her father died. Now she and her mother are indebted to Kimberly’s Aunt Paula, who funded their trip from Hong Kong, so they dutifully work for her in a Chinatown clothing factory where they earn barely enough to keep them alive. Despite this, and living in a condemned apartment that is without heat and full of roaches, Kimberly excels at school, perfects her English, and is eventually admitted to an elite, private high school. An obvious outsider, without money for new clothes or undergarments, she deals with added social pressures, only to be comforted by an understanding best friend, Annette, who lends her makeup and hands out American advice. A love interest at the factory leads to a surprising plot line, but it is the portrayal of Kimberly’s relationship with her mother that makes this more than just another immigrant story.


Happy Reading!

Pick up Girl in Translation for the Nook or Kindle for $9.99. You can also pick up a paperback copy from Amazon for $6.

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