Necessary Roughness by Marie G. Lee

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Synopsis

Chan Kim has never felt like an outsider in his life. That is, not until his family moves from L.A. to a tiny town in Minnesota--Land of 10,000 Lakes--and probably 10,000 hicks,too. The Kims are the only Asian family in town, and when Chan and his twin sister, Young, attend high school, it's a blond-haired, blue-eyed whiteout.

Chan throws himself into the only game in town--football--and the necessary roughness required to make a player. On the field it means "justifiable violence," but as Chan is about to discover, off the field it's a whole different ballgame . . .Chan Jung Kim has always been popular. But that was when he lived in L.A. and was the star of his soccer team. Now his family’s moved—to a tiny town in Minnesota, where football’s the name of the game and nobody has ever seen an Asian American family before. Desperate to fit in, Chan throws himself into the game—but he feels like an outsider. For the first time in his life, he finds himself thinking about what it really means to be Korean—and what is really important. By turns gripping, painful, funny, and illuminating, Necessary Roughness introduces a major new talent and a fresh young voice to the Harper list.

1997 Best Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
1998 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)Chan Jung Kim has always been popular. But that was when he lived in L.A. and was the star of his soccer team. Now his family’s moved—to a tiny town in Minnesota, where football’s the name of the game and nobody has ever seen an Asian American family before. Desperate to fit in, Chan throws himself into the game—but he feels like an outsider. For the first time in his life, he finds himself thinking about what it really means to be Korean—and what is really important. By turns gripping, painful, funny, and illuminating, Necessary Roughness introduces a major new talent and a fresh young voice to the Harper list.

1997 Best Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
1998 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)

 

About Marie G. Lee

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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.
 
Published April 12, 2011 by HarperTeen. 246 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books, Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Erotica. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Football is the central metaphor for how a Korean family confronts life, death, and assimilation in this gritty and moving novel by Lee (Saying Goodbye, 1994, etc.).

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Publishers Weekly

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Unwillingly transplanted from inner-city Los Angeles to tiny, all-white Iron City, Minn., Chan walks a thin line between the traditional Korean values of his stern Abogee (father) and contemporary middle American mores.

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