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Club 1117 Review Crew

by Zahrah A., Lindale Middle School

"Pachinko" is an addictive multi-generational Korean-Japanese family saga that takes place in the 20th century before, after, and during the Pacific war. The book starts with an old couple who go on to have many successors that work through issues of forbidden love, loyalty, searching for belonging, sacrifice, and ambition. The family endures oppression and times of poverty throughout the timeline as a result of the war and being Koreans in Japan. The characters felt real, full of emotion and feeling who will always keep you guessing as to how things are going to work out for them. The book is well written from the third-person omniscient perspective, so you really get to know the characters' personalities and emotions.

The story is a real page-turner, and you'll find it really hard to put it down because you always want the main character to make the right choices. However, that doesn't always happen, and this is what makes the book so great. The book explores many themes, but it really hones in on the importance of family and staying true. The ending was a tidy ending, although I wish it had gone on longer. The plot and dialogue were very realistic, and you will find yourself caring about the characters a lot. Older teens and young adults will enjoy this dramatic historical fiction book about a topic not very widely explored as they follow a family on their journey around obstacles through the 20th century. 

Click here to check out Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

2021 Michael L. Printz Award Winners

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