I recently finished the book Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata. Kadohata is a Asian-American writer. She wrote the Newberry Honor book, “Kira-Kira,” which I highly recommend. I must say that I did not enjoy this book quite as much as I liked Kira-Kira, but it still had that beautiful writing style and the sorrow and sweetness tied together that we find everywhere in her literature. The book is told in the third person view, following Sumiko and her younger brother Tak Tak. The two were orphaned when their parents died in an car accident, and live with their Uncle at his flower farm. The farm brings a sense of safeness to everyone. Sumiko already has to deal with the racism shot at her from some of her classmates in her California school. But nothing is worse than the feeling she gets when on the radio she and her family hear that Pearl Harbor had been bombed by the Japanese. First her Grandfather, Jijan, and her Uncle are taken to a camp because they are considered community leaders. But things really get bad when neighbors inform them that they will be evacuated and taken to camps soon. Leaving behind their flower farm, and selling their horse Baba, Sumiko and her remaining family ( Auntie, Tak Tak, and her older cousins Bull and Ichiro) leave for a camp. After going to Poston, Arizona and surviving her first dust storm, Sumiko embarks on her adventure of new friends, even Indian boys and girls that lie, escaping the heat, and trying to avoid the ultimate boredom. This book has some great insights to the world of the confined Japanese, and how they were arrested, and the world around them. And after all she has been through, Sumiko is still saddened to leave. It shows the troubles of friends, war time, having to prove your innocence when crimes were made on a different continent, and growing up.
Mrs. Honey’s Input
This book is written with true enthusiasm, and has such a sweet and caring voice put through by Sumiko. I loved the setting and time, and how it is a different point of view then many others. Few other books have focused on the lives of the confined Japanese, and from a child’s point of view… unheard of. I think it was lovely!!
Mrs. Vinegar’s Input
I think that the book focused a bit too much on some politics, and would have been better if it were written first person from Sumiko’s view, which was what it was hinting at the whole time. It also has a lower level of literature for it’s age group, and could have been longer. And though it’s climax wasn’t as strong as possible, I think that it was still pretty good. We give it seven out of ten stars.