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Thirteen-year-old Lauren, a Korean American adoptee, is best friends with the prettiest — and tallest — girl in the school, Julie, who has an endless amount of confidence. Lauren, on the other hand, has been saving for years to pay for a special eye surgery that will deepen the crease of her eyelids. It's not that she wants to look like everyone else in her suburban Connecticut school; she'd just be happy if kids stopped calling her "slant" and "gook." Up until now she's been able to ignore the insults, but when...
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Thirteen-year-old Lauren, a Korean American adoptee, is best friends with the prettiest — and tallest — girl in the school, Julie, who has an endless amount of confidence. Lauren, on the other hand, has been saving for years to pay for a special eye surgery that will deepen the crease of her eyelids. It's not that she wants to look like everyone else in her suburban Connecticut school; she'd just be happy if kids stopped calling her "slant" and "gook." Up until now she's been able to ignore the insults, but when the cutest boy in her class calls her "slant," she realizes she needs to do something about her "nickname." When she convinces her reluctant father to consent to the eye operation, Lauren suddenly finds herself faced with a challenge: should she get the operation that might make her more confident and popular, or can she find that confidence within herself? Laura Williams' sensitive, beautifully written story offers a powerful lesson to young readers whose self-esteem depends too much on how they look.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Slant reaches deep into the identity issues and struggles of a middle-school girl, whose complex life is both magnified and clarified within its pages. This book is accessible and has a positive message for young readers who may be dealing with similar challenges."
International Examiner

Publishers Weekly

Mirroring themes found in An Na's recent Fold but geared for a younger audience, this timely novel also revolves around a Korean-American heroine who considers plastic surgery in an effort to look more American. Tired of being called "Slant," 13-year-old Lauren-the adopted daughter of white parents-dreams of having surgery that will make her eyes appear rounder. But after scheduling the operation, Lauren has second thoughts. Using first-person narrative, Williams (Behind the Bedroom Wall) pointedly conveys how Lauren's observations are linked to her changing attitude. First Lauren begins to notice that all her classmates -even the popular kids-have flaws ("Even cheerleader Sandy has thick ankles," Lauren notes after Sandy points out that one of Lauren's tormentors has a "big Jew nose"). Later, she comes to realize that outer beauty does not ensure happiness, an idea melodramatically illustrated in a scene in which Lauren discovers that her mother, dead for three years, died of suicide and not in an accident. Although the moral is transparent and the outcome predictable, readers will relate to the vulnerable heroine and her struggle. Ages 8-13. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Melissa Zanot
Lauren is a Korean-American adoptee and feels like she does not fit in because of her slanted eyes that are a cause of tormenting by her peers. Lauren decides that she will get an eye surgery with a plastic surgeon to create more of a creased eyelid. While Lauren struggles with every teenager's wish of fitting in, she must come to grips with her mother's death, her father's starting to date again, and her grandmother's coming to visit for her thirteenth birthday. The book is so much deeper than the question of whether she will have the surgery. It deals with so many different issues that it could be used in a variety of ways. It could resonate with the student new to middle school, a child dealing with a parent's death, a person that has been adopted, and a child that just wants to fit in. If you have ever experienced wanting to change something about your appearance this is the book for you. Reviewer: Melissa Zanot
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7

Petite Lauren, an eighth grader and Korean-American adoptee, is best friends with tall, blond Julie. While Julie is brimming with self-confidence, Lauren is plagued by a multitude of insecurities. Although she adores her father, a literature professor, she resents his refusal to talk about her mother, who died several years earlier. Eventually, she learns that he has been shielding her from the fact that her mother's depression led her to suicide. Williams invests Lauren with a disarming self-awareness as she analyzes and categorizes her own behavior using terms her father has taught her. When she pretends not to be appalled by her insensitive classmates calling her "slant," "chink," and "gook," she labels her behavior a "sin of complicity." Lauren seems comfortable with her ethnicity in many ways, but she has been squirreling money away for an operation to reduce the creases in her eyelids and is elated when her father reluctantly consents to the procedure. Julie emerges as a strong sidekick, cajoling Lauren to stand up for herself and telling stereotype-spewing kids to quit their offensive behavior. Other offensive ethnic putdowns, such as "kike," are used. Despite her many strengths, Julie obsesses about her weight and is embarrassed by her wealthy parents' ostentatiousness. The characters are exceptionally well drawn, and the friendship between Julie and Lauren is not only believable, featuring humor, conflict, and true wit, but also captures both girls' gains in maturity.-Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA

Kirkus Reviews

Lauren attempts plastic surgery when racial teasing shatters her self-esteem in this introspective novel. While 13-year-old Lauren has a loving father and loyal best friend, she struggles with her identity as a Korean-American adoptee. Lauren is adamant that eyelid surgery and epicanthal fold reduction will enhance her natural beauty; she researches the procedure and secretly saves her earnings. Her grandmother's unexpected visit and support propel Lauren to visit a plastic surgeon. Mysterious circumstances surrounding her adoptive mother's death are conveniently revealed when Lauren's belated birthday gift, a photo album of her deceased mother, provides her with a more comprehensive perspective on her troubled history. Refreshingly, she develops her self-assurance through her own independent maturation, without overwhelming adult influence. Lauren's unfolding progression, heightened through photography classes and tender moments with her younger sister, result in a memorable protagonist. There are no surprises surrounding Lauren's inevitable decision, though her budding self-acceptance is subtly nuanced, adding depth to a contemporary topic with a gentle touch. (Fiction. 10-13)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571316820
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 8 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Im also a monolidder

    I was bout 11 when i read this book and it was just great. I realizethat i shouldnt care about what everybody else thinks and be just happy as myself(:

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    slant book reveiew by ally

    this book SLANT by laura e. williams is great for you to learn about others feelings ,how you are perfect the way you are ,about liking someone
    ,and not to be shy . To be you . to be brave. to care for others not just yourself . to findthe real you .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

    Plastic surgery or not? Will it change your life and give you more self-confidence, or will it not change your life as dramatically as you thought? <BR/><BR/>These are the questions brought up by SLANT. There are many Asians having surgery to make their eyes more European-looking. I had an Asian living with me from Vienna. She said that she was lucky because she was born with a fold in her eyes. She also said that many of her aunts (she has many; her grandparents had nine children) have had the surgery. So this just isn't an American phenomena. <BR/><BR/>This story is about 13-year-old Lauren. Lauren was adopted by an American couple. She is Korean. Her younger adopted sister, Maia, is Chinese. Her adopted mother died when Lauren was ten, and she and Maia have been raised by her dad. Her dad is a university professor. Lauren's best friend is Julie, a tall, beautiful blond. <BR/><BR/>You can tell how much love is around these characters. At school there are a group of students who call Lauren slant, g**k, or ch**k. She hates it but never stands up for herself. Lauren has been saving her money for two years for this surgery. When her grandmother, Ann, comes to town, the surgery may finally be a possibility. <BR/><BR/>Does she have the surgery? That is the question of the book. <BR/><BR/>I liked the characters in SLANT. They are written realistically, and you can tell the author likes these people. The story is written at a time where secrets are coming out and people are ready to move on with their lives. I really enjoyed this book.

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    Posted September 3, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2011

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