Girl in Translation
Jean Kwok
Contributed by Harvey Landy
Chapter 8

When Tammy finds out that Kim didn’t tell on her, she is grateful and writes a thank you note. Kim is still worried about being expelled, but when she gets the test back and has a 96% without the cheat sheet, she feels like her position at the school is much safer than it was.

As winter came again, the apartment was getting cold. Ma asked Aunt Paula about a new place again, and Aunt Paula was not kind. They did not have time to find a new apartment on their own since they were always busy with work and with school.

When summer came again, Kim worked at the factory full time. Kim spent this summer learning better tactics to bag the garments so that she was able to work faster than she had before. By the end of the summer, she was able to bag almost five hundred skirts per hour.

Sometimes Matt would stay and help Kim finish up. One day, he invited Kim and Ma to see Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, or “the Liberty Goddess”, as they called her. While they were talking about this, one man slams his hand in one of the steamers and has to be taken away. This stresses out Aunt Paula, and when she comes back she tells Kim and Ma that she is dropping the rate for bagging skirts. Kim is furious about this and tells Aunt Paula that it isn’t fair. Matt tries to step into the argument, and Ma gets mad at Kim for speaking up.

Matt still takes them to see the Liberty Goddess, but he also shows them Times Square. When they are there, they go into a music store and Kim encourages Ma to play the piano, which she does beautifully.

They then take the Staten Island Ferry so they can see the Liberty Goddess. Matt is very nice and considerate to Ma, and Ma tells Kim later on that she thinks he has a good heart.

Kim begins ninth grade, which is the start of high school. They take placement tests for math and science, but Dr. Copeland, the director of the science and math department, hadn’t forgotten about the cheat sheet and is concerned that Kim might be cheating again, since no student has gotten that high of results on the placement tests. She says that Kim will have to take an oral exam where the faculty asks her questions.

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