My Brother, My Sister and I by Yoko Kawashima Watkins, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
My Brother, My Sister and I

My Brother, My Sister and I

4.8 20
by Yoko Kawashima Watkins
     
 

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Thirteen-year-old Yoko and her older brother and sister live in abject poverty in Japan at the end of World War II. When the clog factory warehouse they call home is destroyed by fire, their lives become even more desperate, particularly when Yoko's sister, Ko, is injured and must be hospitalized and her brother, Hideyo, is accused of murder. "Beautifully direct and

Overview

Thirteen-year-old Yoko and her older brother and sister live in abject poverty in Japan at the end of World War II. When the clog factory warehouse they call home is destroyed by fire, their lives become even more desperate, particularly when Yoko's sister, Ko, is injured and must be hospitalized and her brother, Hideyo, is accused of murder. "Beautifully direct and emotionally honest."--Publishers Weekly, starred review.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689806568
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Publication date:
04/01/1996
Edition description:
1st Aladdin Edition
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
454,944
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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