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So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko…
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So Far from the Bamboo Grove (edition 1994)

by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

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4446023,573 (3.83)4
Member:dbalic1
Title:So Far from the Bamboo Grove
Authors:Yoko Kawashima Watkins
Info:HarperCollins (1994), Edition: 1st Beech Tree ed, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:3rd-4th Grade Readers, International Books, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Chapter Books
Rating:*****
Tags:international

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So far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

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I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons including it's writing and the point of view it was told from. I felt the author employed writing that was very engaging and made the story extremely engaging and powerful. I could sense the pain that the characters were enduring. The author made the audience feel like they were there when these events took place. The author engaged me when describing what happened to Yoko's brother when the Koreans invaded his ammunition factory. The writing was descriptive and I felt as if I was witnessing the invasion.
I liked that the story was told from the first person point of view of Yoko. Yoko contained the same curious tendencies as many children her age contain and would be easy for children to relate to. I could sense Yoko's pain when her mother died and sense her pride being broken by her peers in Japan. Yoko's point of view allowed me to connect to the story.
The main message of this story is to provide readers with an understanding of what occurred in Korea and Japan during WWII. I learned a lot about what occurred during WWII between Korea and Japan and how that affected various people living in those countries. ( )
  jessicaedelman | Nov 17, 2014 |
This was an incredible story, and novel. I loved everything about it, and was sucked in by how engaging the story and the characters are. The language was both descriptive and clear. The writing flowed incredibly well, and the plot just went along very clearly and organized. The suspense and tension exists throughout and we lost and gained characters, and the main characters suffer through the events of that year. The characters are so well developed that the reader is empathic to their experiences, and gets to experience those tragedies along with the characters to reach a new level of understanding with their culture. The book pushes readers to think deeply about issues about immigration. The big idea of this story is telling a new perspective during the WWII era that is not normally talked about. ( )
  tburfe1 | Oct 20, 2014 |
This story was captivating. I could not put it down. The author did a great job at keeping the reader on the edge of their seat and wanting to know what is going to happen next. Will Yoko and her family be exposed? Will they be reunited with the father and brother? The struggles between the Japanese and Koreans were a real threat during those times. Reading it from a first person perspective was enlightening and scary wrapped into one. I thought it was very brave of the author to retell some of the struggles she and her family faced during World War II. The story gave me a sense of worth and relief that I was not present during that time or that I was of Korean or Japanese decent. It is life-altering to think that anyone from this era could have endured such heartache and pain only to come out on top. The author's depiction of her life events not only portray the strength she and her family had as a while, but individually as well. They worked as a team to make through the hard times. ( )
  ssmith93 | Oct 20, 2014 |
This was by far my most favorite chapter book that we've read so far. I love books about war and about true stories that have happened. I got hooked almost right away when Yoko and her mother and and sister were on the train going to Seoul. When the details started coming out in the text about the sickness and the people Yoko was surrounded by I felt like I could visualize everything and I was on that train with her. When she started talking about the mother having her baby on board, I knew this story was going to get graphic. I love books that portray every last detail, because I feel like I'm a part of the story. This book was very graphic for children to read, especially when they talked about rape and details about deaths. The only part I had a problem with was that the book ended abruptly. I didn't like how the brother was reunited and then the book ended right after that. I did like how there were cultural details put into the story- such as Yoko using the word "Honorable" before each family members name. During the story you could really tell the difference between the Japanese and Koreans. I found it interesting and I had more knowledge after reading it! I would definitely recommend this book to someone. ( )
  lgrube4 | Oct 20, 2014 |
So Far from the Bamboo Grove
Bryan O'Keeffe

I really enjoyed reading this book a lot more than I thought I would. I am really into history, especially WWII time period. I know a lot of what the Japanese did to the people it conquered. With the ability to sympathize with Yoko and her family was absolutely amazing. As outlandish that everything seemed in the story, somehow the author, which was the main character, everything seemed like it actually happened. Yoko was a girl who at first was weak and almost helpless but through escaping Korea to Japan became an extremely strong person. I really like stories with that kind of character development. With this being a chapter book, I feel that maybe some kind of illustrations or actual photos of Korea during that time period might have helped the reader imagine things easier. I know form personal experience that some readers have a hard time seeing things in a historical context if they don't know what things looked like then. The entire story was extremely descriptive. One of my favorite parts was early on in the book when Yoko's mother had her strip the Korean soldiers of their uniforms to disguise themselves as they flew Korea. They had to cut their hair to blend in as well as the condition of the dead soldiers spoke clearly in my mind at that point in the book. The message for this book was not as clear as others I have read. The book simply informs readers of the authors struggles and the horrors the Japanese made during WWII. ( )
  bokeef2 | Oct 17, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688131158, Paperback)

In the final days of World War II, Koreans were determined to take back control of their country from the Japanese and end the suffering caused by the Japanese occupation. As an eleven-year-old girl living with her Japanese family in northern Korea, Yoko is suddenly fleeing for her life with her mother and older sister, Ko, trying to escape to Japan, a country Yoko hardly knows.

Their journey is terrifying—and remarkable. It's a true story of courage and survival that highlights the plight of individual people in wartime. In the midst of suffering, acts of kindness, as exemplified by a family of Koreans who risk their own lives to help Yoko's brother, are inspiring reminders of the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:24 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A fictionalized autobiography in which eleven-year-old Yoko escapes from Korea to Japan with her mother and sister at the end of World War II.

(summary from another edition)

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