Girl In Translation – Jean Kwok

Girl in Translation follows Kimberly and her Mother following their immigration from Hong Kong to New York City.

Not knowing english, Kimberly goes to an exclusive school.  Once the number 1 student in her class, she has to study much harder than she is sued to, but also works alongside her mother in her Aunt and Uncles textile factory.  They always work long hours, exhausted, but she studies once at home and slowly but surely, becomes the best student in class once again.

With the family expectations always high, Kimberly is scared to make any mistakes.  If she does she risks being ridiculed by not only her mother, but her Aunt and Uncles family as well.  They sponsored her to come to America.

A very intelligent girl, overworked at her job, and excelling just as hard at school since she was quite young, her desire to overcome at all odds is a story of inspiration for all of us.

Through tough sacrifices ( more than we can possibly imagine) there is the light that she can see finally at the end of the tunnel, until one she find out something that she hadn’t bargained for.

This was a great, easy read.  It only took me a few hours to read.

There are many issues that can be discussed at length.  The Struggle to succeed in America, the stigma of being an immigrant, their duty to their family, and finally their own personal desires that may or may not be in tune to what everyone else thinks or feels.

Penguin / Riverhead

Jean’s Website

Reading Group Guide


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