MISMATCH by Lensey Namioka

MISMATCH

Age Range: 12 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

“Chinese, Japanese, what’s the difference?” asks a suburban Seattle high-schooler. To Chinese-American Sue Hua, whose grandmother’s home was raided by Japanese soldiers in the 1930s, it means hiding her boyfriend, Japanese-American Andy Suzuki, from her family. It’s likewise for Andy, whose father thinks the Chinese are a dirty, backwards people. Although they see themselves as Americans first, the teens’ relationship is strained when they let their families’ beliefs guide them. A week-long orchestra trip to Tokyo, however, becomes an opportunity for the couple to learn more about Asian cultures. Andy, who feels like an outsider in his ancestors’ homeland, searches for the “real” Japan. Sue observes more discrimination while living with a Korean host family. Meanwhile, the families of the Asian-American “Romeo and Juliet” come to better terms than the original lovers. As in many of Namioka’s novels, identity is at the heart of this story. Although her commentaries on race can be heavy-handed, they aptly depict the complexities of discrimination in society today. An eye-opening read for all cultures. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-73183-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2006




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