This was a very impactful book it was written about the Trump era and it was written about communist history in the 1950’s in Korea. The Ellen Oh noted how personal it was for her to write this book. While I can never fully understand I can see how the issues thread through history and how things to come back around. While it is historical fiction it has elements of biography in it too. Just labelling Finding Junie Kim historical fiction would be oversimplifying this wonderful piece of fiction completely.
Junie Kim just wants to fit in and stay out of the way of her bullies who make fun of her for being Asian. So she keeps her head down and tries not to draw attention to herself. But when racist graffiti appears at her middle school and her friends want to do something about it, they just can’t understand why Junie wants to stay out of it.
Then Junie’s history teacher assigns a project and Junie decides to interview her grandparents she learns about their unbelievable experiences as kids during the Korean War. Junie comes to admire her grandma’s fierce determination to overcome impossible odds and her grandpa’s unwavering compassion during wartime.
As the racism becomes more prevalent at school Junie learns through learning about her ancestors to stand up for herself and the rest of the kids being bullied at her school. She finds the courage to do what is right to help make real change and stand up to her own personal bully.
Finding Junie Kim is a reminder that within us all lies the power to overcome hardship and emerge triumphant.
This is a fantastic book. I thought that before I learned how well it was researched at the end. I can promise you this book taught me more about the Korean War than I learned in school. I live in a state that is pretty far down the education list but still, it is informative on such a deep personal and interesting level that you want to know more every time she talks to her grandfather.
Her grandparents both help her with standing up to bullies and facing racism and are great role models for her throughout the book. Her grandfather also helps her understand that others have more issues in America with race than they do. Her grandmothers story is also a magnificent one and her grandmother shows her other forms of being powerful.
Also the amount of research that went into this book is mind boggling as well as the amount of putting oneself into it personally. I know Ellen Oh is already getting awards for Finding Junie Kim, but she truly deserves them.