From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Mining the age-old tensions between mothers and daughters, Choi's strong debut is an uproariously funny memoir of growing up with her Korean American family in Los Angeles. Many stories expose the specific struggles of children of immigrants. When she entered kindergarten, for example, Choi was placed in a remedial learning program because her school didn't have an ESL specialist. Other stories focus on familiar mother-daughter battlegrounds (when her mother asks her to wear an ensemble that Choi describes as appropriate for Paul Revere's stable boy, she writes, I felt she had stopped loving me ) and on the universal adolescent feelings of a self-described late bloomer : Anyone could confuse my back for my chest. From the elementary-school memories of her mother's tough-love academic views--Don't be baby! You not wear diaper no more. You have to practice so you get A --to the phone exchanges when college-age Choi learns of her mother's breast cancer, these are indelible, poignant, and often riotously funny scenes of a daughter's frustrations and indestructible love. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2007 Booklist