Saturday, February 23, 2008

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

Weedflower begins the first week of December, 1941. Sumiko and her family are flower farmers in California when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. Naturally, their world is turned upside down. Suddenly her uncle and grandfather are arrested and held in camps run by the Department of Justice. The rest of Sumiko's family is moved to a local interment camp and then to a camp in Poston, Arizona, run by the Office of Indian Affairs. Here Sumiko is befriended by an older Japanese man (I say Japanese instead of Japanese American, because I believe he was not born in America) who helps her start a garden. She also encounters a Mohave Indian boy and faces her own prejudices towards his people, as well as his towards hers. This is a very touching story and one I highly recommend!

Weedflower is another of the Texas Bluebonnet nominees for this year, and of all the ones I've read so far (I've read 15 of the 20), this one would have gotten my vote. I know it's not the winner, though - I still haven't read the winner. I'm interested to read the winner to see what ids liked better about it!

This book fufills another of my requirements for the What's in a Name? Challenge.


Amanda said...

I think it has to do with the age group the Bluebonnet is aimed at - third through sixth grades, but many sixth grades in Texas are part of middle school, and I don't think those kids are participating in Bluebonnet voting. I haven't read Weedflower, but if it is anything like Kadohata's Newbery winner Kira-Kira, it's probably aimed at somewhat older readers (or more mature younger ones like your daughter). The winner is probably a little more "readable" by the demographic that votes for the Bluebonnet!

Good review - makes me want to read the book. I enjoyed Kira-Kira!

Somer said...

Laura and I were discussing this very thing over breakfast, and I think I'll devote a whole post to it.

Debi said...

I don't know why I've never picked this one up before, as Annie and I loved Kira-Kira. But after reading your review, I know it's definitely going on my list!

Maw Books said...

Hi! Followed you over from Weekly Geeks. I loved this book for several reasons: I'm a sucker for anything Asian and anything surrounding WWII. Kira-Kira was excellent as well.