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Used: Good | Details
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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Hardcover. William Morrow, 1964. Ex-library w/usual stamps & markings. Pages clean, unmarked, lightly tanned. Binding tight. No dust jacket. Boards good, light wear on corners. Book #16321
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Jenny Kimura Hardcover – 1974

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Morrow; 6th Printing edition (1974)
  • ASIN: B000GSJ0MA
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,370,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I never read much “teen” fiction as a kid. Once I got to middle school, my books came from the “grown up” section of our public library. But there was one… didn’t remember the author or the title or many details but it was the book that introduced me to the broad concept of racism. Over the years, I frequently wondered what the book was. Then in a discussion of forgotten writers, a friend mentioned Cavanna. She sounded like a possibility so I checked her books- and found “Jenny Kimura”. I thought it highly probable this was the book (not a lot of American teen fiction in the early seventies featured a Japanese girl) and bought a used paperback on Amazon. Sure enough- the book immediately fell open to the one scene I remembered :)

“Jenny Kimura” is the story of a half-Japanese and half-American 16 year old girl living in Tokyo with her American father and Japanese mother, suddenly invited to spend the summer with her American Grandmother in Kansas City. Her parents have been estranged from their parents on both sides for reasons I didn’t understand at the time but which are glaringly obvious now. The short book tells the story of Jenny’s summer including her encounters with subtle and not so subtle racism but also her personal growth. Ultimately it is a hopeful, positive story.

The book is told from Jenny’s perspective with a more formal and stilted voice than most American fiction. Clearly Cavanna knew a great deal about Japan and Japanese culture of the time- the book is filled with detail (It is also dedicated “To my young friend, Nobuko.”) Since I think most Americans still think of Japan as being a more formal, less culturally progressive country, the formal “voice” actually helps to make the book seem less dated.
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