The letter below is part of an ongoing series featuring letters from authors to their teen selves. If you're a published author who'd like to participate in this series, we'd love to have you. Just click here and let us know you're interested. Today's guest is Grace K. Shim, author of The Noh Family, which came out earlier this month.
Dear Teen Grace,
I know what you’re thinking…mainly because I was you. But also because the teenage years were a time when you didn’t want to be different from everyone else but also a time when you were one of two Korean-Americans at your high school (your sister was the other one). Suffice it to say, despite what your stack of back-dated Seventeen magazines all claimed, this was not the best time of your life.
As a freshman at a fairly new school you didn’t have that many friends (harsh but true). Still, the worst part of this time in your life was not that you didn’t get asked to any of the school dances or that you spent the weekends watching a crap ton of Blockbuster movies at home alone. No, the worst part about this time in your life, the thing that breaks my heart the most to remember, was that you did not want to be Korean.
Grace as a teenager