Finding My Voice CL

Marie G. Lee, Author
Marie G. Lee, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $13.95 (165p) ISBN 978-0-395-62134-9
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 176 pages - 978-0-440-21896-8
Prebound-Sewn - 165 pages - 978-0-606-06979-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 214 pages - 978-0-06-447245-6
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-24357-5
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-82524-5
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Ellen Sung's senior year at a small Minnesota high school begins inauspiciously: on the first day of school a blond jock calls her ``chink.'' The younger daughter of her town's only Korean-American family, Ellen is apparently unfamiliar with bigotry and seems unprepared when other classmates taunt her and a teacher makes racist jokes. But Ellen has other worries--fulfilling her father's expectations that she get into Harvard, like her perfect sister; earning a varsity letter for gymnastics; wondering why Tomper Sandel kissed her at a party but started going out with someone else. If Lee's story line is somewhat familiar, her portrayal of her heroine is unusually well balanced. Ellen may be too scared to confront the local bigots and not yet secure enough to stand up to her exacting parents, but she's steely in other ways. She works hard--and unapologetically--to maintain her 4.0 average, and she conducts her relationship with Tomper with an easy dignity. The author's depiction of first-generation anxieties demonstrates similar depth and candor, two hallmarks of this sensitive novel. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)
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