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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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
408None26,041 (3.82)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

Work details

So far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

2011 (5) adventure (4) Asia (11) biography (8) children (4) children's (8) courage (5) culture (8) family (23) fiction (19) grade 6 (5) historical (5) historical fiction (34) history (16) Japan (44) Japanese (24) Japanese History (5) japanese occupation (5) journey (11) juvenile (8) Korea (44) Korean (17) memoir (9) non-fiction (4) refugees (12) series (4) war (25) WWII (50) YA (8) young adult (11)
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book and really enjoyed reading it. This story was about a Japanese family living in North Korea during World War II. This biography really interested me because it showed the view point of how Yoko and her family felt and the hardships they endured throughout that time. As well as seeing the view point of her brother and his journey throughout the story. I also felt the language used throughout the story was very specific and descriptive. For example when the family is on the train and the author talks about how everyone is starving and dehydrated and when the woman jumps off the train. The details are very specific but also very gruesome. The main idea of this story is that if you persevere through any bad in your life everything will work out in the end. ( )
  kbrowe2 | Mar 24, 2014 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because it demonstrated a different perspective of such an important event in history that I feel I have only really learned about the American perspective. I feel that this is so important because people should learn about how people on the other side of the situation feel and react. As we have discussed in class there have been decisions where education only informs the students of the American perspective. I feel that books similar to this one should be an integral part of the classroom, when it is appropriate. Which brings me to why I did not like this book. I understand completely how this book demonstrates the realistic properties of this time, but I just felt that the reading level for this book is too young for the child to be mature enough to understand and deal with the content fully and appropriately. This especially comes into play during the suggested rape scene that the daughters encounter on the train. They did not explicitly say that rape was occurring, but it was definitely inferred by the descriptive language used. This book is definitely important and demonstrates important messages about family, education, and fighting for your freedom. I just had a hard time with the graphicness of some of the content. On the other hand, I am completely aware of how important it is to truly depict the occurrences of what was happening during this difficult time with WWII—but the vivid brutality depicted made the book hard to read. For example, while traveling on the train the author provides horrific details depicting a woman giving birth, the newborn dying, and the nurse hurling the corpse off the train. This was just very hard to read, even though it is important to acknowledge the hardships people endured during this memorable time in history. Overall, the main message of this book is that family is so important and it is possible to overcome struggles. This book taught me about the sacrifices family’s make and that it is possible to work through hardships and persevere in difficult times. ( )
  sarabeck | Mar 10, 2014 |
This book is about a Japanese family living in North Korea at the time of World War II. The family tries to escape back to Japan but has a hard time because the Koreans are trying to take back their country. This book is an autobiography of a woman who went through this hardship with her family. I like that this book shows the viewpoint of a Japanese family in another country during the war. It shows their perspective of how the Japanese were treated. ( )
  BaileyR | Mar 4, 2014 |

I absolutely loved this book. Every single detail throughout the story made the reader pity for the whole family. The characters were believable and well-developed. I loved Little One because she was so innocent, giving, and naïve. For example, she only had one canteen of water left and instead of keeping it all for herself, she gave some to the pregnant woman sitting next to her. She also gave her leftover scraps to the pregnant woman. This little girl was extremely brave throughout this story, especially towards the end. Her mother died in her arms and she was left alone, waiting for her sister to return from school. I also like the point of view throughout the story. I like how we hear Little One’s story through her own perspective and then honorable brother’s story through his own perspective. I found myself getting frustrated because honorable brother was so close to Seoul when the family decided to leave. He was always a step behind. The plot was outstanding and there was so much suspense throughout the story. A good example would be when the Korean Communist group found Little One’s family and they were about to be raped or killed. The big idea of this story is to never give up. After what that whole family went through, they were finally rewarded in the end. ( )
  kbrehm1 | Mar 3, 2014 |
This book was phenomenal. I very much connected with this book even though I differentiate from the main characters. One of the reasons why I loved this book was because of the organization. I loved the way the author separated the main character's experience from the brother's experience. It was sequential, it made sense, and it kept you in suspense as to who's story would be in the following chapter.
Another reason why I liked this book was because of the character development. The characters were written so well, and you truly grow up with them. From the beginning, the main character was young and whiny. By the end of the book, she is mature and capable of keeping her minor concerns to herself.
The main idea of this book is that through any tragedy in life, one can survive and excel with the help of family. ( )
  lmalak1 | Mar 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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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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