Please Love Umma is a middle-grade, children's novel suitable for advanced readers ages 9-12 or grade level 4-7. This story is about an eleven-year old Korean-American girl named Jenna Kim, who experiences the dichotomy of being raised under an overprotective mother and an understanding father, parents who both love her very much but don't seem to love each other at all. Through her experiences, she struggles and overcomes issues with death, culture, and religion as she copes with her own anxiety issues. Jenna's mother, Umma, has died at the beginning of the story, and the novel unfolds as she reflects on the past year. She explores the relationships within her family and begins to see that, having been so close to her father her whole life, her mother had always been left out. But it's too late to turn back time.
In this beautifully bittersweet coming-of-age story, author Gracie Kim weaves an unforgettable tale of identity, love, and the many pains involved in growing up. The setting is the Koreatown district of Los Angeles, California before and during the Los Angeles Riots.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.41(d)|
About the Author
Gracie Kim writes from her own experiences as a child in Los Angeles, California. Having lived through the LA riots as an elementary school student, she uses this vivid event as the backdrop for her new middle-grade novel.
Kim received her bachelor's degree in English from UCLA and in her subsequent career has worked in education, accounting, and human resources. She is currently an activist fighting sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Korean community. She is also a student of acting and has a passion for theatrical arts. Kim credits her acting teacher Bill Alderson, considered one of the three "ancients" of the Sanford Meisner Technique, on "not only teaching me how to live truthfully under the given imaginary circumstances but teaching me how to live."
Kim now lives in Southern California with her husband and their cat.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Please Love Umma by Gracie Kim is the story of Jenna Kim, an eleven-year-old Korean-American, which is loosely based on some historic events and real life experiences. Jenna Kim is brought up in an atmosphere where she has an overprotective mother and an understanding father. Though they loved her immensely, the relationship between them was strained. The story begins with Umma’s death and a young girl’s realization that the Kim family will not be Jenna, Abba, and Umma anymore. The story is set against the backdrop of the Koreantown district of Los Angeles, California and many Korean-American readers will be able to connect with this story. The story chronicles the life of a girl who was raised in a dysfunctional family and her personal journey and growth as she goes through struggles, cultural differences, relationship issues with her family, her experiences, anxiety issues, and how she copes with all these problems to emerge a winner. The author takes readers back in time to the 1980s, when many of us can relate to the difficulties of immigrant parents struggling to raise their children in the US. It is a story of love, growing pains, identity crisis, family, and coming of age. The heartrending story of Jenna connects well with readers and they also get to read about the Los Angeles riots in the book. I liked the author’s casual approach to a complicated topic as she speaks about parenting, dealing with regular things kids do while growing up - like boys and crushes - and the manner in which she tries to bridge the gap between culture, time, and age.