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So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko…

So Far from the Bamboo Grove (edition 1994)

by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

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4879321,072 (3.86)4
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

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So far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins



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Although I enjoyed this book, it has a lot of difficult topics for students of all ages to understand. Being a story about WWII and how the war drastically effected this particular family has a very deep theme to begin with. However, the fact that the book also talks about stronger themes such as rape suggests that it be recommended for older readers. A great story on a glimpse at just how much war changes the lives of those involved in a war torn area. ( )
  lriver5 | May 14, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book very much. Two things that made this book stand out to me is the point of view and the message of survival. Here in America, we view the Japanese people as the "villains" in WWII, however, this book provides a fresh point of view since it is about a Japanese family. For example, instead of avoiding Japanese soldiers like in our other historical fiction book (When My Name Was Keoko) the family in this book are running from Korean bandits. This book also has a very powerful message of survival. During one part in the story Yoko, Ko, and their mother had to pretend to not be Japanese so that they would not get killed. Hideyo even had to dress in Korean cloths to avoid being killed. The main idea of this book is survival. ( )
  pduste1 | Apr 27, 2015 |
I liked this book for three reasons. First, the language was very descriptive and the writing was well done and paced. The author made it easy for me to picture what things looked like with quotes such as "As I lay in mine I saw the stars shining like petals of white chrysanthemums." The author provided many similes and a great sense of imagery throughout the story. Second, the characters in the story were very well developed and because of that, they were relatable as well. Because the descriptions were so well written, you were really able to relate to how Little One, Ko, and and Mama were feeling at all times. Lastly, the plot was very well organized and was constantly bringing suspense. The story did not start off slow because right away Mama, Ko and little one had to escape and leave their brother behind to save their own lives. The journey they went through kept you wondering if they were going to make it and if they really would find their brother in the end. Overall, I thought this was an excellent story that described real life events and have readers making connections to hardships that their family members or grandparents may have gone through. Overall, the big idea of this story is to always have hope and strength to push through hard times, and in the end you will end up a stronger person because of it. ( )
  agassa1 | Apr 20, 2015 |
This story is a very intense, first hand, account of war. The author of this story tells about all of the trauma, stress, and loss she suffered while trying to escape North Korea. The story was very interesting, but inappropriate for young readers if you ask me. The writing is clear and concise, but it talks about some controversial things. There is a somewhat detailed account of rape, which is not appropriate for a young audience. There is a lot of violence and death that could be scary to children. There were some parts within the story that I found to be a little sickening due to the level of gore that was described. One set back I had was that I did not know enough about the war or the tension between North Korea and Japan to understand why things were happening. I understood that the two countries were not on great terms, but I could not figure out why exactly that was. A basic history lesson would be required if a teacher was to incorporate this book in his or her classroom.
  akern3 | Mar 21, 2015 |
This book was definitely an interesting book, it had so many vivid details it was hard to read at times. I struggled to keep up with it at times because of the cruelty that some of the soldiers showed with their actions. It was powerful story with vivid details of their struggles. I thought that they mother died in such a sad way, she almost just fell asleep after going through so much to get there and it was a little disappointing. But it was a happy ending when the brother finally found his sisters after almost dying from the cold and being saved by the family. I wish that the father could have been in the story more. They mention him a few times but nothing is ever said or seen of the father in the story which I found to be frustrating. Overall I found this book to be a very great story because it shows how with your family you can get through almost anything, even war. ( )
  lbradf4 | Mar 3, 2015 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -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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