This is a fascinating story of a Chinese girl who immigrates to America with her mother. The first part of the book was the most interesting as Kimberly Chang tries to adjust to life in Brooklyn. Kimberly knows limited English and the author writes the conversations as Kimberly hears them. For instance, on the first day of school, Kimberly is given directions to her classroom and she hears it like this: "Go downda hall, two fights up, classroom's firsdur left." Although brilliant in math and science, the first year in school is a struggle.Kimberly and her mother are mistreated, not by whites or blacks, but by a Chinese relative who provides an apartment for them that has no heat. This relative had brought them to America and expected to be repaid. They work in a Chinese factory that does not pay minimum wages. Children are working in the factory in unhealthy conditions. This is a sobering reminder to the plight of many workers around the world who are taken advantage of.The book tells the story of two lives. One is the hard life of an immigrant juxtaposed with a life of an student in a private school mingling with children of the wealthy. As Kimberly grows up, the conflicts within her create a situation that forces her to make a decision that will change the course of her life.