So Far from the Bamboo Grove Author:Yoko Kawashima Watkins Though Japanese, eleven-year-old Yoko has lived with her family in northern Korea near the border with China all her life. But when the Second World War comes to an end, Japanese on the Korean peninsula are suddenly in terrible danger; the Korean people want control of their homeland and they want to punish the Japanese, who have occupied their ... more »nation for many years. Yoko, her mother and sister are forced to flee from their beautiful house with its peaceful bamboo grove. Their journey is terrifying -- and remarkable. It's a true story of courage and survival.« less
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.