Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

Crown. Feb. 2023. 304p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593563373.
Gr 8 Up–Senior year of high school is bad enough, but for Alejandra Kim, there is extra drama, and not just dealing with her misunderstanding mother. She is also dealing with microaggressions for her traditional Spanish first-name and very Korean face and last name, grieving her father’s death, and feeling like she doesn’t fit in with her clueless white “woke” classmates. On Alejandra’s first day of school, a teacher comments about how she will have no problem getting into college. While she lets it slide, her friend, white Laurel, takes action and thrusts Alejandra into a spotlight she never wanted in a school where she feels like she doesn’t belong. Alejandra’s dream is to escape the city and head to college, but along the way, she will discover who she is and where she fits. Told in three parts, Park’s work paints an educational but entertaining portrait of what it is like to be a person of color in today’s world. Alejandra often deals with individuals who have good intentions regarding the racial differences she faces but fail in execution; she also meets outright racist individuals. The portrayal of this and her reactions to them ring truthful, though frustrating at times. By using Alejandra’s first-person account to tell the story, readers genuinely step into her shoes through the pages. Realistic supporting characters with all their strengths and faults help shape this fantastic read.
VERDICT Libraries can’t go wrong with adding this timely book to their collection.

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