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Tae's Sonata [Hardcover]

Haemi Balgassi
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 20.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 22 1997
A novel about a Korean eighth grader, a recent immigrant to the United States, coming to terms with her background.

Product Details

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8. Tae is a Korean-American eighth grader. It's bad enough that her social studies teacher assigns her South Korea for her class project, but he also pairs her with popular Josh Morgan, which garners her the spite of a popular clique of girls. When Tae's best friend, Meg, starts hanging out with these girls, Tae shuns her and, in her sulky loneliness, starts to notice those around her with more sympathy: her mother, who gave up her close circle of friends when they left Korea; Philip, the other Korean American at her school, who turns out not to be quite as stuck up as she first imagined; and Josh, who, despite being popular, is really a nice guy. Gaining respect for others, Tae is able to patch up her friendship with Meg, improve her relationship with her parents, and find a bit of romance in her life. The characters are familiar and believable (except, perhaps, for Josh, who seems too sensitive to be true), and aspects of Korean life are well incorporated into the story. The plot gets corny in parts (especially at the end, where Balgassi drops the ball on all the interesting characters in favor of a happy ending for Tae and Josh), and remarks on racial/ethnic dynamics in Tae's life seem sometimes heavy-handed, but the book, overall, is well written and appealing.?Nina Lindsay, Vista School, Albany, CA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Eighth-grader Taeyoung Kim feels torn between her Korean heritage and her new American culture. When she is assigned to do a report on South Korea with one of the most popular boys in school, her feelings begin to surface: She's embarrassed about being ``different,'' her modest upbringing, and her parents. The storyline and themes- -feeling out of place and struggling with the popular crowd--are well known; Marie G. Lee (If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun, 1993, etc.) has deftly limned aspects of the Korean experience along these lines. Here, the resolution is predictable. The title and main theme are linked to Tae's piano-playing, which comes across as an afterthought instead of an integral part of the story. While readers get a sense of who Tae is, they may become frustrated with her passivity; the few instances in which she reflects on her life in Korea are adequate, but lack power. Readers will empathize more with Tae's parents, whose tender characterizations are the best in the book. Tae grows and learns, and gets the cute boy, which will satisfy those seeking light fare and no surprises. (Fiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Tae's Sonata Nov. 26 2001
By A Customer
Tae's Sonata
This story was about a girl named Tae Young. She has lived in America for about four years. One day she came to school and she was getting assigned country report projects. She was assigned partners with Josh, the most popular guy in school. If that wasn't bad enough they got Korea as their country. Then Josh came up to her later that day and told her that since they are partners, they should probably get together at each other's houses to do research on the project. One day after school she rode the bus home with Josh, and they went to his house. Meg and Tae decided to go skating one day. Tae wanted to stop skating, because her feet were hurting. The "Royals" were there. So Tae and Meg went to go rest for a while. Then Meg wanted to go back in and Tae didn't, so Meg went out to the skating rink. The Royals invited her to skate with them, so she did.
The next day the friends were mad at each other and they stayed that way for a while.
But finally they became friends again. The next day there would be a school dance. Then they decided to go shopping for dresses.
The next day at the dance Tae saw that Krista was wearing the same dress as her. Tae left the dance and went out to the bleachers and started crying.
But after a while Meg came out and offered to go get her coat, and while she was in there Josh came out...
I liked this story because it kept my attention and it had a good lesson to it.
I also liked it because it got you into the mind of someone from another country.
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Tae is struggling at school, but it is not her grades. She is struggling to find her place in the rigid social structure of Jr. High. It bothers her that she stands out as one of two Korean Americans at school. She is at that age where she knows what she should do or say to her parents, but she also knows how to hurt them. She is starting to grow up and not only think of her own feelings. She is also noticing boys and they are noticing her.
This is a story about assimilation, growing up, first love, and friendship. I finished this book in one sitting. It was interesting to read about the feelings of a recent Korean immigrant girl. Tae is realistically not perfect, but she is growing as she experiences the joys and tribulations of Jr. High.
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1.0 out of 5 stars without hope March 22 2004
By A Customer
This book Taes sonata was very dissapointing to me. It was wothout any hope. It couldnt even come close to the book I have red. This book was the worst book i have ever red. I would never tell someone about this book.theres no more way I can diss this book of how I hated it.
Theres only one good thing about this book was the ending when i stopped reading it.thats the way I think of this book. this book was a huge waste of my time. I dont think it is very fit for guys. this is a terriable, horriable, useless book!!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars disapointed March 22 2004
By A Customer
This book taes sonata was really dissapointing for me. I thought that it was going to be a happy story. But in the end it was a sad story. If i had a chance to read this again or not, I would not.
This book taes sonata was a waste of my time. The only reason that I gave it a 2 is because if you are haveing a fright with your friends. Then you and your friends should read this book. It teaches you that friendship is everything.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Understandable TaeYoung Nov. 5 2000
This was a very good book with a character you could really relate to. I am Korean, and it was very interesting and amusing to see the Korean words such as umma and oppa. I could really relate to Tae and understood what she was going through. Even people who are not Korean could enjoy this book. Tae's Sonata is a well written book that describes and totally follows the troubles of being a teenager and feeling like an outcast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A story of immigration and first love March 10 1998
In a convincing first person voice, Taeyoung Kim tells her story of immigrant experience and first love. This first novel, infused with authentic details of Korean-American family life, brings to young readers the tumult of feelings Tae experiences as an "outsider," feelings she learns are not unique to her but are shared by so many others on the brink of adolescence, whether immigrant or native born.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this book was the best Feb. 1 2002
By A Customer
tea's sonata is a good book. i would give it a 5 because it was so good and romantic. i enjoyed the end the most because josh came to sit with her because he liked her which she probbably had wished for. the book was so interesting and i enjoyed it with my class. it has being the best book i have read so far. the book also taught me a lesson like tae did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tae's Sonata Jan. 23 2002
By A Customer
Tae's Sonata was a good book. On the scale to 1-5 I gave it a 4 because it kept my full attention and it was interesting. The reason why I didn't I didn't give it a 5 was I didn't like the ending. The ending was really boring--I mean all she did was sit on the bleachers with Josh watching the stars. That is so lame. But above all it was a good book.
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