Ellen Sung is just a girl in high shool trying to fit in. She is part of the only korean-american family in town and her all white classmates unfortunately keep being racist with her. When Ellen starts falling for Tomper, a blond, popular football player, she might have a chance at a life she only imagined. So glad I read this book!
Movies and TV give you an entire picture and tell you exactly how to feel — they have the scary music and the canned laughter to make sure you get it right. But books, on the other hand, give you only the words; you have to use your imagination for the rest. It’s more than entertainment: your imagination will help you get things from books that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life.
This is really a precious book because not only it’s a very ancient YA (I mean who wrote YA in 1992??) and also it has amazing representativity and discussions about racism and displacement, discussions of children who are born of immigrant parents, again who talked about this stuff back in the 90’s?
Ellen is a lovely protagonist, she is so pure and sweet and fierce and strong at the same time. I wish I could be friends with her. I am so proud of her growth. I really liked to read her story. Also the poem that Jessie wrote man I felt a tear in my eye.
This book is almost 30 years old and I am so glad it exists. I am so glad it was re-published and that this story will live on. This was a great read and it brought me a lot of confort. Also Tomper. I mean what a boyfriend.
I end with this beautiful quote that touched me to the bones:
“When you leave a country,” he says, “it is like an animal caught in a trap that gnaws a limb off to free itself. You can’t dwell on what you’ve lost — if you wnat to survive. You have to go on with what you have.”
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