11 year old Japanese girl Yoko lives with her family in Korea. When WW II ends her whole life is torn apart. This is her reminiscence of a terrible time when she, her older sister and her mother had to run for their lives through unfriendly territory as they tried to make their way safely back to Japan. Written for older elementary, early middle school age this book is an interesting read for all ages. Be prepared to be horrified and uplifted.
I found this little gem At a local swap meet.The plot is based on early experiences of a Japanese girl living in Korea when WWII came along and ripped her happy existence apart. Yoko 12 and her sister, Ko, 16 and their mother start on a journey to save their lives. Yoko's father was involved with the Japanese govm't and as such was a target of any of Japan's enemies. Her elder brother Hideyo, was off working in a munitions factory and was left to figure out where they were and to try to find them.
While full of fear, danger,and uncertainty the story is lovely in its show of family loyalty as well as its showing how even chance kindnesses can later become life saving events. There is much to be learned about both Korean and Japanese culture. This would be a suitable book for an older teenager ( otherwise the war and its participants would make no sense) and I enjoyed it as an adult. I wanted it to go on, but alas, it was over.
Just because a war is over, doesn't mean the suffering stops. At the end of WW II, Koreans began to take revenge against the Japanese who had 'enslaved' their country, not making any distinction between the guilty and the innocent.
What happened in Korea was miniscule compared to what happened in Europe, but that is another story. At least for one little Japanese girl and her family, the tale eventually had a happy, if bittersweet, ending.
Although I wrote my name on the first page the book is in great condition. The author came to my school when I was in grade school and wrote a person messgae to each one of us kids and put a stamp of some kind on the inside cover. It's really knd of neat. Great, moving story.