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The sky had not yet begun to lighten, and Jin-Ha could see hard fingers of frost pressing on her window, outlined by the light from the street lamp. She wanted to stay in her warm bed and never come out. Being cold -- and knowing you were going to be even colder before you got any warmer -- was the worst feeling. Then she remembered her dream. Then she remembered her math test. Now she wanted to jump out of bed and onto the first bus out of town. How else to cope with this terrible thing she had done? She failed a math test and a quiz and she had lied to her parents. Lying to her parents had been ten times worse than telling them the truth: telling the truth would have gotten the unpleasant news over with right away. By lying she was only postponing the agony. Everything only seemed all right; underneath, it was all wrong. All WRONG.
"Books, Tomper, letter jackets, parties, friends. Where do I fit into this mess?" It's Ellen Sung's last year and she is desperate to make it count. This will be the year she finally wins a varsity letter for gymnastics. She'll spend more time with her friends and less time with her books. She'll get into the college of her choice. Maybe she'll even find a boyfriend. Easier said than done, when you've got to deal with super-strict parents, pressure to get good grades, and the prejudice of some classmates because you're the only Korean-American student in a small school. But sometimes things do go right!
Seventh grader Alice's life couldn't be better. She has two fabulous best friends, a boy from the football team who seems to like her, and she has just been chosen to be on the junior high cheerleading squad. But then Yoon Jun moves to town, and because he is Korean, like Alice, her father tries to make her be friends with the new boy. But Alice thinks Yoon Jun is kind of a dork and can't figure out why she should have to be friends with him simply because they happen to come from the same country. Alice was a baby when her parents adopted her and brought her to the U.S. so she doesn't remember anything about Korea and considers herself 100% American. But then Alice and Yoon Jun are assigned to work on a project together for their school's International Day, and Alice discovers that spending time with Yoon Jun might not be so terrible after all.
Sixteen-year-old Korean-American Chan moves from Los Angeles to a small town in Minnesota, where he must cope not only with racism on the football team but also with the tensions in his relationship with his strict father.
In this sequel to "Finding My Voice," Ellen Sung explores her interest in creative writing and in her Korean heritage during her freshman year at Harvard.