Reflections

Thoughts from a Social Transplant
by Choi

Young Adult - Social Issues
56 Pages
Reviewed on 08/03/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite

Life is challenging and these challenges are different for each person. Our experiences shape us into who we are. In Reflections: Thoughts from a Social Transplant by Choi, the reader may be able to not only take a journey with the author but see themselves in the story. If they're unable to see themselves, maybe they can see someone that they know. Either way you view the story, Choi displays how everything was new yet frightening as the transition of life began to take form. Life how others see us can either celebrate or isolate us. This story will make you pause and think about the stigmas that we see or that we place on others. “Like Superman, we would both be molded by our past and polished by our future to come as a new citizen of these great United States. Much like Superman we both believe in our adopted country, not because we are like the others, because we are different. It’s the difference that makes this country great and why our founding fathers named our country the way they did “These United States”!” says Choi.

This book displays a great way to view the diversity biases and the lack of inclusivity that we've encountered throughout the centuries. Choi provides a new meaning behind what our forefathers meant as this country was being formed. It may not have been perfect because we are not all created equal, just like now, but at some point in time we must understand that we all deserve to be treated not by the color of our skin, but by who we are as people. Being a social transplant by uprooting from one place to another, and trying to operate within the environment or communities that we may find ourselves in can be a challenge but, if possible, we must look for the light.

Jane Finch

Reflections: Thoughts from a Social Transplant by Choi tells the author’s story of how, as a young South Korean child, he was given a new life with adopted parents in the mid-west of America. Although always grateful to his adoptive family (the parents had four children of their own and one other adopted child) Choi struggled. It was the Sixties, and people’s attitude to Asians was not particularly encouraging or welcoming. The story follows Choi as he learns to adjust to life in a country not his own, to a language he does not speak, and to a culture that is alien to him. It follows his struggles, his determination to succeed and overcome the difficulties he faces, and brings him to a better understanding of the person he has become.

The author, Choi, gives an emotive account of his life after leaving South Korea, from the social aspects of integrating into an unknown and strange society and culture, to the impact of sitting of furniture, lying on a bed, using a bathroom, and tasting American food. Along the way, Choi gives hints of the life he left behind, describing the endless meals of cloying, tasteless rice as an example. This account shows Choi's strength of character as he excels in the areas where he has talent, such as sporting activities, and deals with racism and attitudes to his own heritage. Above all of this, Choi shows his love for his adopted country, and how he holds the values of his oath of allegiance to the country he now calls home.