Wednesday, April 10, 2013

26 Books that Changed My Life: #9 Kim/Kimi

I: Interracial

I thought I would spend the month of April delving into the literature that has made me the person I am today.

1] In this list you will find some of my favorite books, but you will also find books that I appreciate and books that I would recommend although they may not be my favorite. These are books that changed my way of thinking or my way of looking the world. These are books that helped solidify the core of who I am.
2] These books are in order of the theme that I came away with not alphabetical by title or author.

About this book:
Even the warm, loving relationship Kim shares with her mother, her stepfather, and her half brother can not give sixteen-year-old Kim/Kimi the answers she needs. Half the time she is Kim Andrews, living in her all-white Iowa community-the other half she is Kimi Yogushi, searching for her true identity. She must find out more about her Japanese-American father, who died before she was born, and his family, if there is any. Perhaps then she can solve her inner conflict.

Publication Date:  10/28/1988

Why this book:

When I first read this book I immediately understood that struggle that Kim had with her heritage. I was 12 years-old and learning about my own heritage as the daughter of a white woman from a large family who lived mostly in the Midwest and Mid-South and as the daughter of a black man I've only met twice. I wanted to know what it meant to be part of the African-American culture. I knew that I couldn't meet my father's family (only child; both of his parents had passed away), but I wanted to learn about who is was in the hopes that I could find out who I was. 

My parents separated and divorced and the only thing that I can remember from that whole event was packing up our blue car to move from the East coast to where we have settled today. I learned that I have step-siblings and that my fathered is flawed, but we all are. I love that my mother, like Kim's in the book, never disparaged my father or my need to learn about him.

Since then I've learned that there are questions that will never be answered, there are questions that shouldn't be answered and there are questions that can't be answered as they only lead to more questions. I think I learned this lesson from Kim, who in searching for her Japanese heritage learned more about herself and her American culture and who she was and will be. 

I have never met my step-sisters. I don't even know their names. Although I am comfortable in my own skin, I am still searching.


  1. Thank you for sharing these books and your personal connections to them. Books are so meaningful that way.


  2. Once I read this book, I have wanted to read everything I can get my hands on about this topic. Read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet as well as Sarah's Key. Phenomenal books about this period in history. Thanks for sharing this review. I couldn't agree more.



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