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Molly By Any Other Name

Molly By Any Other Name

by Jean Davies Okimoto

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An seventeen year-old Asian born adoptee searches for her birthmother. Winner of the International Reading Association Reader's Choice Award.


An seventeen year-old Asian born adoptee searches for her birthmother. Winner of the International Reading Association Reader's Choice Award.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-- Molly, 17, is an Asian-American who was adopted as an infant by Caucasian parents. Having lived unquestioningly with her curiosity about her birth parents, she decides to try and locate them. At first her adoptive parents are hurt and angry, but they eventually decide to support her and to accompany her when she meets her birth mother and half-brother. Molly's best friend, Roland, also an Asian-American, boosts her morale through most of this process, but then seems to be interested in someone else. By the book's end, their relationship has grown from friendship to love. Arranged in three sections, the story relates Molly's search, her birth mother's reactions, and their eventual meeting. Much like Hadley Irwin's Kim/Kimi (McElderry, 1987), the main character finds she is of Japanese-Canadian descent. Okimoto's treatment of the subject, however, does a far better job of describing the feelings and emotions of the characters, particularly the adults. A book that goes beyond the adoption topic to encompass family feelings and dynamics. --Bonnie L. Raasch, C. B. Vernon Middle School, Marion, IA

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Jean Davies Okimoto
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Meet the Author


Jean Davies Okimoto is the recipient of the American Library Association “Best Books for Young Adults” Award, the International Reading Association's Reader's Choice Award, the IRA/CBC Young Adults’ Choice Award, the Parents’ Choice Award, the Washington Governor's Award, the 1993 Maxwell Medallion for Best Children's Book of the Year, and two of her books have been recognized as Smithsonian Notable Books. In 2007 she received the Green Earth Book Award from the Newton Marasco Foundation and in 2008 the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature honor book, a national award given by the Santa Monica Public Library.

In connection with her non-fiction title, Boomerang Kids: How to Live with Adult Children who Return Home, she has appeared on the Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN. Her publishers include Atlantic Monthly Press, Putnam, Little, Brown & Co., Dell, Scholastic, HarperCollins, and the Simul Press in Japan which has published Japanese editions of her novels My Mother Is Not Married To My Father and It's Just Too Much. Her short stories have also appeared in four Delacourte anthologies, Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults. Shelley Duvall produced an animated version of Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat for the series "Bedtime Stories" which was narrated by John Candy and appeared on HBO and Showtime.

Her one-act play, Hum it Again, Jeremy has been produced in schools in Vancouver, Toronto and New York. The Northwest Asian American Theater in Seattle produced the world premiere of Uncle Hideki based on her novel Talent Night and in 2006 produced Uncle Hideki and the Empty Nest. Book-it Repertory Theatre produced The Eclipse of Moonbeam Dawson based on her novel by the same name.

Her other titles include Norman Schnurman, Average Person, a mystery, Who Did It, Jenny Lake?, Jason's Women, Molly By Any Other Name, and Take A Chance, Gramps! which was a Junior Library Guild selection, named to the Lone Star State Reading List, and nominated for the Mark Twain Award and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.

A Place For Grace, published by Sasquatch Books, was the first picture book for a general audience to feature a hearing dog and a deaf character and was praised by Smithsonian as "One of this year's most charming and large-hearted offerings." No Dear, Not Here a picture book about the marbled murrelets, endangered seabirds and their quest for a nest in the Pacific Northwest, is also a Sasquatch title and was designated a 1995 Smithsonian Notable Book for Children.

A member of PEN American Center, the Author's Guild and the Dramatists Guild, she has a master's degree in psychology from Antioch University and is the founder of the Seattle Reading Awards, which recognizes the fifth grade students in the Seattle Public Schools who have shown the most improvement in reading.

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