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Weedflower Paperback – January 27, 2009
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred* "...it is a haunting story of dramatic loss and subtle triumphs." -- KLIATT
Kadohata combines impressive research and a lucent touch, bringing to life the confusion of dislocation.... -- Kirkus Spring & Summer Preview --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Sumiko is just thrilled. She's just been invited to her very first birthday party with all the other children in her class. Though she lives in California on her aunt and uncle's flower farm, Sumiko doesn't know a lot of other Japanese-American children at her school. When she arrives at the party, however, the mother of the birthday girl turns her away from the house. Not long after this humiliating incident, Pearl Harbor is bombed. Now Sumiko and her family members are getting shipped off to an internment camp for the duration of the war. They eventually find themselves in one located on an Indian Reservation in Arizona. The Japanese-Americans don't want to be there and the Indians don't want them. Still, while fighting boredom and the apparent death of her dreams, Sumiko is able to meet one of the Mohave boys that make deliveries to the camp and strike up a tentative friendship.Read more ›
"It's not me, dear," her classmate's mother says as she pushes Sumiko out the door, "but my husband has a few friends in back, some of the other parents who helped him raise some money for a charity we work with...." The possibility that the other parents might take offense to Sumiko being Japanese is enough for Sumiko to lose her invitation to the party. What she doesn't realize is that these attitudes shared by many of the hakujin (white people) are also enough for her to lose her home.
When the United States is attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor, the government rounds up all the Niekki --- people of Japanese ancestry, including American-born citizens --- sending them to internment camps in the center of the country. Leaving behind their flower farm, their home, and most of their belongings, Sumiko and her family are shipped to a relocation center in the Sonoran desert.
There, amidst the grief and distress of an uprooted life, they do their best to rebuild their lives and form a community. For Sumiko this means planting a garden filled with the colorful and spicy-smelling weedflowers they farmed at home.
Cynthia Kadohata won a Newbery Award for KIRA-KIRA, her portrait of a family of Japanese factory workers living in Georgia after WWII. One of the most difficult challenges for any writer is following up on such a resounding success. A book on Japanese internment camps is a subject that will resonate with librarians and teachers, but what is uncertain is whether or not it will also appeal to young readers.Read more ›
Then follows the unthinkable blow of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the evacuation of "Nikkei" (Nisei) to detention centers. An important part of the book for me is what was NOT discussed; the curtain of dust in the desert is described in vivid detail so that readers will almost taste that suffocating bitterness. But Cynthia Kadohata does not mention the comfortable "others" shielded by a curtain of censorship employed by our government. It lowered this curtain separating those secure in their rights from those who couldn't know whether their rights would ever again be respected.
Curtained by dust and detention the Nisei agonized to make their lives orderly once more. Kadohata writes about the details of everyday life: in southern California where the flower farm was diligently tended & family standards adhered to /AND/ in the Camp built for detainees on a Mohave Indian reservation where the rigid family structure fell apart as goals were abandoned and purpose for living so deeply shaken.
Recollecting the days after Pearl Harbor I am surprised by the perception that the Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) were the only group expressing shock and concern.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An eye-opening and humanizing peek into the treatment of Japanese American citizens after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Read morePublished 3 months ago by gayle h. swift
It was really good because it showed what it was like to be a Japanese-American and what it was like to live in the camp. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Eric Detwiler
Needed this book for a course in my EDEC class,The book was a little bit older but in perfect condition....for that price though you can't beat it!Published 7 months ago by Julia garza
A moving story about the American Japanese family during the Second World War.Published 11 months ago by Sucheta
I think I've now read most everything Kadohata has written. As with all of her work, "Weedflower" is meticulously researched. The sense of place is palpable. Read morePublished 17 months ago by PT109
Great Book! Well written in an interesting way! Excellent delivery service.Published 19 months ago by Grace
I love how affectionate the book is. I cried at the end... Wonderful!!!!! This book really inspired me.. Just beautiful!!!!Published on August 21, 2014 by Tori Jones