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My Brother, My Sister and I

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Yoko, her brother, and her sister live in abject poverty in Japan at the end of World War II. Their lives become even more desperate when the factory they live in burns, Yoko's sister is hospitalized, and Yoko's brother is accused of murder.

Living as refugees in Japan in 1947 while trying to locate their missing father, thirteen-year-old Yoko and her older brother and sister must endure a bad fire, injury, and false charges of ...

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Overview

Yoko, her brother, and her sister live in abject poverty in Japan at the end of World War II. Their lives become even more desperate when the factory they live in burns, Yoko's sister is hospitalized, and Yoko's brother is accused of murder.

Living as refugees in Japan in 1947 while trying to locate their missing father, thirteen-year-old Yoko and her older brother and sister must endure a bad fire, injury, and false charges of arson, theft, and murder.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW's starred review praised this fictionalized memoir of a refugee childhood in post-WWII Japan as "beautifully direct and emotionally honest." Ages 11-up. (Apr.)
Hazel Rochman
In the fictionalized autobiography "So Far from the Bamboo Grove" (1986), Yoko and her Japanese family escape from the Communist takeover in North Korea at the end of World War II and finally reach Kyoto, Japan, only to find themselves unwelcome there. This sequel has the same quiet honesty about ordinary people caught up in terrible times. Yoko's first-person narrative tells of a once secure middle-class child now homeless, hungry, and in danger. Mother is dead; 13-year-old Yoko and her older brother and sister struggle together to survive in Kyoto, scavenging for scraps, working at anything they can find, even cleaning toilets. Father is a prisoner somewhere; the hope of his return is like a heartbeat in everything they do. Driven from their warehouse home by fire, they find themselves accused of arson and murder, and they help the police solve the murder mystery. However, the core of the story is not the big events, but the family drama and the home the young people make together, whether in a shack or a hospital room. Their loving bonds are strong, but they're also irritable and nervy. Yoko hates her sister's bossiness, especially the insistence that Yoko go to school. The school scenes are brutal: the rich students torment Yoko as an outsider; even when she graduates with top honors, they don't want her in the class photo. Yet Watkins doesn't indulge in self-pity. Except for some occasional overwriting ("I sighed sadly"), the violent suffering is treated with restraint, as in the unforgettable vignette of a scarred atom-bomb survivor who dies an outcast. The climax builds to Father's return, and his homecoming is described with the intense understatement that characterizes the best parts of this compelling story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780764781
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Pages: 233
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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