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So Far from the Bamboo Grove Paperback – August 12, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
This riveting novel, based on the author's own experiences, describes a Japanese family forced to flee their home in Korea at the end of WW II. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up A true account that is filled with violence and death, yet one that is ultimately a story of family love and life. Eleven-year-old Yoko Kawashima had led a peaceful and secure life as the daughter of a Japanese government official stationed in North Korea near the end of World War II. Abruptly, all is changed as she, her older sister Ko, and their mother flee the vengeance-seeking North Korean Communists and eventually make their way to an unwelcoming and war-ravaged Japan. Yoko's story is spellbinding. She often escapes death by mere chance; her brother, Hideyo, separated from the family, has an equally harrowing escape. The longed-for arrival in Japan proves to be an almost greater trial, as their mother, defeated by the discovery that all their Japanese relatives are dead, dies. Together, Yoko and Ko create a home in which to await the return of Hideyo. Watkins writes clearly and movingly, with a straightforward style through which the story unfolds quickly. She skillfully alternates her account of the girls' journey with that of their brother, maintaining readers' interest in both. Watkins is able to describe scenes of death, rape, and other atrocities with a simple directness which has no trace of sensationalism yet in no way diminishes their horror. Readers will be riveted by the events of the escape and struggle for survival, and enriched and inspired by the personalities of the family. Especially well drawn is Yoko's gradual emergence from a frightened, whining child to a strong and courageous young girl. Parallels can be drawn to Holocaust survival stories such as Aranka Siegal's Upon the Head of the Goat (Farrar, 1981) and Esther Hautzig's The Endless Steppe (Crowell, 1968). So Far from the Bamboo Grove should have a place among the finest of them. Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, N.J.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Great story, written from two points of view (I think this is the first book for this course that has had dual points of view). Gives great insight into characterization. Lots of action and dialogue to be able to experience the trek to safety with the characters themselves rather than having it told. We are there, and it is a sad, tiring, frightening journey, indeed. The characters are resourceful and never give up, but are able to reach deep down and pull up the determination and will to keep on. Great book! Should not be missed.
after their father was taken by the Russians to Siberia and their mother dies in their attempt to escape. Not many of us could face searching through garbage for enough food to live another day. Could things get worse--yes they can when WW II breaks out they become hated and hunted fugitives desperately trying to get safely back to Japan only to arrive after the A-Bombs were dropped. Their family was gone. The second book My Brother, My Sister and I continues to tell their story. With everything destroyed life is just as hard, but survive they do and make a future worth enduring the struggle.