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Available copies

  • 3 of 3 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 3 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Hawley Public Library J BRO (Text) 33500013375282 New Available -
Moorhead Public Library J BRO (Text) 33500013375290 New Available -
Greenbush Public Library j BRO (Text) 35500006451494 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780063017115
  • ISBN: 0063017113
  • Physical Description: 310 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Quill Tree Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2021]

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
When twelve-year-old Waka's parents suspect she can't understand basic Japanese they speak to her, they make the drastic decision to send her to Tokyo to live for several months with her strict grandmother. Forced to say goodbye to her friends and what would have been her summer vacation, Waka is plucked from her straight-A-student life in rural Kansas and flown across the globe, where she faces the culture shock of a lifetime. In Japan, Waka struggles with reading and writing in kanji, doesn't quite mesh with her complicated and distant Obaasama, and gets made fun of by the students in her Japanese public-school classes. Even though this is the country her parents came from, Waka has never felt more like an outsider. If she's always been the "smart Japanese girl" in America but is now the "dumb foreigner" in Japan, where is home? And who will Waka be when she finds it?
Target Audience Note:
Ages 8-12.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2021 January #1
    *Starred Review* Twelve-year-old Waka's parents realize that, despite being raised in a bilingual household, her Japanese needs a boost, so they send her to live with her grandmother and attend school in Japan for five months. Waka is horrified, not wanting to leave Kansas, friends, and family, but she comes to find that her stay in Japan deepens her cultural understanding, family ties, and sense of self. Brown's debut novel, set from 1983 to 1984, is based on her own experience and perfectly captures the rhythms and cadences of American middle school and Japanese family life. The inclusion of Japanese script, with romanized phonetics and English translations, immerses the reader in Waka's world. Brown directly addresses culture shock, with Waka going from star pupil in Kansas to "dumb jock" in Japan, where she is unable to read fluently and mocked for her accent. Today's tweens will see many similarities between her experiences and their own; bullying from boys and the more subtle but equally painful snubs by girl cliques are especially well drawn. Immigrants from any culture will identify with the difficulties of negotiating a new country and school. But most touching is the transformation of Waka's relationship with her grandmother, a reserved matriarch with a fierce temper. Finally, Brown eschews a Hollywood happy ending, staying true to Japanese traditions and culture, for a far more poignant and realistic ending. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Subject: Brown, Waka Takahashi > Juvenile literature.
Japanese Americans > Biography > Juvenile literature.
Japanese American children > Juvenile literature.
Grandmothers > Juvenile literature.
Culture shock > Juvenile literature.
Tokyo (Japan) > Juvenile literature.
Japanese Americans.
Grandparent and child.
Chinese characters > Japan.
Tokyo (Japan).
Culture shock.
Japanese American children.
Japanese Americans.
Japan > Tokyo.
Genre: Juvenile works.
Personal narratives.

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