Reviewed by coollibrarianchick for TeensReadToo.com
I just finished HIROSHIMA DREAMS by Kelly Easton and I want everybody to know what a good book it was. It's a story of growing up. The story is told beautifully, rich imagery woven throughout the pages. It was very easy to picture this family going through the motions of daily life.
The book starts off when the grandmother, Obaachan, arrives from Japan when Lin is in kindergarten. The first time they meet, Ochaaban tells a koan. If you are like me then you learn that a koan is used for meditation and enlightening a being's mind. When Lin makes a wise comment in regards to it, Obaachan whispers to her, "I knew I was right about you."
In the beginning, life with Obaachan is not easy. There is an adjustment phase for everyone involved. Lin lost her bedroom to her grandmother and is forced to share with her big sister, Sally. Sally is being Sally, a typical big sister who has to make sure Lin stays in her place as the younger one. Lin's mom also has to adjust as her relationship with her mother is somewhat strained. It takes Obaachan two weeks to come out of her room and when she does, she announces that she is ready to be "American."
I wish I had a relationship with my grandmother as Lin had with hers. She has an opportunity of a lifetime, learning the ways of a generation past. Lin has always had the knack to be able to tell the future, and this is something she shares with her grandmother. Her grandmother teaches her to develop her gift through meditation and Lin constantly tests the strengths and limitations of what she can do. For Lin, it's more than knowing what the weather will be like the next day and if the boy you like will call. The education Lin got from Obaachan shapes her as a person observable as she grows into a young woman.