Monday, July 15, 2013

So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

"Though Japanese, eleven-year-old Yoko has lived with her family in northern Korea near the border with China all her life. But when the Second World War comes to an end, Japanese on the Korean peninsula are suddenly in terrible danger; the Korean people want control of their homeland and they want to punish the Japanese, who have occupied their nation for many years. Yoko, her mother and sister are forced to flee from their beautiful house with its peaceful bamboo grove. Their journey is terrifying -- and remarkable. It's a true story of courage and survival."

So Far From the Bamboo Grove is a true, courageous, old, and unbelievable story. I didn't it is true, despite the synopsis and author's name, until I looked it up on the internet. It's recommended to young readers, who love history and are interested in the survivor's story of the war.

The plot is amazing! It's so real and luckily not very graphic, which makes it perfect for younger readers but not too young. (Around twelve or older) Even if you aren't a kid, So Far From the Bamboo Grove is still a good book. It's a quick book to read. (I finish this book in about half an hour.)

The ending is so sweet! No further comment on the ending, though. 


Yoko, a young girl, is caught in a war. Her innocent personality and fearless attitude pops out in the worst and best times. She doesn't understand what is truly going on. Truthfully, I find that characteristic refreshing. It always make me seem smarter and more intelligent. Yoko's experiences constantly remind me of the time when children, young, young children, are caught in a bloody war. They have to quickly adapt and learn or they won't survive and live to see the next sunrise. 

Yoko's sister is extremely intelligent. She finds solutions when there doesn't seem to be any. She is one of those children, a sixteen year old one, who can quickly adapt to any situation. Her strong love for her sister makes the story much, much more unique. Despite that hard and tough shell she has surrounding her, her inner personality reveals a more beautiful, kind, sweet, and gentle soul. 

Rating: Four out of Five

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