Marie G. Lee Finding My Voice

ISBN 13: 9780064472456

Finding My Voice

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9780064472456: Finding My Voice

Ellen Sung is taken unawares by Tamper Sandel, and when he kisses her, her whole world shifts. She doesn't have time for a boyfriend, especially one who's probably not going to college. She's completely absorbed in keeping her grades up to please her strict immigrant parents, who will freak out if she doesn't get into Harvard. Even an evening with her best friend, Jessie, feels like guilty time away from her studies. She can't tell her parents about Tomper, or about the racist slurs she receives in school. These days, Ellen's not sure whom to please. And what about what she wants: does that matter at all?

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About the Author:

Marie G. Lee is a second-generation Korean American who was born and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota. Her books include If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun, Necessary Roughness, and Night of the Chupacabras. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Kenyon Review, and several anthologies. She has appeared on PBS's "Asian American" and is a founder of the Asian American Writer's Workshop.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up-- Ellen, 16, is the only Korean student in her small - town high school. Her senior year presents problems that compound the usual challenges and uncertainties of adolescence; she is anxious to fit in and ambivalent about her heritage. Her immigrant parents live in a kind of suspended exile between the past and the present, never speaking about their homeland or struggles as refugees. A series of racist taunts and incidents hurt and puzzle Ellen. Meanwhile, her parents insist that she concentrate on academics to the exclusion of the social life she craves. This likable, gentle teen has a lot going for her: intelligence, common sense, good friends, some supportive teachers, a budding romance, etc. Her friends and antagonists are, in the main, believable. The portrayal of her parents is not as satisfying; they are too stereotypically inscrutable and remote. However, the process by which they slowly, reluctantly, loosen their hold is described with poignancy and empathy. Obscenities of ``typical'' high school conversation are included. The bittersweet romance involves much physical contact, but is apparently unconsummated. This title gives voice to a point of view that has been wanting until recently in fiction about Asian-Americans. It is a welcome addition.
-Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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