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So Far from the Bamboo Grove
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So Far from the Bamboo Grove (Paperback)
by Yoko Kawashawa Watkins
(148 customer reviews)    
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65 used & new available from $1.15

Customer Reviews
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Number of Reviews: 148
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7 of 38 people found the following review helpful:

So Far from the Bamboo Groove, December 31, 2000
A Kid's Review
This was a very exciting and emotional story about a little girl, Yoko Kawashima, trying to escape from her peaceful home in Korea for Japan, with her mother and sister, at the end of World War II. During their journey they faced harsh times, without food and soldiers tracking them down. While I was reading the story, it felt realistic, like I was on the journey as Yoko. This book might be helpful to people who are researching on what happened to people during the war, even though it is a fictionalized autobiography. I think this is one of the stories that you would read more than once, and still enjoy it.

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7 of 38 people found the following review helpful:

So Far From The Bamboo Grove, December 31, 2000
Reviewer:Sandy Ngan (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
So Far From The Bamboo Grove tells a tragic and touching story of escape and the survival of the fittest. This fatal novel paints the picture of war, death, and blood. This magical account expresses the true first-hand experiences of war to a girl (Yoko) and her Japanese family who have never experienced it before and that is why I like this book so much. Plus the action and the hardships that the Yoko, her mother, her sister Ko, and her brother Hideyo have to go through, really attracteed me to the book. The separation of the family in all different directions makes it even more exciting. Another reason for me to like this book so much is because this story shows the courage, love, and strength of a family that works together to support each other through both good and bad times. At first, I thought that this story was just another war story, but it was more than that. It was not just a story taking place in Korea in 1945, but a story of about family who would do anything for their family to be safe and happy.

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5 of 37 people found the following review helpful:

a beautifully written book which shows the spirit of a famil, November 30, 2000
Reviewer:theresa m. grottole (windsor, ct United States) - See all my reviews
I had the chance to meet Ms. Kawashima Watkins on 11/29/2000 at Sage Park Middle School in Windsor, CT. The sixth grade team 2/3 presented to Ms. Kawashima Watkins a panotime opera of skits relating to her book. My daughter Lauren was involved in the Shoe Shine scene where she played the violen trying to solicite money from the gentlemen. It was the last act and it was a great scene. Yoko autographed the playbill for us. My mom, myself and Lauren were humbled by her experiences. The book: So Far From the Bamboo Grove is rated a 5 for one of the best books I ever read with my daughter.

Recommened for all children 9 and up, and adults.

Theresa Grottole

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5 of 33 people found the following review helpful:

My Left Foot, October 18, 2000
A Kid's Review
This book is truly outstandingly amazing

I read this book one year ago in my english class and i found it truly amazing. It is and autobiography about a man with great talent, Christy Brown. Brown is pralized in all of his body other than his left foot, all his family (exept his mother) give up their hope, then one day when he was two years old he took a chalkboard from his brother and wrote the letter "A" This is when everybody was amazed. Later one Christy's mom teaches him how to write and by the age of 6 he was a prefect in reading and writing. When Brown grows up he becomes a famous writer and artist. I should check this book out or buy it at amazon.com because i am sure you will not be able to put it down

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37 of 54 people found the following review helpful:

Good Riddance, August 26, 2000
Reviewer:JB (Seoul, Korea) - See all my reviews
That bamboo grove never belonged to her family in the first place. I think I missed any mention of how many innocent Koreans her father killed, and how many innocent Koreans suffered to keep her living in her lap of luxuary before the August 15th Independence of 1945.

This book is extremely unbalanced and limited in perspective. It paints Koreans as basically communist and themselves as guiltless victims. While Ms. Kawashima-Watkins and her siblings were undoubtably innocent, and Korea did have some communists, she warps the situation to exaggerate conflict and loses all credibility.

Japan's greatest enemy has always been themselves. Books like these that paint themselves as victims of a war they themselves committed will only serve to make lost any grounds of reconciliation with Korea, China and Southeast Asia, and any sympathy for the atomic massacres of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

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5 of 33 people found the following review helpful:

Not far being a really good book, June 1, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
Far From the Bamboo Grove is a story of two young women and their mother, trying to make it out of China during the war. It is a story of courageous women who have to survive without their father or brother. An action packed story that will have you reading to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was suspenseful and well written. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys learning from the books they read.

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4 of 27 people found the following review helpful:

So Far a Good Book, June 1, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
This was a story of courage and strength. Yoko, and her sister Ko, are young, yet strong enough to survive through a long war, with nothing but the clothes on their back. They would not give up, and were victorious in their survival. This story shows great strength and bravery, and sense of family, where neither sister would let the other give up.

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22 of 37 people found the following review helpful:

stays on a plateau, no climax, nothing exciting, April 18, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
If I weren't required to read this book for class I probably wouldn't have, and that reaffirms my faith in my gut feelings. This is one book you can judge by its cover. The artwork is simple, and that's the best way to describe the book. Simple. It may be that I'm a little bit old for the level of reading here, but no matter what age a story is intended for, I think it should follow the basic outline for a story. It should have a rising action (keyword "action"), a climax and a resolution. This book starts off with Yoko, her sister and her mother getting on a train, then they stay on a train, for several chapters. Then they're in a train station, for what seems like an eternity. Then they're in a warehouse, likewise, forever. Every now and then you think you can see some sputter of action, suspense, anything, but alas, it quickly fades to its usual doldrem. It did almost have a resolution, but not quite, there are still quite a few questions unanswered. An "...and we all lived happily ever after" or "...and everyone died" would have satisfied me more than the ending. All said, it's not the story that's bad, it's the writing that makes it not worth reading. I'm sure told properly this would be a harrowing tale that would change my whole outlook on life, but as it is I'm inclined to think there's a better book out there that I can read to achieve that effect.

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6 of 37 people found the following review helpful:

Fantastic book, April 2, 2000
Reviewer:Arielle M. Dundas (Wassenaar, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
In this book many incredible things happen that are exciting. You must not think of this book in poltical terms. Otherwise the meaning of this book will be routed. The book is about people. And how war affects them. This little girl sees so much horror, and why. Becuase her father is a "bad guy". It simply doesn't work that way. One of the most refreshing concepts of this novel is that it allows you to see the horrors of war from a new perspective. That is one of an innocent girl being persecuted because her father WAS responsible for some horrible things. It is very graphic and would only recommend it for 12 years or higher any younger children will either not understand most of the book or be shocked out of their minds. When reading this book you think of them as people not "bad guys" that thought surfaces after you have finished.

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13 of 43 people found the following review helpful:

Parents read this with your children, February 9, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
This book was truly compelling and well written, but as a parent I would recommend reading it if it is assigned reading in school. I found the graphic violence against women and sexual harrassment of young girls to be quite complicated for my 6th grade daughter to sit alone and read this material. I don't feel the teachers spent time explaining the emotional content or the sexual abuse impact it left on the students. If it is assigned reading... READ IT, believe me you'll be glad you did.

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